Casey Spooner has revealed that he co-wrote the track “God Control” on Madonna’s latest album Madame X and wasn’t credited or compensated for it.
The former Fischerspooner lead singer took to Instagram to blast the iconic performer and to demand 1% of touring profits from the Madame X Tour for the gaffe.
“I HAVE HAD ENOUGH @madonna has fucked me over,” Spooner wrote in an Instagram caption. “I co-wrote GOD CONTROL and I’ve gotten no credit and no compensation. I’ve been dealing with this for 5 months and I’m over it,”
According to Spooner, who not only posted about the debacle on his Instagram grid but also in his Instagram Stories, in 2017, he worked with the French artist Mirwais on a track for the musician’s solo album. In the session, Spooner helped to rework a song, which he says was “a little clunky” as Mirwais was trying to write in English about American politics. “I cleaned it up, did some editing, Americanized the language and created a new melody for the last couple of lines.”
Then, the two artists just got busy on other projects according to Spooner. He reached out a few times, and nine months later Mirwais informed Spooner that he was postponing his solo album to produce Madonna’s then untitled Madame X project. “I immediately professed my desire to work on the Madonna album with him,” Spooner wrote in an email recounting his “Madonna Problem.” “No response.”
Instead, when the album officially dropped in June 2019, Spooner got his answer; he did work with Madonna, kind of. The day after the release, he played “God Control” because of recommendations he saw online.
“My jaw drops immediately and I have a knot in my gut,” he wrote. “It’s the song I worked on. It contains my work and is influenced by my demo. I’m extremely emotional and feel deeply betrayed. I was never contacted or credited.” Clips of the demo uploaded to Instagram are nearly identical to the opening of “God Control.”
Spooner says that he emailed Mirwais to congratulate him on the release and to discuss the matter but received no response until 6 weeks later when a Madonna representative reached out. Contact information was exchanged, lawyers got involved, and according to Spooner, Madonna’s lawyer said they would like to settle out of court as “this is a Mirwais problem that’s become a Madonna problem.” Throughout the process, which has lasted for months, Madonna’s camp insisted that the star was unaware of Spooner’s contributions.
To settle, Spooner was offered an advance of $10,000 in addition to 15% of royalties. While a letter from his lawyer indicated that the 15% was amenable, the singer hoped for the dollar amount to be upped to $120,000. Via a phone call, a Madonna rep allegedly said that while she has “total respect for Casey’s work,” they are likely to only offer $25,000 of the advance. But Spooner has had enough.
“I have played nice and been very patient but time is up!” he wrote to Instagram. “And honestly the terms are shitty. I’m getting a 25K advance against publishing royalties which after legal fees and taxes will be 10K?!?! It’s been an endless nightmare of lawyers and waiting and more emails.....and for what?! 10K? I should be getting paid a percentage of the live show.”
Spooner continued, saying there is “no money in record sales. Period. Not even for Madonna.”
“I think 1% of touring profits will cover my contribution and damages,” he wrote. “I mean, it is the opening number in the show. And while you’re galavanting around on stage....I’m completely broke in Berlin. Robbed, ignored and delayed.”
Madonna is currently on her Madame X Tour which started in New York City on September 17 and is set to conclude on March 8, 2020, in Paris. The tour is managed by Maverick and Live Nation Entertainment.
*This story has been updated after Casey Spooner edited one of his Instagram captions.