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Rapper Flo Rida Awarded Nearly $83 Million in Fight With Energy Drink Maker

On Wednesday, a South Florida jury awarded Flo Rida $82.6 million after finding that the makers of Celsius energy drinks breached a contract with the rapper and performer and attempted to conceal money from him. In May 2021, Flo Rida and his production business, Strong Arm Productions, sued Boca Raton-based Celsius Holdings Inc. in Broward County court, claiming that the corporation had broken the terms of an endorsement arrangement.

“Basically, I helped birth this company, and all we were searching for was some trustworthy folks who treated us like family,” Dillard told The Associated Press. “And then, when it came down to today’s success, they totally forgot about me.”

Celsius’s lawyers argued in court and in prior papers that the company’s greatest performance occurred after the Flo Rida endorsement contract terminated — and those other business decisions led to greater sales and stock value. Celsius might still appeal the ruling, but it was unclear whether they would. The company’s attorneys did not immediately reply to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

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According to the lawsuit action, Flo Rida was a Celsius brand ambassador from 2014 to 2018. During that time, Dillard was instrumental in ushering in a new era for the company’s brand development, growth, and expansion, introducing Celsius to millions of people around the world, according to the complaint.

Dillard and his lawyers contended that the agreement allowed Celsius to expand its product selection, including the addition of a powder product and a new product line dubbed Celsius Heat in conjunction with Flo Rida’s cooperation. Since then, the company has continuously sold and collected revenue for its powder-form products.

Attorney John Uustal stated that Flo Rida desired the 1% ownership he was offered and would accept the stock instead of the monetary award from the jury. “He (Dillard) loved the product, and the four-year partnership has been tremendously fruitful,” Uustal said.

“There were some standards. When specific events occurred, he was supposed to receive stock. And there was some disagreement regarding whether those targets had been met. That’s what this was all about.” Dillard stated that he continues to consume Celsius products and even owns shares in the company.

He stated that he would like to move on from the legal struggle and resume working with the company in the future. “I’m still a shareholder in the company,” Dillard explained. “And when you’ve essentially planted the seed for something that will succeed, you can’t help but feel unconditional love.”

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