Beyoncé and Jay Z Sued Over ‘Drunk in Love’

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Something can be said for making music under the influence as power couple, Beyoncé and Jay Z are being sued for “Drunk in Love.” Hungarian Roma singer, Monika Juhasz Miczura, filed the lawsuit on Dec. 12, suing the duo for recording and sampling her vocals on “Drunk in Love.” She alleges that the couple did not compensate her according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. She charged that the couple unjustly benefited to her detriment. Emotional distress and irreparable harm were the effects caused by blatant disregard to the use of her vocals said the lawsuit.

Miczura, popularly referred to as Mitsou, sang an old folk song, “Bajba, Bajba Pelem,” in 1995 when Beyoncé recorded her voice according to court documents. Mitsou stated that she was taught the song by her grandmother. The suit charged that her vocals were digitally reconstructed without consent and totaled one minute and thirty seconds of her vocals on the five-minute song. The lawsuit also alleged that the production instilled a foreign eroticism along with sexually charged lyrics from Jay Z and Beyonce.

“Bajba, Bajba Pelem” first debuted in the United States in 1997 under the name Gypsy Life on the Road. The song was distributed by North Pacific Records stated the court filing. The suit alleges that Mitsou was never compensated nor did she sign documentation consenting to the use of her vocals for trade or advertising purposes. Mitsou seeks an unspecified amount of damages as well as seeks to have a judge file an injunction to keep the song from being played. According the suit, Mitsou’s vocals make up 29 percent of the hit single.

Mitsou reported that friends heard her singing the stirring solo vocal on Beyoncé’s song when it was released unexpectedly last December. Friends informed her that she sang the first 13 seconds and then was joined by Beyoncé. The song’s video won Best Collaboration at the MTV Video Music Awards. The video opens up on the beach in black and white immediately followed by Mitsou’s vocals. On YouTube, the video racked up 236 million views.

Beyoncé has been targeted in the past by lawsuits. In 2012, she was accused of stealing the work for Countdown from Belgian choreographer, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. The singer later released a statement crediting the choreographer as one of her sources of inspiration.

Earlier this month a federal judge dismissed a suit against Hov for sampling one syllable from an old funk song. In the recent case, the married artist worked with famous producer Timbaland and rapper husband Jay Z to create the now popular ballad. Timbaland, also named in the suit, did not provide any comments along with his alleged co-conspirators.

“If I Were a Boy,” the first single off Beyoncé’s I Am… Sasha Fierce, was written by BC Jean a well-known songwriter. Her version of the song was originally rejected by Bey’s label. When Beyoncé stumbled across the song and recorded it, Fox News wrote that Jean was strong armed by the singer’s “people.” Jean denied the claims and stated that to her surprise her first ever song was reproduced by another artist and the doors that it opened were amazing. Though Beyoncé may be getting used to suits challenging her queen-dom, her and Jay Z are too drunk in love to care reprising the roles of the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde.

By Stevenson Benoit

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