*While promoting her new single “A Little More Jesus” at Megafest in Dallas last Friday, Erica Campbell of Mary Mary announced that the hit WeTV reality show “Mary Mary” will be returning for a third season–this time without their former manager, Mitchell Solarek (Donald Lawrencec, Natalie Grant).
A representative for the duo said Solarek no longer has anything to do with Mary Mary either on or off camera. The representative said his replacement is Kenneth Crear (Ciara, Kardashians, Mindless Behavior), an entertainment exec with strong ties to mainstream.
But Solarek isn’t walking away quietly. The ousted manager, who landed the reality show for the group, has filed a lawsuit alleging the duo owes him over $75,000 in outstanding commission and the loss of money he could be earning from music, merchandising, book sales and sponsorships.
TMZ reports Solarek’s company, Maximum Artist Group filed a federal lawsuit against the group in Tennessee claiming “in 2011 (he) helped “reignite” their career … securing deals worth over $3 million.”
Solarek came on board as the group’s new manager with the release of their 5h studio album, “Something Big” (featuring the hit “I’m Walking”).
Although their record sales have not always been reflective of their chart status, Mary Mary was an in-demand group prior to Mitch coming on board. According to a 2011 press release, during their career, Erica and Tina have sold upwards of five million albums. In a remarkable and still ongoing story, Mary Mary’s 2008 release, “The Sound” topped multiple charts and racked up a string of awards, including 2 Grammys, an American Music Award, a BET Award, a Soul Train Award, and an NAACP Image Award, among others. With such a track record it’s hard to understand what aspect of their career needed to be “reignited.”
Mary Mary’s spokesperson said the group will not be responding to the lawsuit at this time. Instead, they will let their attorneys deal with it.
We’ll bring you more on this story as details unfold.
Listen to Erica Campbell’s super catchy “A Little More Jesus” (and don’t be surprised if you find yourself bouncin’ and struttin’ around the room before it’s over):
Mona Austin is a Washington, DC area based journalist who blogs secular and non-secular items for EURweb, Essence and other media outlets. Contact her via [email protected].