Original Steely Dan singer David Palmer, who left the band in 1973, is suing his former group, claiming he’s long been stiffed on digital royalties. Palmer’s vocals appear on tracks like “Dirty Work,” recently featured in American Hustle, but the singer claims he’s only ever received $8,183 in royalties—a sum that seems rather paltry even for notoriously low-paying streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. Palmer insists he’s owed one-sixth of the band’s digital royalties from its Can’t Buy A Thrill album, and—while he’s happy with the $8,183 he was paid for a nine-month period ending March 31, 2013—he’s still waiting to be paid digital royalties dating back to 2000, when companies began tracking such things.
Palmer is seeking unspecified damages. Steely Dan has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.