R&B singer Ashanti has been ordered to pay $630,000 (£359,000) to her first producer, after a New York jury found she had breached her contract.
Ashanti has sold more than six million albums
Genard Parker began working with the Grammy-winning artist at his studio.
When she was picked up by a record label he released her from her contract on a condition he could produce two songs with her, which was not honoured.
A lawyer for Ashanti, who was not in court to hear the verdict, said the star was disappointed and would appeal.
Ashanti - whose full name is Ashanti Douglas - was just 16 when she began working with Mr Parker, who was an "established producer".
During the case she testified that she did not believe he was instrumental to her career.
Mr Parker said when he released her from her contract he understood he could produce two songs on her debut album and receive a $50,000 (£28,522) advance plus royalties.
He had been seeking millions of dollars in unpaid royalties.
His lawyer, Jasmine Khalili, called the verdict a "huge victory".
She said: "They never acknowledged what he had done," she said. "It takes a jury to get a thank you."
Ashanti's lawyer Harry Stokes said she would be appealing against the verdict.
"We think the jury got confused somewhat, particularly on the damages," he said.
"We feel confident when this is said and done we won't have to pay out anything."