Darlene Love Totally Understands JoJo's Contractual Woes

Love, like JoJo, was locked into an inescapable recording contract for years.

Following legal turmoil and the end of her strict contractual obligation to Blackground Records, "Leave (Get Out)" songstress JoJo finally reemerged last week with three fresh singles. JoJo, who had been a star on the rise in her early teens, saw her career fall into musical limbo -- not releasing new music under Blackground, but unable to do so with anyone else.

It's an unfortunate occurrence that has affected countless artists -- including powerhouse vocalist and 2011 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darlene Love.

"Nothing ever changes," Love told HuffPost Live's Zerlina Maxwell on Thursday. "That's the exact same thing that happened to me with Phil Spector. I signed a seven-year contract with him. And if you're 18 or 17, seven years is a long time. I couldn't record for anybody else."

Although Love was barred from recording under anyone but Spector, she still found a way to secure gigs, she said.

"The only thing that saved me [was] I was a background singer, and he couldn't stop me from singing background, which really made him mad because I said, 'That ain't me singing. I don't know who that is,'" she remembered.

Love stressed the importance of hiring a trusted lawyer to comb through the stipulations of any contract. Unfortunately Love hadn't been so lucky with her own legal agreements. In 1974, when she thought she had finally been released from her obligation to Spector, she found herself working under the producer once again -- all thanks to a contractual loophole.

"You just have to find a lawyer that won't let you sign certain things -- and I mean the fine print, because I was gone from Phil Spector and signed with Gamble and Huff in Philadelphia, and Phil bought my record contract back from them," she said. "I thought my contract when we went with the Philadelphia International was good. We went to the lawyer and everything. But the fine print said if they wanted to sell my recording contract to somebody else they could, which is fine. We didn't think they were going to do it three weeks later!"

Despite her tumultuous experience, Love has no hard feelings towards the music industry as a whole (or Spector, for that matter).

"If your heart is in the right place, it will always work out. You cannot be mad and angry for what people do in the recording business, because it happens across the board in every business. They just talk more about ours," she said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with music legend Darlene Love here.

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