Chipotle Denver
A customer places her order at a Denver Chipotle restaurant in December 2011. (John Leyba, Denver Post file photo. )

Chipotle Mexican Grill is suing Frank Ocean for $212,500 it paid the R&B artist to record a song for a marketing campaign.

According to lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the Denver-based chain hired Ocean in July 2013 to record a song for a marketing campaign called "The Scarecrow." The campaign was to include an animated online film, a related video game for mobile devices and a master recording of a song entitled "Pure Imagination."

The song was to be used as the sound track for the film and game, to to be made available as a download for sale or streaming, according to the court filings that were first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Frank Ocean accepts the award for best urban contemporary album for "Channel Orange" at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California,
Frank Ocean accepts the award for best urban contemporary album for "Channel Orange" at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, February 10, 2013. (Mike Blake, Reuters)

Ocean was hired for the project through Creative Artists Agency.

However, Chipotle claims that Ocean abandoned the project after receiving half the $425,000 fee for recording the song.

The lawsuit claims he had been informed that the campaign was marketing for the restaurant chain, but on Aug. 7, 2013 — the deadline for Ocean to deliver the song — he told the company that he was walking away from the project because a Chipotle logo was included at the end of the film.


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According to an excerpt from Ocean's lawyer that is included in the filing, Ocean was told "that the thrust of the campaign was to promote responsible farming. There was no Chipotle reference or logo in the initial presentation, and Chipotle told Frank that was an intentional element of the campaign. Frank was also promised the he'd have the right to approve the master and all advertising, promotional and publicity materials, and that was incorporated into the agreement Frank signed with Chipotle."