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Aretha Franklin's songwriter sues over royalties

July 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A songwriter has filed a lawsuit against singer Aretha Franklin's publishing company over a song on her recently released album.

Norman West and Franklin have been songwriting partners for over 20 years. In the lawsuit filed against Springtime Publishing Inc., West alleges he never signed a royalty agreement for the song "Put It Back Together Again," which appears on "Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love."

West also accuses Springtime Publishing of copyright infringement over an earlier song, "Watch My Back."

"Mr. West has the utmost respect for Springtime and everyone associated with it," said West's attorney, Jeffrey Thennisch. "Mr. West has told me that he owes much of his career to Aretha Franklin and that he views her as both a mentor and a guiding force in his career."

West says that the matter was taken to court after private attempts to settle the issue failed. The lawsuit asks for the publishing company to sign the royalty agreement.

Franklin's attorney has not commented on the lawsuit.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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