Rapper Flo Rida, real name Tramar Dillard, 43, won an astounding $82,640,450 award from a Florida jury on Wednesday. The “Low” artist was granted the judgment for breach of his endorsement contract with energy drink company Celsius.
Forbes reports the artist said the company failed to provide stock options and pay bonuses per achievement of contractual sales goals. He originally signed with Celsius in 2014 and subsequently re-signed with the company in 2016.
After the verdict, Flo Rida had this to say:
“It’s about my passion. It’s about my team. It’s about my dedication. It’s about something that I started years ago and just to see it come full fledged like this–I hate for it to be this way.”
It was clear Celsius promised the “Right Round” star 1% ownership in the company; however, many other details were left murky. His attorney, John Uustal, explained some issues in closing arguments like this…
“He’s entitled to 500,000 shares of stock via the contract, and entitled to 250,000 shares of stock if certain things happen—one of those yardsticks is that a certain number of units of products need to be sold, but unfortunately the contract doesn’t specify which type of unit—is it a box, is it a drink?”
Moreover, and perhaps disturbing to the jury, the rapper believes Celsius intentionally withheld critical sales data that could prove he earned the money the rapper felt he was due.
At the trial’s onset, Flo Rida and his company, Strong Arm Productions, offered this statement:
“By way of background, Flo Rida maintained a successful endorsement partnership with Celsius which was highly effective in opening new doors for Celsius and its products.”
The high dollar amount of the award will undoubtedly serve as a shot across the bow to companies entering these types of endorsement deals with celebrities.
Many artists in the entertainment industry are elated by such a triumphant win for one of their colleagues, and in a relatively short period of time.
Celsius has not yet said if they will seek an appeal and did not immediately return a request for comment.
Until the next time it drips….
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