Beyoncé has been sued for alleged copyright infringement

By Stermy 4 Min Read

A group of Louisiana musicians has filed a formal lawsuit against renowned artist Beyoncé, alleging that her 2022 hit “Break My Soul” infringes the copyright of one of their songs. The conflict is rooted in the unauthorized use of elements from a work prior to the single, which enjoys great popularity worldwide

As reported by The Guardian, the titular track of Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” album incorporates a sample from “Explode,” a song released in 2014 by Big Freedia, an eminent figure in the New Orleans bounce music scene.

The issue in dispute arises in the sample itself. According to the plaintiffs, “Explode” allegedly copies the lyrics and melody of an earlier song titled “Release a Wiggle,” created by the group Da Showstoppaz and released in 2002.

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The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Louisiana on Wednesday, May 22, by the members of Da Showstoppaz (Tessa Avie, Keva Bourgeois, Henri Braggs, and Brian Clark), maintains that the significant elements that the songs have in common were not authorized.

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The group argues that the words, melody, and musical arrangement of their work were used in “Explode” and later sampled by Beyoncé in her world-famous single. Furthermore, they emphasize that “any reasonable listener who listens to both ‘Release a Wiggle’ and ‘Explode’ would conclude that the songs are substantially similar.”

Three words could cost Beyoncé’s team millions. This expression is specified by the lawyers of the Louisiana group. “The coined term and phrase ‘release a/yo wiggle’ has now become closely synonymous with Big Freedia thus contributing to her fame. However, Big Freedia did not compose or write the phrase, nor did she credit Da Showstoppaz as the source,” they argued.

Beyoncé and Big Freedia Sued for Alleged 'Break My Soul' Copyright Infringemen

Among the defendants in the lawsuit are not only Beyoncé and Big Freedia (also known as Freddie Ross Jr.), but also Jay-Z and the record label Sony Music, among others. The claim includes the request for formal recognition for Da Showstoppaz on the songs “Break My Soul” and “Explode,” as well as the right to receive royalties and compensation for the use of their material in future releases.

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This plea is substantiated by the substantial revenues generated from the album’s distribution and the various live performances associated with the “Renaissance World Tour.”

The financial impact of the tour is significant, considering that it has generated approximately $579 million globally. Additionally, “Break My Soul” not only marked Beyoncé’s return to the top of the charts in the US but also became her first solo single to reach the Top 3 in the UK since 2011.

The song, which venerates the culture of the LGBTQ community in New Orleans, has been pivotal in the artist’s recent career, solidifying her stature in the music industry.

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By Stermy
Stermy is one Crazy fan of the word "Internet". Always online to stay informed and keep others updated. #townflex