Grammy winner Bruno Mars is asking a judge to free him from his publisher, Bug Music, Inc. In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court last Tuesday, Mars — whose real name is Peter Hernandez — says that his contract with Bug ended on May 12, 2011, because the publisher didn’t exercise its option to continue it.
Mars’s lawyer, Michael J. Niborski of the law firm Pryor Cashman LLP, wrote that Bug initially acknowledged that Mars fulfilled his part of the contract, and that in order for deal to remain in effect, Bug would have to officially extend its option to continue. But after Mars told Bug that he wanted out, Bug “shifted gears, and suddenly argued that (Mars) had not, in fact, met the minimum release requirements,” Niborski wrote. Representatives of Bug did not return calls.
The Bug Music website continues to list Mars as a client. Released in October, Mars’ debut album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, while yielding its Honolulu-raised maker a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance on the single “Just the Way You Are.”