Kelly Clarkson’s ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock, is appealing a California agency’s ruling that he must pay back millions of dollars to the singer for fees he took out of her work on “The Voice,” the Billboard Music Awards and other projects.
The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement ruled on Nov. 21 that the singer’s ex-husband was ordered to return $2,641,374 paid in commissions from when he was Clarkson’s manager.
Documents filed to a Los Angeles Superior Court on Nov. 30 show that he is appealing the decision and requesting a trial “de novo”, which means which means that a judge would hear the case again with each party having the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses.
Clarkson and her legal team accused Blackstock of unlawfully obtaining work for her between 2017 and 2020 when he served as her manager, according to court records. Clarkson’s team accused Blackstock of overreaching in his role when he began to take on tasks that should have been handled by Clarkson’s talent agents at Creative Artists Agency.
The document states that Blackstock’s role as Clarkson’s manager required him to coordinate her schedule with professionals, including her agents, publicists and glam team.
However, Clarkson and her legal team disputed Blackstock’s part in procuring five contracts for the singer, saying he engaged in “procurement” of several gigs, which should have been done by her CAA talent agents under California’s Talent Agencies Act.
The contracts cover her role as a judge on “The Voice” in 2017 and her gig as a host of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in 2018. Her work with Norwegian Cruise Line Services in 2019 was also included in the lawsuit, along with her 2019 to 2020 projects with Wayfair and her hosting jobs for Billboard Music Awards between 2018 and 2020.
The suit notes that Blackstock earned commissions for Clarkson’s projects — including $1,983,155.70 for her work on “The Voice,” $208,125 for her contract with Norwegian Cruise Line, $450,000 for Wayfair and $93.30 for her job as host for the Billboard Music Awards.
“Under the Talent Agencies Act (TAA), a manager, like any person without a talent agency license, cannot procure or attempt to procure employment for artists,” the California labor commissioner’s ruling says.
The ruling found Blackstock worked in conjunction and at the request of the CAA agents in negotiating for “The Kelly Clarkson Show” with NBC but determined he had “unlawfully procured” Clarkson’s jobs with “The Voice,” Norwegian Cruise Lines, Wayfair and the Billboard Music Awards.
(Both NBC and TODAY are owned by the same parent company, NBCUniversal.)
What is Brandon Blackstock doing now?
Blackstock is now required to return those payments to Clarkson. Neither Blackstock nor Clarkson immediately responded to TODAY.com’s request for comment.
Clarkson began dating Blackstock while he was her talent manager. They married in October 2013 and welcomed their daughter, River Rose, almost a year later in 2014. In 2016, Clarkson gave birth to their son Remington.
Clarkson filed paperwork to split from Blackstock in 2020 legally. They reached a settlement two years later. According to court documents obtained by TODAY, the singer and manager settled on joint legal custody of their two children. Clarkson, at the time, agreed to pay Blackstock a one-time payment of $1,326,161 in addition to monthly payments of $115,000 in spousal support until Jan. 31, 2024, and $45,601 monthly in child support.