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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Childish Gambino Accused of Not Paying Royalties to Refugee Turned Model for Album Cover Art


Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. Photo/Spotify

Kenyan model Giannina Antonette Oteto signed to Elite Model Management, accused artist Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, of paying her low wages for her contribution to his album art for his 2016 album, Awaken, My Love!, and failing to pay her promised residuals from the record sales. Newsweek said, "Giannina vented about the situation in a now-deleted Instagram post. According to Newsweek, "The make-up artist and stylist who brought the artwork to life were also allegedly promised residual payments, but according to Oteto, the trio "never received anything." Newsweek said it reached out to Glover for comment via email.


Giannina Antonette Oteto on the cover of Awaken, My Love! Photo/Spotify

Awaken, My Love! went platinum, eventually exceeding one million units sold. AML had a few hits, especially "Redbone," making this a commercially successful release —debuting at No. 1 on the R&B Albums chart and No. 3 on the Billboard 200.



Giannina is reportedly a Kenyan refugee who was discovered as a model in the United States, feels that Gambino slighted her and her fellow creative contributors who were black, stating, "Myself, the make-up artist and stylist (all Black women) were taken advantage of and lied to." "The only person that received residuals was a white woman (designer Laura Wass of WXYZ Jewelry) who created the headpiece even though she was not set to work on this (she also deserves it)." She continued, "After years of lies and silence and then finding out the statute of limitations complications —it's been an exhausting, emotional, and overall sad thing to have to deal with. "It took so much from me, especially the fact that we all worked on it with so much love and being proud to represent Black artists."

At this time, it doesn't appear that Childish Gambino has commented on the situation. To follow this story and other news, click the link to subscribe to Volume 82.

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