Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Sunday, 25 January 2009

James Taylor offers fan new iPod

James Taylor
Taylor read about the incident in the New York Post

Folk singer James Taylor is giving a fan a new mp3 player after she had to give up her iPod to a New York taxi driver in lieu of payment.

Natalie Lenhart's credit card was declined after a $49 (36) trip to the airport and was forced by officers at the scene to hand over her player.

The red iPod nano was loaded with old tunes including songs by Taylor.

Taylor told the New York Post he would send Lenhart a new iPod filled with his songs, along with a personal note.

Lenhart, a 20-year-old student from California, had been visiting friends in New York in December when the incident happened.

She told the New York Post that police at the airport told her she had only two choices - be taken "downtown" or pay her fare with "something of value."

As her only valuables were a laptop computer and the iPod, she chose to sacrifice the player.

'Frontier justice'

Taylor read about the case in the newspaper, which quoted Lenhart saying she was a big fan of the singer.

The star said he was "amazed" when he read it and told the New York Post that only a tourist would have actually complied with the demand to hand over the $140 (103) mp3 player.

A New Yorker, he said, "would have never put up with it" adding that what happened to Lenhart was "like frontier justice".

"They sort of had the policemen make the decision about what was appropriate payment on the spot - it's weird," he said.

The singer said he decided he would fix what he believed was wrong and promised to send Lenhart a replacement iPod.

Taxi driver Mohammed Islam said he would return the mp3 player in exchange for the fare.

The agency responsible for police at the airport said it is investigating.

Taylor has been nominated for two Grammys including best male pop vocal performance for the song Wichita Lineman and best pop vocal album for Covers.

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