Rita Ora sues to try to break free from contract with Jay Z's record label

Rita Ora

Rita Ora is taking legal action to try to leave Jay Z's Roc Nation record label and is claiming that the company has an illegal contract with her.

The 25-year-old singer joined the company aged 18 and was one of the rapper's first signings.

On Thursday she filed papers at the Los Angeles Superior Court saying that her contract is "unenforceable".

Since her signing, the X Factor judge has only released one self-titled album, her debut in 2012.

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Image caption Rita Ora was the winning judge on this year's X Factor with contestant, Louisa Johnson

She is claiming the company's "other" interests has left her forgotten about and describes herself as being "orphaned" by Roc Nation.

Aside from being a record label, the company also has business interests in sports management and Tidal, Jay Z's streaming service.

The complaint reads: "When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist.

Jay Z and Rita Ora at a pre-Grammys event in 2014
Image caption Rita Ora joined Jay Z's Roc Nation label seven years ago

"As Roc Nation's interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives.

"Rita's remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company."

It also calls Roc Nation a "diminished" record label with "only a handful of admittedly worthy heritage superstar artists".

The singer's music is still distributed by Sony, despite the label switching distribution partners to Universal in 2013.

The complaint says: "Between Sony's limited economic return from its orphaned relationship with Roc Nation and Sony's indirect relationship with Rita, Rita is caught in a political quagmire of dysfunction."

Seven years on from signing to Roc Nation, Ora is using Labour Code (ยง2855) known as the Seven Year Rule to try to leave the label.

It was used in 1944 by actress Olivia De Havilland, who used it to break free with Warner Bros.

However, artists such as Courtney Love and Thirty Seconds to Mars have had the law used against them with labels demanding damages for albums not made during the seven years of their contracts.

Newsbeat has contacted her representatives in the UK for comment.

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