Evan Agostini, AP
"Sadly, after a 20-year relationship which has provided unprecedented success for both parties, Curb Records has chosen to end its accord with Tim McGraw by filing suit against him," a spokesperson for Tim says in a statement. "Tim McGraw delivered his new album, 'Emotional Traffic,' to Curb in the fall of 2010. The label is holding the album hostage from country music fans in an attempt to force Tim McGraw to serve perpetually under a contract that he has already fully and faithfully completed."
"The only song Curb has released from the album, 'Felt Good on My Lips,' was a multi-week No. 1 hit," the statement continues. "Although Curb has not released the album, Tim McGraw has decided to perform new songs from 'Emotional Traffic' on his current tour because he feels it is one of his best ever, Most importantly, Tim McGraw wants to thank his fans for their continued support in his efforts to release new and exciting music."
The lawsuit, filed on Friday, May 13, in Nashville, is based on Tim's upcoming 'Emotional Traffic' album, which has yet to be released. Curb maintains that his contract stipulates each new album must be recorded "no earlier than 12 months and no later than 18 months" following the release of the previous album, Billboard reports. The complaints continue that his recordings must be "topical and new," and that Tim's recording of 'Emotional Traffic,' which began in "2008 or before" was too early.
The suit asks for a sixth "option period" record, plus "injunctive relief preventing him from agreeing to provide, or providing, his personal services as a recording artist for the benefit of parties other than Curb Records until he has fulfilled his duties and obligations under the Recording Agreement."
Of his relationship with the record label, which dates back to his self-titled debut album in 1993, Tim has expressed dissatisfaction in recent years with the way they have handled his career. "They had three greatest-hits records out or something like that [between 2007's 'Let It Go' and 'Southern Voice']," he stated in 2009. "I thought ['Voice'] was coming out a lot quicker than it did, then the greatest hits records kept dropping. I've got one record left on this label, and I can't help but think that it was a stall tactic to add another year to my contract."
Legal woes aside, Tim continues on his Emotional Traffic tour, even without the release of the album of the same name, with the Band Perry and Luke Bryan sharing opening act duties. See his concert schedule here.