Reggaeton Artist Ryan Castro Wins Lawsuit Against King Records, Indie Label Ordered to Pay $2 Million

Reggaeton artist Ryan Castro will be paid over $2 million, in addition to regaining the rights to his music, as part of a lawsuit he won against indie label King Records, Billboard reports.

The Colombian star, known for his chart-topping collaborations with Karol G, Peso Pluma, J Balvin and more, accused his label, King Records, of breach of contract and withholding royalties in a series of lawsuits filed in Medellín last year. Though this suit against the label has been resolved, Castro and King Records still have a pair of lawsuits to work through.

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Castro began working with King Records in 2020 and, after achieving success in Latin America with his viral 2021 track, “Mujeriego,” also Castro’s first Billboard chart entry, the singer joined forces with King Records founder Kevin Roldán to launch a new company called Awoo King Records. By that point, Castro had already internally complained that the the label wasn’t being transparent enough in its financial statements, despite Castro’s pleas.

In a statement shared to King Records’ Instagram stories, the label said they would abide by the arbitration process and instructions but also seek to have the ruling amended, “since we find it unfair and unbalanced, based on the evidence presented by our legal team.”

They continued, “It’s important to note that our company still has two active contracts with Ryan Castro including the exclusive management of his music career, in addition to a joint venture through Awoo King Records where we share master recordings and other business together… We wish Ryan Castro and his team the best but will continue to work through our current agreements while will seek to have this decision amended.”

Leo Arango, Castro’s manager and lawyer, told Variety in a statement, “Ryan Castro wakes up today 100% free in terms of record labels, with absolute independence in everything related to production and phonographic publication. He now becomes absolute owner of his past, present, and future music, after the ruling of the Arbitration Tribunal known yesterday. In addition, with an absolutely privileged position for the prompt resolution of the two pending contracts with the record label King Records, which today, due to its breaches, has absolutely no influence on the artist’s career.”

Castro is affectionately known as “El Cantante Del Ghetto” (“The Singer From the Ghetto”) in Colombia where he would collect cash to help his family by rapping and performing in public buses throughout the city of Medellín.

In 2023, Castro released a rapid fire string of singles that include “Una Noche En Medellín Remix” with Karol G, “Ritmo De Medallo” with Feid, “Ghetto Star,” “X 1 Beso” with De La Ghetto, “14/20” alongside Piso 21, “Corazón Roto (Remix)” with Jhayco and Brray, and his biggest hit thus far, “Quema” with Peso Pluma and SOG. Earlier this month, Castro released his debut studio album, “El Cantante Del Ghetto,” with sounds ranging from reggaeton to dancehall and trap.

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