Did Beyoncé copy a local artist for her latest video?
Beyoncé’s Spirit music video had social media abuzz last week. Praised for its beautiful visuals, great garments and overall aesthetic, it affirmed what we’ve long known - Beyoncé is a living icon.
The track is off The Lion King: The Gift – the companion album to Disney’s remake of the classic film – the singer’s “love letter to Africa”.
However, it seems Queen B can’t take all the credit for the video - it looks too similar to South African singer-songwriter Petite Noir’s visual album La Maison Noir for many people’s liking.
This isn’t the first time the Queen has been accused of copycatting other artists’ work:
1. Countdown, 2011:
In October 2011, leading Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker criticised Beyoncé for using her dance moves without her permission.
The moves in question were taken from the 1983 dance Rosas Danst Rosas, in which four seated women perform a series of fiercely exaggerated ordinary gestures like fiddling with their hair, twitching and slouching.
2. Billboard Awards, 2011:
In her rendition of Who Run the World (Girls), the singer was accused of copying her dance moves from one of Italian dancer Lorella Cuccarini’s productions. She later admitted Cuccarini had inspired her stellar performance.
"My makeup artist showed me the performance of Lorella Cuccarini a year ago, and it inspired me so much. I then met with the talented people who worked on it. The technology and concept were so genius. She was inspired after discovering Cuccarini's performance online.“ - Beyoncé pic.twitter.com/ckR8iGCDvz— okladies (@yallflops) May 2, 2019
3. Formation, 2016:
Currently sitting at over 54 million views on YouTube, Beyoncé’s Formation music video was also the subject of plagiarism claims.
Filmmakers Abteen Bagheri and Chris Black said the singer had used visuals they shot for their documentary That B.E.A.T. for the video without crediting them.