Alicia Keys faces plagiarism claim

January 2013

Music publishing


Alicia Keys facing a legal action from songwriter Earl Shuman over her new single ‘Girl On Fire’. Shuman claims that the lyrics of the song bear similarities to those of his 1962 composition ‘Lonely Girl’, written with Leon Carr and best known on Eddie Holman’s 1970 classic version under the name ‘Hey There Lonely Girl’.

The similarity was apparently first brought to his attention via an article on Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411 website, in which the entertainment journalist stated: “In the middle of the song, Keys sings a two second long couplet from Holman’s ‘Hey There Lonely Girl’. The song was written by Leon Carr and Earl Shuman, Shuman subsequently got in touch with Friedman, firstly to point out that he’s not dead, and secondly so say that he’s not amused with Keys borrowing his words and that legal action would follow. Previously both Anita Baker and Beastie Boys have used unaccredited samples from Holman’s recording of ‘Lonely Girl’, both subsequently reaching settlements with Shuman and the estate of Leon Carr.

CMU Daily 19th December 2012

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