Brandon Blackstock has to pay back $2.6 million to his ex-wife Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson’s marriage to Brandon Blackstock fell apart in 2020, at the height of the pandemic. They genuinely had relationship issues, but the bigger component was that Kelly figured out that Brandon is a huge fraud and as her manager, he defrauded her out of millions of dollars. When they filed for divorce, Brandon made outrageous demands for spousal support, all while Clarkson began the slow process of removing herself from his management and grift. They finally settled their divorce in March 2022 and she only had to give him a fraction of what he wanted, plus her prenup was validated, plus there was a strict limit imposed on spousal support. Clarkson continued to try to reclaim some of the money he stole from her during their marriage, and she won a significant victory this week:

Kelly Clarkson continues her winning streak in her divorce from Brandon Blackstock … this round a labor commissioner ruled Brandon had overcharged her by millions when he represented Kelly as her manager.

According to legal docs, obtained by TMZ, a California labor commissioner ruled Brandon crossed the line as a manager when he booked gigs and inked deals for Kelly on “The Voice,” Norwegian Cruise Line, Wayfair, and as host of the Billboard Music Awards. Aside from a few exceptions, only agents — not managers — can lawfully secure roles for talent.

Apparently, Brandon collects fees for booking the gigs, and the labor commissioner ordered Brandon to fork over those commissions to his former wife … totaling $2,641,374. BTW … fun fact — Brandon scored $1.98 million for commissions from her role on “The Voice.” By contrast, he only got $93.30 in commission for Kelly hosting the Billboard Music Awards.

Brandon says he’ll appeal the ruling. One bright spot for him … Kelly also wanted the money Brandon got for scoring her the gig on her talk show, “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” The labor commissioner begged to differ, so Brandon keeps whatever he got on that one.

Kelly filed for divorce back in 2020 after 7 years of marriage. The divorce was final in March 2022. She got the hotly-contested Montana ranch in the settlement. Kelly had to pay Brandon $1.3 million and is on the hook for $45k a month in child support for their 2 kids, ages 9 and 7. Brandon also gets $115,000 a month in spousal support, but that ends in January 2024.

Kelly, repped by her attorney Ed McPherson, got the family pets, multiple cars including a Ford Bronco, a Ford F-250, and a Porsche Cayenne, as well as a flight simulator.

[From TMZ]

You know how crazy it is that Kelly has to pursue this through the California labor commission??? This is not your average divorce, nor is this your average fraud case. What are the lessons here? Clarkson has said previously that she ignored so many red flags for years, so that’s one lesson – don’t ignore those red flags, especially when it comes to your finances. Also, don’t marry your manager unless you have legally protected yourself and your business. Holy sh-t.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

27 Responses to “Brandon Blackstock has to pay back $2.6 million to his ex-wife Kelly Clarkson”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Josephine says:

    maybe one lesson is that is is never too late to take back your life. i’m sure it was incredibly hard for her to file for divorce and maybe even a little embarassing to admit that you were fooled. but the shame belongs solely to him. i admire what she’s doing to take care of herself and the kids.

    • Poppy says:

      This all day

    • AmB says:

      And all night.
      It is never too late.
      Any momentary embarrassment will be overshadowed by the years of cognitive sonance, empowerment, and confidence you get afterward.
      (Words of experience.)

      • It Really Is You, Not Me says:

        I really love what you said here. Almost nothing is the end of the world. She has been through the ringer but is coming out stronger and more independent on the other side. Good luck to Kelly!

    • Yup, Me says:

      The other lesson is dump them before you hit 10 years married. I’m so glad she got out when she did. I know several women who were thinking of divorced and waited just a bit too long and that changed the whole landscape of their divorces.

      Also – I’m so glad that she only has to provide spousal support for one more month. I hope the leech has a plan beyond that.

  2. Rai says:

    My husband obsessively followed Kelly’s divorce as he’s a fan… his main gripe since day one is how men never can stop tripping over their “ego” when they marry women who are MORE than them…more talent, more fame, more money.

    To quote: “dude fumbled the bag because he he forgot his place. The dummy.” He has a valid point. Glad she’s smart enough to fight for what’s hers.

    • MF says:

      Your husband is spot on. Research shows that when women make more $$ than men in marriage, the men tend to get stressed and insecure and are more likely to get divorced.

  3. Pinkosaurus says:

    I read a comment on another site that managers very commonly take commissions for booking work for their talent so this may open the floodgates for lawsuits filed by other actors who didn’t know it wasn’t allowed.

    • Meg says:

      I think that’s oversimplifying this situation

    • Lindy says:

      Probably not. First, this is specific to California, which strictly differentiates agents and managers, for good historical reasons. The laws in NY differ and, in many states vary widely, if they exist at all.

      Second, though, managers (even in California) DO get a percentage of every job booked within their agreement, but it’s not the same amount as the agent, and they can’t collect both. (Lawyers often get an additional percentage, making it about 25-30% talent at that level pays out to their teams for each job.)

      The key here is the agent does the negotiation and booking in California, not the manager. The days of the manager playing both roles and collecting the higher agent’s fee or, even worse, collecting both fees is long gone thanks to these laws.

      However, there are benefits the other way, too. A manager can help develop and produce a project with and for their talent, making more ongoing, on the backend. An agent in California cannot. This avoids certain conflicts of interest and makes their compensation, though bigger upfront, better defined.

      Even that is an oversimplication, but the gist of it. As long as managers weren’t in California, or followed California’s rules when they were, there’s no issue. This guy played fast and loose and got caught.

  4. Digital Unicorn says:

    The guy had user scum bag written all over him but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Am glad she’s away from him but I feel for the kids as Daddy only sees them as cash machines.

  5. Bumblebee says:

    I’m assuming managers aren’t supposed to get a commission because they get paid a salary? I hope the co-parenting is peaceful and Brandon is a better father than he was a husband.

    • Lindy says:

      Managers typically get 10% in California BUT they cannot do the work of an agent (as in negotiating the terms/booking the work on behalf of the client). I’m sure many would love to be salaried, but as a general rule, like agents, they don’t get paid if the artist isn’t working.

      This dynamic is very specific to California where managers and agents played fast and loose with the difference to benefit themselves, with agents attaching themselves as producers to projects to make more money (but creating potential conflicts of interest and a disincentive to pursue opportunities for clients that were less lucrative for them) and managers, who are certified and regulated slightly differently than agents, often doing the agent’s negotiating and booking job. As agents typically get 15% and managers only 10% (lawyers often get an additional 5%) you can see why this creates confusion and incentive for managers (absent these rules in CA) to want to collect the higher percentage or, in some cases, try and collect both. It was a mess, particularly in CA, so laws were drafted to define each job’s lanes, privileges, etc. Short answer, you can’t do both jobs in CA. This is less of an issue in other states, and, honestly not much of one anywhere else, so this hasn’t spread beyond California.

      But this guy seriously tried to do it all and, as her husband, thought he could get away with it.

  6. Amy Bee says:

    Don’t marry your manager, period!

  7. Mimi says:

    Okay, unless I am misreading the legal docs (which I am not–I am lawyer), she argued that AS HER MANAGER, he was not entitled to get commissions from gigs he ACTUALLY booked for her because only AGENTS are supposed to book gigs. That is not fraud, it’s a technicality, which I think he would win on appeal. There’s the letter of the law (this) versus the spirit of the law (to make sure managers don’t extort unconscionable amounts from their talent or double dip into earnings). Since actually booked the gigs (acting as her agent when he wasn’t), he earned the commissions. It would be inequitable to let her keep that money.

    • anniefannie says:

      It’s quite possible he was dble dipping and taking commissions from her business that the agent secured!?! The guy came across as slimey and it doesn’t surprise me that his practices were same. KC doesn’t strike me as someone who’s going to lay down her sword for a grifter.
      OT she looks and seemingly appears to be on top of her game this year!!
      Get what’s yours Kelly!!

      • Mimi says:

        True, maybe he was double-dipping, but that doesn’t seem to be what the finding is, merely that as a manager, he was not supposed to collect commissions. But the court also has to consider equity, not just the letter of the law. So, again, if he actually booked the gigs for her (without her agent), he would be entitled to the commissions.

        Yes, Kelly has had a glow-up since she got rid of the trash. Good for her.

    • MF says:

      I’m not a lawyer but I know a bit about representation in Hollywood, and I can see how this is fraud. Managers get paid on commission based on the work you book BUT they cannot negotiate for you. They can’t procure deals for you. Only an agent can do that. So Kelly probably argued that by negotiating on her behalf, he misrepresented himself as her agent.

      • MF says:

        To add: if he wasn’t her agent, is absolutely NOT inequitable for him to not be paid as her agent.

    • Eurydice says:

      From what I understand – agents are licensed and regulated by the state, managers are not. Managers can get involved in contract negotiations, but only agents can legally initiate and close deals.

  8. Flamingo says:

    It’s always heartwarming when a gold digger loses some of their gold.

  9. lucy2 says:

    Good for her! I like her so much, I’m happy for any victory she gets over him.

  10. Michelle says:

    I adore Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock seemed shady from the start of their relationship. The man stole from his WIFE, mother of two of his kids. Brandon’s dad, Narvel Blackstock, divorced REBA (!) in a questionable way, so I think it’s safe to say that it runs in the family. Reba is a queen and a good person.

    But I think Karma is coming back around for both Blackstock men. They used to have a successful management company, Starstruck Entertainment. After losing Reba and Kelly as clients, Blake Shelton quit Starstruck in 2021—and the company STILL lists him as a client two years later.

  11. WaterDragon says:

    Good for Kelly! Of course she filed in California, a state with coherent laws for these situations. I hardly think she would get a fair shake in good-ole-boy land states.