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Lawsuit claims Sony stiffed 'American Idol' contestants

clarkson diva concert reuters.jpg

December 16, 2012. Kelly Clarkson performs at the VH1 Divas 2012 show in Los Angeles.Reuters

A federal lawsuit filed in New York charges that Sony Music Entertainment cheated "American Idol" contestants including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood out of at least $10 million in royalties.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by 19 Recordings, a music company founded by "Idol" creator Simon Fuller.

The lawsuit says 19 discovered the royalty issue from two separate audits of Sony's records.

Other artists named in the suit include Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry and Jordin Sparks.

Attorney Richard Busch, of the Nashville firm King & Ballow, says the legal action was necessary to protect the rights of 19's artists.

A Sony spokeswoman said she had no comment on the lawsuit.

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