A lot of celebrities have had public feuds. However, you might be surprised how many of these feuds are due plagiarism. Some artists have publicly admitted to being inspired by other people’s music, while others have denied purposely stealing music. So which singers have been sued and have even had to hand over large sums of money? Here are 10 artists that got sued for allegedly plagiarizing music.
1. Justin Bieber
Most recently Justin Bieber along with producers Skrillex and Bloody were slapped with a lawsuit over “Sorry.” White Hinterland accuses the trio of stealing a sample of her song from “Ring The Bell” but so far Skrillex and Justin are claiming that they’re innocent.
2. Avril Lavigne
Back in 2007 Avril Lavigne had everyone singing along to her catchy song, “Girlfriend.” But she wasn’t able to enjoy it for long because she got hit with a lawsuit from pop group, Rubinoos and Dr. Luke. Both claim the hit was ripping off their song, “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” Both parties came to a confidential settlement in the end without the punk star having to admit to copyright infringement.
Madonna got called out for the opening four bars in 1998’s “Frozen” being eerily similar to “Ma vie fout le camp” by Salvatore Acquaviva. She ended up losing the case which meant that stores had to remove copies of the song, and broadcasters had to stop playing it.
4. R. Kelly & Michael Jackson
R. Kelly got into hot water for writing his 1993 song, “You Are Not Alone” performed by Michael Jackson. It was the first song to debut at number one on Billboard Hot 100. But composers, Eddie and Danny Van Passel accused them of ripping off their song, “We Can Start All Over.” A Brussels court ended up ruling that it was plagiarism so the song was banned there.
Jay-Z has been sued multiple times! For “Big Pimpin”, he was taken to court over the Egyptian tune sampled from Osama Ahmed Fahmy’s “Khosara, Khosara.” However it was settled that he rightfully used the sample. He was accused again for his hit single “Run This Town” of using a syllable from Eddie Bo’s “Hook and Sling – Part 1.” That case however was thrown out.
6. Katy Perry
Katy Perry had a huge hit on her hands with, “Dark Horse” but it also caused problems. A group of Christian rappers sued her claiming she replicated their song, “Joyful Noise.” The group also accuses the singer of tainting their song with “witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati imagery.” The case is still on going.
Beyoncé was accused of stealing Ahmad “Javon” Lane’s music for “XO.” He sued for $7 million, but the case was thrown out. She along with Timbaland and Jay-Z were also sued by Monika Miczura for the use of her voice in “Drunk in Love.” That case is not settled yet.
8. Taylor Swift
The catchy “Shake It Off” tune has some pretty simple lyrics, but were they stolen? R&B singer, Jesse Braham would say yes! He sued Taylor Swift for $42 million over the chorus because the lyrics are similar to those in his song, “Haters Gonna Hate” where he says, “Haters gonna hate / players gonna play.” The case isn’t settled yet.
The band had a rocky start with their first hit “Creep.” They were sued over the similarities between that song and The Hollies‘ “The Air That I Breathe.” Albert Hammond admitted to ripping off the song so both parties agreed to share songwriting credit.
Eminem really out did himself with “Rap God” and got a Guinness World Record for most words in a song. However, he also got slapped with a lawsuit for it by rap group, Hotstylz who claim their song “Lookin Boy” was plagiarized. The group won and member, Raymond Jones was awarded $8 million.