John Oates goes public about legal battle with former Hall & Oates partner Daryl Hall

Hall & Oates are officially “Out of Touch.”

John Oates, half of the legendary duo responsible for hits including “You Make My Dreams Come True” and “Rich Girl,” has spoken publicly for the first time regarding the pair’s recent legal disputes.

The two haven’t worked together creatively in almost 20 years: Their last full studio album together was 2003’s “Do It for Love,” followed by a 2006 Christmas album that contained only two original songs. Their legal troubles began in November 2023 when Hall filed suit against Oates over the latter’s plan to sell his share of their company Whole Oats Enterprises. Hall argued that the sale would violate their business agreement, and he also requested a restraining order against Oates.

Oates said he was just frustrated by what he characterized as the company’s complex legal issues and found the company wasn’t making him happy, so he decided to bow out.

“I said, ‘You know what? Daryl has always wanted to be his own man. I’m gonna give him the opportunity to do that. If I sell my half, he can do what he wants,’” Oates said Friday on “Good Morning America.”

Oates didn’t seem to expect Hall to react negatively. In court documents, Hall’s lawyers described him as “blindsided” by the decision and characterized the move as the “ultimate partnership betrayal.”

“I mean, you look at all the artists who are selling all their catalogs. … It’s not that big a deal,” Oates said. “But Daryl didn’t like the idea that I would sell to a certain third party,” whom Oates did not name.

Just as in other superstar groups split over creative or personal differences, neither star could attest to a perfect partnership.

“It’s very annoying to be a duo. People always say, ‘Oh, you’re the tall one, you’re the short one. You’re the one that sings, you’re the one that doesn’t sing,” Hall told The Times in 2022. “You’re always compared to the other person. It works with comedy entities, like Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello, but with music, it’s f— up, actually.”

Both men have gone on to find success on their own, with Hall releasing multiple albums and the hit song “Philly Mood.” Oates released a new solo album this year, titled “Reunion,” which was inspired by the blues and folk music he was interested in before he met Hall.

Oates declared in his interview with “GMA” that despite their disagreements, he still loves Hall “like a brother.”

“Brothers have disagreements, families grow apart,” he said. “I wish him the best. I hope that he has everything he wants in life, and that he can pursue his dream of being a respected solo artist, which I believe is something that he’s always wanted.”

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