Out of touch: Daryl Hall obtains restraining order against bandmate John Oates

Lawsuit reveals unharmonious relationship between most commercially successful duo in pop history

Hall and Oates in their heyday
Hall and Oates sold more than 40 million records worldwide and made 18 studio albums
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Daryl Hall is suing his musical partner John Oates and has obtained a restraining order against him as part of the lawsuit. 

The American pair, who are the most commercially successful duo in the history of pop music, formed in 1970 and have sold more than 40 million records worldwide. They had 29 hit singles in total, including "Maneater", "Out of Touch" and "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)". In the 1980s, they spent 246 weeks in the US charts, "more than even Michael Jackson and Madonna", said the BBC.

Hall's lawsuit is currently sealed, "meaning very little information about its content is known publicly", said Pitchfork, but online records, first reported by Philadelphia, indicate the case involves "contract/debt" and that a temporary restraining order was issued.

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Last year Hall, who is now 77, told Bill Maher's "Club Random" podcast that Oates and him were "brothers, but we are not creative brothers. We are business partners. We made records called Hall & Oates together, but we've always been very separate, and that's a really important thing for me."

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times last year, Hall admitted: "It's very annoying to be a duo. Everything you do is juxtaposed against another person. Try doing that sometime. I don't want to use the word 'emasculating,' because that's male, but it takes away your individuality."

But Hall and Oates "have performed together often in recent years", said The New York Times, including on a visit to the White House in 2015 and on their band's most recent tour in 2021. 

Oates, 75, told GQ that year that the pair had "way more ups than downs", adding: "It's actually a miracle, I'm actually shocked that we are able to still play together and it's great. It's something that you have to really appreciate."

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