Pop star Seal has failed in his challenge to a High Court ruling that he must pay his ex-agent commission for the rest of his life.

Seal had asked the Appeal Court to overturn a High Court ruling last June that he was contractually obliged to carry on paying ex-manager John Wadlow a commission of 20% on the songs from his first two albums, more than ten years after they stopped working together.

Dismissing his appeal and upholding the High Court judge's decision to hold Seal to the commission agreement with Wadlow, Lord Justice Roger Toulson said Wednesday (Feb. 28), "In my judgment the judge was entitled to conclude that the settlement agreement was properly to be regarded as an exercise of the appellant's (Seal's) free will and was therefore enforceable."

In the High Court decision upheld, the judge had ruled that, on top of future liability for royalties, Seal should also make a back payment of royalties due since June 1999, with £500,000 ($980,000) to be paid up front while the true figure was to be calculated. He also ordered that Seal pay Wadlow's legal costs, with £175,000 ($343,000) to be paid up front.

During the hearing earlier this month, his counsel Andrew George argued that the High Court judge, Mr Justice Charles Gray, "was wrong to conclude that the obligation to pay commission in perpetuity on the first two albums existed."

Seal was present and gave evidence during the High Court hearing last year. During that hearing the star, whose hits include "Crazy" and "Kiss From a Rose," claimed that he had at first seen Wadlow as a "surrogate father", but later felt that his ex-manager had "ripped him off."

Seal was not present during the most recent hearing.