Phillip Phillips says "American Idol" producers are ruining his career ... and he wants out of his contract with them before he goes in the dumper.
Phillips claims 19 Entertainment has held him down since he won the competition in 2012. Phillips claims 19 controls every aspect of his career and has made decisions that only benefit them and actually hurt him.
Phillips mentions one concert -- where he was forced to perform a free show for a JetBlue ad, and 19 flat out told him he had to do it because it benefited the "American Idol" live concert tour.
He also says they have kept him in the dark to the point he wasn't even consulted about the title to one of his albums and only found out when he heard about it in the media.
Phillips goes on and on, claiming it's typical "in the life of a rising star" for the record company to give him a better deal, yet 19 never asked Interscope to cut him a break. As you know, Jimmy Iovine who ran Interscope until recently was also a mentor on "Idol."
Phillip says the 19 contract is so one-sided it's illegal, and he's asking for the Labor Commission to let him out.
The story broke in the Hollywood Reporter.
Allegedly Strikes Photog
But Something's Weird
1/26/2015 6:06 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Martin allegedly hit a photog with his jeep as he left a fancy Santa Monica restaurant, but there's something really odd about this one.
Chris and Gwyneth Paltrow went to Giorgio Baldi Restaurant with their 2 kids and all was fine, but on the way out a photog runs up to take their photo and says he was struck by their jeep. An ambulance was called and the pap was taken to the hospital.
Here's the weird thing. The photog who took pics of the accident was standing across the street. It's unclear why a cameraman would be so far away, because there was a clear shot of the family from the restaurant side ... right on the sidewalk. In fact, 3 other photogs were perched right there.
We've never seen a photog take pics from across that street ... so, as we said, it's weird he's the one who got shots of the accident. Also, he and the guy who allegedly got hit have worked together.
And as the injured photog is taken away on a stretcher, he's looking directly into the camera.
Mannin' Up to Drop Off Karrueche ...
Guilt Trip or Nice Guy?
1/26/2015 7:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Brown was caught at LAX doing the deed with Karrueche Tran ... being a good boyfriend, that is.
You know it's true love in L.A. when someone goes through the hassle of dropping you off at the airport -- that, or your spirit's been completely broken. Or you're making up for something. Whatever the reason ... Brown did his duty giving KT the kiss and fly on Sunday.
This is huge, when you consider he could have just sprung for an Uber -- but she still lugged her own bags. He's good ... just not THAT good.
The Pap Suing Me is Lame
Play With Fire ... Get Burned!
1/26/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
If you stand in front of a moving car, you're gonna get hit -- which is Justin Bieber's defense in a lawsuit filed by a photog he mowed down.
Bieber was sued last year by Walter Lee, who claims Biebs struck him in 2013 as he left a comedy club on Sunset Boulevard.
Bieber claims Lee deliberately stood in front of the moving vehicle so TS.
Bieber also doubts Lee was actually hurt. As TMZ first reported, despite claiming serious injuries Lee filmed Bieber just a few days after filing his lawsuit.
Bieber wants the case tossed out and if the judge wants to award him court costs, that would be swell.
Kid and Playing Around ...
With 'House Party' Cast
1/25/2015 1:47 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alicia Keys ain't gonna hurt nobody on her birthday this year ... 'cause she partied with the cast of "House Party" -- and based on this video, they haven't lost a step.
Keys' husband Swizz Beatz threw the singer a jammy jam Saturday night straight out of the movie's sequel ... and booked Kid 'n Play to perform alongside costars Tisha Campbell and AJ Johnson.
Other celebs showed as well ... LaLa, Carmelo Anthony and Gayle King ... AJ Johnson says it was the first time the movie's cast has reunited since the premiere.
For those of you who haven't seen "House Party" ... watch this clip and feel ashamed.
I'm Not Signing that Pic ...
That's Kim's OTHER Wedding!
1/25/2015 12:46 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Kanye West had a sweet moment when he arrived in D.C. Sunday ... a fan wanted him to sign a pic of his bride on their wedding day ... problem is, the guy had the wrong groom!
Kanye and Kim were making their way to their limo when the autograph hound extended his arm, photo in hand. Turns out it was from wedding #2, when Kim married Kris Humphries.
You would think Kanye would have blanched, but this is the new, improved, hyper-social Kanye West!
Check it out ... it's hilarious.
Reunites With Daughter
After 5 Bitter Years
1/25/2015 10:16 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Courtney Love reunited with her daughter Frances Bean Cobain ... apparently closing the book on a feud that's been raging for years.
Love and Bean hugged it out Saturday at the Sundance premiere of "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck" ... the first time they've been seen together in more than 5 years.
Remember, Courtney lost legal control over then 17 year-old Frances in 2009. In 2012, Love accused ex Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl of hitting on Bean.
The 22 year-old blasted her mom over the allegation ... urging Twitter to ban her mom from the site.
Nothing is forever ... and that can be a good thing.
I'm The Victim of Identity Theft!
1/25/2015 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Brown is now at the center of a new criminal investigation ... but this time he's the victim.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... when Chris was jailed for leaving rehab back in April and taken across the country to Washington D.C. for his hearing on assault charges, one of his first stops was San Bernardino County Jail.
Chris was only there for a day or so, but procedure required a jail ID. When Chris left, his ID was left with the jailers.
Fast forward to this week ... when someone tried to sell the ID online for $10,000. Chris' lawyer, Mark Geragos, got wind of it and went to the San Bernardino Sheriff's Dept. and said "What the F***?"
The Sheriff's Dept. launched an investigation and traced the ID to someone in the area. We've learned cops seized the ID and grilled the guy, who insists he got the ID from a friend who got it from a friend.
Cops are trying to figure out how the ID got out of police custody and whether a crime has been committed.
Sometimes it's better to be the victim than the perp.
Birdman vs. Lil Wayne
War is On
1/24/2015 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Birdman and Lil Wayne have officially declared war ... settlement talks have broken down and Wayne will now sue his mentor, claiming among other things Birdman owes him $8 million.
As TMZ reported ... the 2 titans tried coming to terms this week but it wasn't meant to be. Now Wayne will ask a judge to declare him free of Cash Money and Birdman's control. Wayne says Birdman has violated their contract by withholding the release of his new album.
As for the $8 MIL claim ... Wayne says Birdman owed the money for his latest album -- it was supposed to be an advance.
Birdman has held firm ... he will release the album "in due time," but clearly that's not good enough for Wayne.
We're told Wayne will keep recording but he will release his works outside of the Cash Money umbrella.
Pap Doesn't Want Jury to Hear
I Also Pissed Off Britney!
1/24/2015 12:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Kanye West has no right to tell a jury the photog who's suing him is the very same guy who Britney Spears famously attacked with an umbrella ... at least that's what the photog is banking on.
Daniel Ramos is suing Kanye for the 2013 LAX attack. Kanye pled no contest to misdemeanor battery, but now Ramos is suing him.
Kanye wants to prove to the jury Ramos is a bad guy ... not only because of the 2007 umbrella incident, but also because he was so gross he tried selling the umbrella and the truck she struck.
But Ramos has filed legal docs asking the judge to exclude evidence of his Britney hijinks, saying it has nothing to do with the LAX attack and it would unfairly turn the jury against him.
Ramos also wants the judge to exclude evidence that he actually made a pretty penny off the video he shot as Kanye went after him.
It's kinda like having your cake ...
Rolls-Royce vs. Royce Rizzy
High End Car Company Sues
... That's Our Name!!
1/24/2015 12:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
In the hip-hop world, you don't steal another MC's name ... even if MC stands for motor car -- which is exactly what Rolls-Royce claims a rapper named Rolls Royce Rizzy has done.
According to the lawsuit -- obtained by TMZ -- the legendary car company says Rizzy advertises and sells "Team Rolls Royce" shirts on his website ... and they want him to stop ASAP.
Rolls-Royce claims they've sent R.R.R. multiple cease and desist letters to no avail ... and since he's continued to wear the shirts in pics on social media they've been forced to file suit.
Rizzy tells us he dropped the "Rolls" from his name at least a year and a half ago and he's no longer selling the shirts ... just wearing it. He also claims he's never gotten a letter from Rolls.
Jermaine Dupri -- the head of Rizzy's label -- tells us he personally made sure the name change happened before putting him out as an artist ... adding,"I know how business works."
Selena and Zedd
Stir Fried Date ...
Smells and Looks Official
1/23/2015 4:15 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Most people don't fly cross country to take "a friend" out to eat -- so Selena Gomez and Zedd are looking more like an official couple after their afternoon rendezvous in Atlanta.
Our restaurant sources tell TMZ ... Selena and Zedd were hugging and kissing while eating at Benihana Friday. She's in town shooting a movie -- and the only reason he'd be there is, well ... her.
They've been a rumored couple since they hit a bunch of Golden Globes parties together -- but then SG was spotted at dinner with her on/off/on BF Justin Bieber.
Bottom line? Selena's love life is tricky business ... but Zedd doesn't seem to care.
Sued By Former Manager
He Was NOTHING Before Us!
1/23/2015 3:19 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Tyga's former manager says the rapper's an ingrate and now there's only one way to show his appreciation ... fork over several million dollars as a "thank you."
Back in the day ... Tyga hired C&J Management, and the company claims it did more than a good job, "turning him from a relative nobody to a world known superstar." C&J introduced Tyga to Cash Money, so they may have a point.
But sometimes people and Tygas move on ... and C&J claims the rapper unceremoniously and illegally fired them in 2013 and hired a brand spankin' new manager.
So C&J now wants $4 million and all will be well.
We reached out to a rep for Tyga. So far, no word back.