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(Akon with the “wife” that got away….err, one of them. But not this one. Or this one. Or this latest one?)

Akon is beefing with his longtime booking agent, so he sent the “details” to Perez Hilton, smh. You know you’re dealing with a solid reporting when the post includes lines like “SO creepy and sketchy!” Hilarity.

But I’ve been hearing about turmoil within the Akon camp for some time now; management changes, grumblings from artists, etc…
For instance, last year Akon fired his longtime manager Big Jah (Robert Carnes Jr), an integral part of Akon’s success over the years. (If you remember, Jah was the one who knocked out Suge Knight while defending Akon in 2009.) Akon then jumped from AEG to Roc Nation for management, but insiders say that both arrangements didn’t last.
Now sources tell me that Akon’s cash cow, Lady Gaga is very unhappy with her situation on Akon’s KonLive imprint, and has been seeking a way out for months.

The latest and most public dispute is between Akon and Mateo (Matthew “Mateo” Rajkumar), a longtime concert promoter and booking agent. (Mateo put together the Dipset Reunion concert, but also specializes in big international gigs, like 50 Cent’s $1.4mill. pay day got in Angola.

Akon alleges that Mateo’s American Talent Agency has been booking shows and taking payment without his approval. And that ATA continues to claim him even though he fired them in Sept. ’10, and that they owe him $750k in back payment. Mateo’s reps at the Chambers Group, sent over an official response statement, which paints a different picture….

Akon’s accusations of failure to pay earned performance fees and bookings of unapproved appearances and performances are untrue. Furthermore, the accusations that ATA continued to book Akon post termination in September 2010 are at odds with the fact that Akon willingly performed on the SummerBeatz Festival in Australia in November 2010, a booking secured through American Talent Agency.

UPDATE: Late last night, I had a very congenial phone call with Akon, who said he was recording in NYC. I’ll post the details of the discussion in an upcoming post, but needless to say he went point-by-point and challenged American Talent Agency’s statement. Akon also gave some background on his staffing changes (re: Big Jah). More importantly, Akon insisted his personal relationship with Lady Gaga is strong….but that it is true that he and Gaga’s management don’t always see eye to eye. And those disagreements may have fueled rumors of a rift. What kind of disagreements? And what does Akon think about Gaga’s omission of his name at the Grammy’s? I’ll recap the conversation, later today, and also post his complaint against ATA.

Read ATA’s full response to Akon’s lawsuit,
After the jump

American Talent Agency was instrumental in building Akon’s international brand over their four year long relationship with him, including lucrative cellular company launches in Uganda and Guinea, The MTV Africa Music Awards in Kenya and a performance in Dubai, which was Akon’s highest paid performance to date.

Akon’s accusations of failure to pay earned performance fees and bookings of unapproved appearances and performances are untrue. Furthermore, the accusations that ATA continued to book Akon post termination in September 2010 are at odds with the fact that Akon willingly performed on the SummerBeatz Festival in Australia in November 2010, a booking secured through American Talent Agency.

In actuality, there are many performances for which Akon and Kon Live Touring Inc. owe American Talent Agency several thousands dollars in fees for dates booked by ATA and also several thousands of dollars for costs in connection with performances booked by ATA for which Akon unilaterally canceled or failed to appear, which American Talent Agency has had to absorb on behalf of Akon/Kon Live Touring Inc.
American Talent Agency does not think it appropriate to discuss in the press the financial numbers submitted by Akon in his claims, but vehemently deny the allegations set forth by Akon. ATA will vigorously defend the allegations made against them and will be bringing claims against Kon Live Touring Inc. and Akon individually.

Disgruntled managers, booking agents, artists….Akon is a talented artist with a knack for timing and collaboration. But at a certain point, Akon may have to ask, “maybe it’s me?”

unrelated/related: Lady Gaga’s much-discussed new video “Made This Way.” A visual feast.

Other dubious moments in Akon-ery:
The Smoking Gun’s story on Akon fabricating his past as a notorious car-theft king
Akon throws a guy (literally) off his stage…..