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Parlux to Pay Jay-Z Nearly $7M in Royalties, Judge Rules

A judge has ruled Parlux owes the “Empire State of Mind” rapper $6.78 million in unpaid royalties for his fragrance, Gold Jay Z.

New York Second District Supreme Court Justice Andrew Borrok has ordered Parlux to pay Jay-Z $6.78 million in unpaid royalties for his Gold Jay Z fragrance, the rapper’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, confirmed to WWD. 

Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter partnered with Parlux in 2013 for the launch of his Gold Jay Z cologne, which was slated to debut at Barneys New York and Macy’s Inc. and later roll out to international markets, WWD previously reported

In 2016, Parlux filed a $68 million lawsuit against the rapper’s company, S. Carter Enterprises, alleging he failed to fulfill his contractual obligations for the fragrance, including promotional appearances, ultimately costing the company $18 million. 

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The suit went to court last year and was rejected by a New York jury, which deemed no damages would be awarded to either side (at the three-week trial, Spiro launched a counterclaim against Parlux, stating the company actually owed Jay-Z $4.5 million in unpaid royalties for the cologne). 

This past February, however, the Appellate Division, First Department issued a ruling that the 52-year-old rapper was in fact owed a then-undetermined amount of unpaid royalties by Parlux. 

Borrok has now deemed that amount to be $6.78 million. 

The New York Post reported on Friday that Parlux had filed an appeal of Borrok’s ruling. A spokesperson for Parlux could not be reached for comment on Monday. 

For context, in Parlux’s 2016 suit against Jay-Z, the company stated it expected Gold Jay Z to generate $15 million in sales during its first year on-counter, and $35 million at wholesale in subsequent years. 

The suit went on, stating the fragrance made $14 million in its first year and only $6.1 million in its second, alleging its performance was hurt by Jay-Z rebuffing several promotional opportunities.