R+B heart-throb Mario is suing former manager TROY PATTERSON for allegedly pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his phenomenal record sales - leaving him with just $50,000 (GBP28,000).

Patterson took the star, real name MARIO BARRETT, under his wing when he was just 13 - as his mother was suffering from drug addiction.

But the J Records pop mogul subsequently presented Barrett with a contract which caused him to lose out on a fortune, despite generating around $20 million (GBP11 million) - Mario claims.

The singer wants to annul the contract.

Lawyer KENNY MEISELAS says, "Mario values his relationship with (J Records head) Clive Davis and J RECORDS.

"Mario's issues are solely with Troy Patterson and Patterson's production company."