Celine Dion has shot back at what she characterizes as “untruths” in a Feb. 13 report that she has withheld commissions to her longtime touring agent.
In a story reported exclusively by Billboard magazine and sourcing an internal memo, Dion has been accused of withholding commissions from her concerts in a deal she signed with ICM Partners. The co-head of worldwide concerts for that company, Rob Prinz, has represented Dion for some 30 years, and reportedly signed a new touring deal with the artist in 2017.
The revenue in question would be an undisclosed commission fee on the income from Dion’s 2018 summer tour that grossed US$56.5M from 22 shows in Asia and Australia, according to Billboard Boxscore figures. Her multiyear touring and performance deal reached US$500M.
Because of the dispute, ICM Partners announced it is dropping Dion as a partner and threatened litigation to recoup the alleged shortfall.
“Unfortunately, Ms. Dion is refusing to pay the balance of commissions she owes the agency on this historic deal. Please know that we have made every effort to amicably resolve this matter,” the alleged ICM memo reads, as reported by Billboard.
Continuing from the alleged document, as published by Billboard: “While we continue to admire and respect her extraordinary talent as an artist, regrettably we are left with no choice but to initiate a legal proceeding to secure the compensation we are owed, and as such we will no longer be representing her.”
Dion’s camp was unable to respond immediately as key players were in transit when the story was first published, plus they needed time to consult with their attorneys. On Friday the 15th, Dion's management arm issued its own statement refuting the allegations made, as follows:
“Celine Dion’s management, CDA Productions (Las Vegas) Inc., is vigorously refuting the story and the supposed ICM Partners’ internal memo.
“The article quotes the memo as stating that Ms. Dion refused to pay the commissions she owes to Rob Prinz and the agency from a touring deal that she signed in 2017.
“The article also states that ICM dropped Ms. Dion as a client as a result.
“CDA has indicated that they have no choice but to respond to the untruths that were alleged in the ICM memo, to first and foremost protect the integrity of Ms. Dion who has been publicly harmed by these false statements.
“CDA reports that ICM and Mr. Prinz did not resign. Ms. Dion terminated them in writing on May 7, 2018. CDA also reports that Ms. Dion is not refusing to pay millions of dollars in commissions from the touring deal.
“I’m sad and disappointed by this false report that I’m refusing to pay ICM or Rob Prinz. I know that my team has made several very fair and generous offers to them and we really put a lot of effort in trying to work things out," said Celine Dion.
“CDA Productions (Las Vegas) Inc. and Celine Dion have no further comments.”