Grammy winning R&B star Stephanie Mills has ended her working relationship with music mogul Hiriam Hicks, citing financial discrepancies as the reason.
The 60-year-old vocalist, who headlined a sold-out Mother’s Day concert at the Tropicana Showroom in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sunday, tells us Hicks was fired the following day.
“Often times when this happens to an artist, they’re embarrassed and don’t want anyone to know,” Mills told Confidential. But according to Mills, as a single mother raising a special needs son, she feels a need to show strength where she feels that she’s been wronged. She says she’s disappointed because she’d “trusted” Hicks.
Hicks, the former president of Island Black Music, had been managing the singer for 3 1/2 years.
Mills says Universal Attractions will oversee all of her performance dates and concert bookings for the time being. The Brooklyn native tells us she’s weighing her legal options against Hicks and plans to use this opportunity to teach younger artists about the industry.
“I decided to come forward to share this because I want to empower other artists to pay attention to their business affairs,” she said. She says she’s grateful that her own business acumen led her to suspect that there were problems in her dealings with Hicks, which led to the severance.
Mills became a household name over 40 years ago, originating the role of Dorothy in the original Broadway production of “The Wiz,” in which she sang the show’s anthem, “Home.” Her yellow-brick road came full circle in 2015 when she was cast as Aunt Em, opposite Shanice Williams’ Dorothy in NBC’s live version of “The Wiz.”