5 times musos have been caught stealing their hits from fellow artists
Nicki Minaj has found herself in hot water. The rapper is being sued by Fast Car hitmaker Tracy Chapman for a copyright infringement on her song Baby Can I Hold You.
Chapman has accused the rapper of lifting the lyrics and melody from the 1988 song.
The track Sorry was dropped from her album Queen but Minaj gave it to two New York stations and it is available online and on YouTube.
This is not a new trend in the music industry. Let’s take a look at four other times musos stole their hit songs.
1. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams v Marvin Gaye - Blurred Lines
Blurred Lines was released by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams in 2013. They were taken to court by Marvin Gaye’s estate as the song borrowed from Gaye’s 1977 Got to Give it Up hit. A court in the US ruled in favour of the Gaye estate, which is now entitled to 50% of all royalties from Blurred Lines forever.
2. Vanilla Ice v Queen and David Bowie – Ice Ice Baby
In 1990, Vanilla Ice was trending because of his hit song Ice Ice Baby. It turned out Ice had sampled Queen’s Under Pressure and changed the rhythm of the baseline. According to law website Weinhaus & Potashnick, the dispute never went to court and was settled privately between the affected parties. They allegedly agreed on a very large – undisclosed – sum of money.
3. Michael Bolton v The Isley Brothers - Love is a Wonderful Thing
The Isley Brothers released a song titled Love is a Wonderful Thing in 1966. Michael Bolton released a song with same name 25 years later. After a decade-long court case, The Isley Brothers were awarded $5.4-million for previous and future royalties from the track.
4. Distruction Boyz v DJ Lag - Omunye
Gqom kings Distruction Boyz found themselves embroiled in a lawsuit in February this year after it was reported they had stolen their hit song Omunye from fellow South African artist DJ Lag’s track Trip to New York. At first, the duo denied the allegations.
However, the Sunday World reported Distruction Boyz and their manager later confirmed the song had been copied. The parties have agreed to fix the mess and royalties will be shared after the paperwork has been finalised.