Singer Beyoncé Knowles, who recently faced backlash after a Good Morning America announcement, is now facing a $7.11 million lawsuit after a background singer accused her of stealing his song.
Contact Music reports that Ahmad Lane, of South Carolina, says that Beyoncé, 33, stole the hit single “XO” from him. Lane claims that he wrote the song, originally titled “XOXO,” and gave it to another background singer, Chrissy Collins, who also worked with Beyoncé. Reportedly, Collins then gave the song to Beyoncé. The single was released in December 2013, and featured on Beyoncé’s fifth studio album.
The album credits Terius “The Dream” Nash, Ryan Tedder, and Beyoncé as co-writers and co-producers of the song.
Lane filed the lawsuit last year against Beyoncé, Columbia Records, and Parkwood Entertainment, but the superstar singer’s attorney filed a rebuttal on June 4 at the Southern District of New York’s U.S. District Court.
Per court documents, Beyoncé’s attorney indicates that “the two works at issue are entirely different songs that share no lyrical or musical similarity, other than perhaps the letters X and O.”
The lawyer also pointed out that “XO” bears little resemblance to the other song, “XOXO,” in that the tracks do not share “melodic content and there is no meaningful similarity in pitch series, rhythm or rhythmic patterns, melodic development or structure.”
Additionally, the court documents state that Lane failed to ever file a copyright for “XOXO.” Knowles’ lawyers also ask for the court to listen to both songs so that the differences are made clear.
“The two songs are distinct from a thematic perspective. They don’t share melodic content and there is no meaningful similarity in pitch series, rhythm or rhythmic patterns, melodic development or structure.”
This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has faced allegations of using music without permission. Last year, the “Single Ladies” singer was hit with plagiarism accusations after allegedly failing to get permission to use sampling on her song “Drunk in Love.”
Hungarian singer Mitsou, also known as Monika Miczura, claims that her vocals from her 1995 single “Bajba, Bajba Pelem” was used in the opening of Beyoncé’s 2013 single “Drunk in Love.” Along with seeking damages, Mitsou asked the courts to stop “Drunk in Love” from being played anywhere until her vocals are completely removed from the song.
Time reports that Beyoncé has been accused of stealing music more so than most other artists, which started back with one of the singer’s first solo songs in 2003, “Baby Boy.” Jennifer Armour, a songwriter credited with writing “Got a Little Bit of Love for You,” claims that Beyoncé used her song after she sent in a demo.
Although Armour’s case was eventually thrown out by the Southern District of Texas’ Fifth Court of Appeals, it’s still unclear whether the new lawsuit against Beyoncé will have the same outcome.
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