Megan Thee Stallion Granted Restraining Order Against Label Ahead of American Music Awards

The ongoing legal battle between Megan Thee Stallion and her label 1501 Certified Entertainment has taken another nasty turn around this weekend’s American Music Awards.

According to court documents obtained by Billboard, the “Savage” rapper (born Megan Pete) was granted a restraining order against 1501, along with her distributor 300 Entertainment, after claiming 1501 “unlawfully” took steps “to block or interfere with Pete exploiting, licensing, or publishing her music” in the lead-up to the upcoming AMAs on Sunday (Nov. 20). Filed in Harris County District Court in Texas, the order says Megan “provided evidence” that the company “recently engaged and will continue to engage in threatening and retaliatory behavior that will irreparably harm” her music career.

Without providing further detail on what 1501 or 300 allegedly did, the court notes that it filed an ex parte order — essentially, a type of emergency order granted without waiting for a response from the other side — “because there was not enough time to give notice to Defendants, hold a hearing, and issue a restraining order before the irreparable injury, loss, or damage would occur.” It adds that voting for the AMAs, where Megan is nominated for favorite female hip-hop artist, closes on Monday night (Nov. 14) at midnight, and that Megan “will suffer irreparable harm if her music cannot be used in conjunction with her promotion for the AMAs.”

Under the order, 1501, 300 and anyone acting “in concert or participation with” them are restricted from “preventing or blocking the use and exploitation” of Megan’s music in promotional content for the AMAs, — including by “threatening or otherwise attempting to intimidate or coerce” third parties not to use it — through Nov. 20. It also sets a hearing on Megan’s restraining order request for Nov. 22.

The restraining order is just the latest volley in a more than two-year-old legal battle that began in 2020 when Megan filed a lawsuit alleging that 1501 founder Carl Crawford tricked her into signing an “unconscionable” record deal in 2018 that was well below industry standards. She claims that upon signing a management deal with Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation the following year, she got “real lawyers” who showed her that the 1501 agreement was “crazy.”

In February, Megan filed a separate lawsuit claiming 1501 had refused to count her 2021 Something for Thee Hotties release as an album — a pivotal definition, as her 1501 deal states that she must produce three albums to fulfill her obligations. 1501 quickly countersued, arguing that Thee Hotties included just 29 minutes of original material and therefore didn’t qualify.

In September, Megan filed yet another lawsuit seeking more than $1 million in damages, claiming that 1501 “systematically failed” to pay her the proper amount of royalties she was owed and had “wrongfully allowed for excessive marketing and promotion charges,” in addition to allegations that the label leaked her most recent album Traumazine. In response, attorneys for the label argued it was actually Megan who had failed to pay 1501 its fair share of money she made from endorsements, partnerships and other business deals, as well as requirements related to publishing royalties. They further added that any claims of underpayment of royalties should be redirected to 300 Entertainment.

Representatives from 1501 and 300 did not immediately respond to Billboard‘s request for comment.

Chris Eggertsen