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Imperials Embroiled in Lawsuit Over Name

One of Christian music's most popular singing groups is entangled in a legal battle that puts father and son on opposing sides.

The Imperials, one of Christian music's most popular singing groups in the 1970s and early '80s, are currently embroiled in a complex legal battle over who owns the group's name — and who gets to reap the profits from that name.

Armond Morales, who in 1964 cofounded the group that went on to win four Grammys and 13 Dove Awards, and his wife, Bonnie, are being sued for the Imperials name by a younger group that includes Armond's son, Jason Morales.

That younger group — four singers who say they're now the "real" Imperials — claims that when the elder Morales signed an assignment of trademark in 2005, he transferred ownership of the name to the four singers in the current lineup.

Armond Morales, 75, told Christianity Today he did not consult an attorney before signing the assignment, and now says he was pressured into signing away more than he bargained for, and perhaps more than he owned the rights to.

"They have set out to really put me out of business and have no connection ...

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