May 18, 2024

California Labor Commissioner Drops the Hammer: Brandon Blackstock Faces Multi-Million Dollar Payout to Kelly Clarkson!

Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock’s divorce may have been finalized, but their legal battles continue to make headlines. In a recent turn of events, a California labor commissioner has ruled in favor of Kelly Clarkson, ordering her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock, to pay her over $2 million in damages. This significant decision stems from Blackstock’s previous role as Clarkson’s manager, during which he booked gigs for her and received commissions – a practice that has raised legal concerns. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of this ongoing legal saga and explore the implications of the commissioner’s ruling.

The California Labor Commissioner’s Decision

According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, the California labor commissioner issued a ruling that mandates Brandon Blackstock to pay Kelly Clarkson a substantial sum of $2,641,374. These funds are associated with the commissions Blackstock received for booking various gigs and engagements for Clarkson. However, a crucial point of contention in this case revolves around the fact that only certified agents are legally permitted to secure performance opportunities for artists, with only a few exceptions.

The Commissions and Gigs in Question

Brandon Blackstock’s earnings from commissions were not insignificant. Among the notable gigs that generated commissions for him were “The Voice,” Norwegian Cruise Line, Wayfair, and Clarkson’s hosting role at the Billboard Music Awards. A substantial portion of the ordered payment, approximately $2 million, came from his commissions for booking Kelly Clarkson’s participation in “The Voice.” In contrast, he received a meager $93.30 for securing her gig as the host of the Billboard Music Awards.

Notable Exemption: “The Kelly Clarkson Show”

While Kelly Clarkson sought to reclaim commissions earned by Blackstock for landing her “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” the labor commissioner ultimately ruled in his favor, allowing him to retain the earnings generated from that particular arrangement. This decision could be seen as a small victory for Blackstock in the midst of a contentious legal battle.

The Background of the Legal Dispute

This recent ruling is the culmination of a series of legal actions that were set in motion in 2020. In September of that year, Brandon Blackstock’s company, Starstruck Management Group, filed a lawsuit against Kelly Clarkson, alleging that she owed the company $1.4 million in unpaid commissions related to her involvement in “The Voice” and “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

In October 2020, Kelly Clarkson responded by filing a petition with the California Labor Commission, claiming that Blackstock’s company had demanded “unconscionable fees and compensation.” Additionally, she accused her ex-husband of acting in a “conflict of interest” that was not in her best interests. A critical assertion was that Blackstock had violated the California labor code by acting as an agent when booking gigs for her despite not being a certified talent agent at the time. As a result, she sought to have the agreement she had signed with Starstruck declared “void and unenforceable.”

A Legal Perspective

Bryan Freedman, an attorney representing Starstruck Management Group, shared his perspective on the matter with TMZ when the initial legal actions were filed in 2020. He stated, “It is unfortunate that Kelly is again attempting to avoid paying commissions that are due and owing to Starstruck to try and achieve some perceived advantage in her ongoing custody and divorce proceedings.”


The legal battles between Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock continue to evolve, with the recent ruling by the California labor commissioner ordering Blackstock to pay Clarkson over $2 million in damages. This ruling sheds light on the complexities of entertainment industry contracts, talent representation, and the importance of adhering to labor laws. As the legal proceedings progress, it remains to be seen how this ongoing dispute will impact the lives of the former couple and their careers in the long run.

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