Post Malone has reportedly settled his “Circles” lawsuit with plaintiff Tyler Armes this week, per The Hollywood Reporter. A last-minute deal was reportedly made to settle the lawsuit before it went to trial as jury selection was underway.
THR reports that the trial was scheduled to include witnesses playing instruments on the stand before it was settled as a jury was being selected. The copyright lawsuit alleges that musician, plaintiff Armes, co-wrote Malone’s 2019 hit track, “Circles,” but he was denied credit and compensation according to court document filings.
The settlement terms were not disclosed, but the court was told about the settlement during the jury selection process. THR notes that the trial was set to feature witnesses playing instruments during their testimonies.
According to the lawsuit, Armes, a member of the Canadian rock group Down With Webster, claimed he co-wrote the keyboard chords and the guitar melody, along with having “significant input” on the bassline. While the lyrics were incomplete, Armes also claimed that the instrumentation and vocal melodies for the track that were recorded during an August 2018 recording session are said to be identical to the final version of the track.
After Armes attempted to reach producer Frank Dukes after the song was released, Armes was offered a five percent share of publishing royalties, according to the initial legal complaint filed in 2020 in a federal court in California. Post Malone’s manager, Dre London, halted negotiations for a higher share of the publishing loyalties and threatened to withdraw the offer if Armes did not accept it.
Armes declared that he become co-writer and co-producer in his legal complaint. If the court ruled in his favor, he would’ve been entitled to retroactive and prospective royalties. His lawsuit also named Duke and Universal Music Group as defendants, but they were later dismissed from the suit.
In April 2022, U.S. District Judge Otis Wright enabled the suit to go to trial after Armes demonstrated “genuine disputes in regard to his authorship in the session composition.” Meanwhile, Post Malone, aka Austin Post, argued that he didn’t write any music used for the final track and wasn’t present during future recording sessions.
Armes’ lawsuit also stated, “It is an age-old story in the music business that when a song earns the type of runaway success that ‘Circles’ has garnered, an individual will come out of the woodwork, falsely claim to take credit for the song, and demand unwarranted and unearned windfall profits from the song.”
The lawsuit settlement was reportedly made at the last minute before the suit went to trial. Lawyers for both parties didn’t respond to requests for comment on the settlement. “Circles” was a No. 1-charting hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.
Post Malone has been nominated for a Grammy Award four times in his career. Earlier this year he was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “I Like You (A Happier Song,” which he shared with Doja Cat.