Justin Bieber fans are known as Beliebers, but people may soon be calling the pop superstar a Theif-er. A new lawsuit, filed by R&B singer Devin Copeland (known as De Rico) and Mario Overton, claim that they originally wrote Bieber’s hit song, “Somebody to Love,” and named both Bieber and his manager, Usher, in a $10 million copyright infringement lawsuit.
Copeland and Overton allege that their song, also called “Somebody to Love,” is close enough in title, time signature, beat, chord progression and lyrics as Bieber’s song to constitute copyright infringement.
Copeland and Overton say that music scouts presented their version of the song to Usher in 2009. They also say that Usher’s mother, who is his sometime-manager, requested that Copeland re-record the song to use on tour with Usher.
The lawsuit claims that they had no further contact with Usher’s camp, and heard Bieber’s version of their song on the radio several years later.
“There is essentially a zero probability for the number of points of congruence between the two versions of ‘Somebody to Love’,” said Copeland and Overton in their lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Norfolk, VA.
According to Reuters, Usher first recorded a version of what would become Bieber’s song as a demo for his 2010 album, “Raymond vs. Raymond,” and later recorded a version with Bieber singing background vocals. Bieber’s version reached No. 15 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart when it was released in 2010, and was certified as a platinum record.
Neither the attorneys representing Copeland and Overton, nor Bieber and Usher have issued a statement on the lawsuit.
Image Credit: Adam Sundana