Phillips won season 11 of the hit series and signed off on a deal linked to his future success - but now he wants out of the agreement with 19 Entertainment bosses, claiming he feels "manipulated".
In his lawsuit, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the Home singer writes, "I am very grateful for the opportunities provided to me through appearing on American Idol. The value that the fans and the show have given to my career is not lost on me. However, I have not felt that I have been free to conduct my career in a way that I am comfortable with.
"I look forward to being able to make my own choices about my career and to being able to make great music and play it for my fans."
Among his gripes, Phillips reveals he had no idea what the title of his latest album would be before it was released.