Bruno Mars cleaned up with “Uptown Funk,” but now a seventies girl group is claiming that the song was stolen from them. One of the first female rap groups is claiming that their song, “Funk You Up” was lifted from them, and they are not happy about it. And the group, The Sequence, is not the only artist complaining.
According to TMZ, “The Sequence” wants some answers about where Bruno Mars and company got “Uptown Funk.” Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson won big and last week’s Grammy Awards, and now the ladies of “The Sequence” want to know who is going to pay up.
— Meghan (@yosoyMEGHAN) February 23, 2016
“The Sequence” spokesperson, Kali Bowyer claims that both songs have the same hook, and TMZ suggests the timing “may be more than coincidental.” After all, “Uptown Funk” just won record of the year, so the timing is good for “The Sequence” to cash in.
Editor’s note: this story previously misattributed the suggestion “it’s not a coincidence” to Kali Bowyer. The Inquisitr apologizes for this error and any confusion it may have caused.
Bruno Mars — Girl Group Claims … You Stole 'Uptown Funk' From Us!!! https://t.co/atyFvf5cKC
— TMZ (@TMZ) February 23, 2016
The Independent says that there is more plagiarism buzz about “Uptown Funk” going around, and this lawsuit talk came up before the Grammy Awards. The Gap Band, with the song “Oops Upside Your Head” is the next song with a hook that is similar to “Uptown Funk.” Oddly, that song is also from 1979.
And next, a Serbian funk song also claims to have been ripped off. The artist, Snezana Miskovic, says he track “80 Percent” has a similar track. The song translates as “English Dark Streets Are Not For Girls.” Miskovic says that a large part of her song is featured in “Uptown Funk.”
“I’m in no hurry to sue them, these processes take a long time, and my life and career does not depend on lawsuits.”
But she is hoping that something can be worked out without lawyers, which in the music industry, is unlikely.
“For these lawsuits, there should be a lot of money, the lawyers are working on a percentage. If I still decide to sue them and I win, I have to figure out what to do with that money.”
The difference between inspiration and ripped off would have to be hashed out in court, and Bruno Mars certainly has the upper hand.
— Richard Villalobos (@djrv562) March 13, 2015
Radio.com is saying that there are quite a few other groups that could have a claim on the money from Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” with Mark Ronson and company. In the last year, the lawsuit from the Marvin Gaye estate in reference to “Blurred Lines” actually moved the line between what is stolen and what is just another idea.
Where that line lies is up to a jury, and it is difficult to know from one court case to the other what will be decided. It is subtle, and quite unpredictable. What is sampling and what is stealing? That’s the new musical conversation of our time.
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) February 17, 2016
So what of the groups could have a claim on the “Uptown Funk” cash? Fans of the 80s group Morris Day and the Time and the song “Jungle Love” top the list. The beat is very similar, at least for an untrained ear. Trinidad James, and the song “All Gold Everything” also has a similar beat, but James not only got royalties from the sampling of his song, he also picked up a Grammy, so Mars and Ronson don’t need to worry about that potential lawsuit.
Lastly, Zapp & Roger’s “More Bounce to the Ounce” also has some of the funk found in “Uptown Funk.” It is difficult to say what will shake out from these potential suits, or if Mars and Ronson will just cut some checks, and make this all go away.
Listening to these songs, what do you think? Do you believe that “Uptown Funk” is original, or was it “inspired” by other songs?
[Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images]