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Thursday, 20 December, 2001, 10:45 GMT
Music guru sues Grammys
Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton could not perform at the Grammys
An influential music industry figure is suing the head of the Grammy awards for $10m (6.9m) over allegations artists were forced to back out of playing rival award shows.

Former US TV music host Dick Clark has accused the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of preventing stars such as Michael Jackson and Britney Spears from appearing at the American Music Awards (AMA).

Mr Clark, who organises the AMAs, filed against the Academy's president and chief executive Michael Greene in a Los Angeles federal court.

It clearly is the nature of the entertainment business to offer your audience something exclusive

National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

The dispute has been raging for several years since the AMAs were moved to a month before the prestigious Grammys, leading to a battle to sign big names.

The Academy began a policy of refusing to allow artists to perform at both ceremonies, saying viewers would be turned off by seeing the same acts twice.

'Mad as hell'

The ban has seen the likes of P Diddy and Toni Braxton excluded from the Grammys for performing at the AMAs

But Mr Clark wants the courts to rule the action illegal.

He said: "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."

Britney Spears
Britney Spears was warned against apearing at the Amerian Music Awards
He added: "This blacklist policy is an illegal restraint of trade and an unfair business practice."

"It's unfair to the artists who seek to perform for the viewing public (and) it's unfair to the music fans who want to see their favourite musical artists perform," he said.

Jackson and Spears pulled out of scheduled appearances at the AMAs after being warned they would not be able to appear at the Grammys, which is televised to two billion people.

But the Academy has called the legal action "surprising".

"The Recording Academy stands behind its legitimate business practices 100% and absolutely denies any wrongdoing," it said in a statement.

"It clearly is the nature of the entertainment business to offer your audience something exclusive. We do nothing outside normal industry business practices."

See also:

22 Feb 01 | Entertainment
The Grammy winners
09 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Faith Hill trounces Britney and Eminem
09 Jan 01 | Entertainment
American Music Awards winners
22 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem's Grammy glory
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