Lang, whose cool, jazz and country-inflected vocals were one of the signature sounds of the 1990s, fired her manager, Annabel Lapp, at the beginning of September and has now followed that up with a lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
In the suit, lang accuses Ms Lapp of writing cheques without permission and failing to inform her of the fees she was charging to do so. The suit says it is impossible to determine exactly how much money was misappropriated or lost because Ms Lapp had failed to turn over more than a fraction of the singer's financial and business records stretching back to 1990, when the two women first started working together.
After Ms Lapp was fired, she turned over records only for the years 2004 and 2005, the suit alleges. The manager was paid $10,000 (£5,700) to box and ship all the relevant files, but a dispute quickly broke out over Ms Lapp's additional demands for money. According to the suit, the manager demanded more than $50,000 in additional fees plus a $75,000 retainer to oversee the transition of lang's affairs to a new business manager.
The suit further alleges that Ms Lapp wrote unauthorised cheques totalling $22,000 from lang's business accounts in the week after she was fired.
Lang is demanding a full investigation of Ms Lapp's handling of her affairs as well as unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. There has been no immediate response from Ms Lapp or her company, which is also named in the suit.
Recording artists appear to have a something of a track record in losing control of their own finances. Among those who have fallen out with their business managers are Sir Elton John, Courtney Love, Bruce Springsteen and lang's fellow Canadian, Leonard Cohen. In August Cohen sued Kelley Lynch, his manager for more than 16 years, accusing her of stealing more than $5m from his funds. He also sued his former tax lawyer and a former investment adviser for failing to alert him to Ms Lynch's alleged activities.
Lang has not reproduced the sparkling musical form she showed with such albums as Ingenue and Shadowlands in the 1990s. Last year she released Hymns of the 49th Parallel, an album featuring all-Canadian songwriters including Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Jane Siberry.Reuse content