Summary: Prince Phillip Mitchell is suing Kanye West and Solange Knowles for allegedly using his music without his permission.
Kanye West and Solange Knowles have been sued for copyright infringement. According to TMZ, a musician from the 1970s said that the influential musicians stole his tune, “If We Can’t Be Lovers.” He is seeking punitive damages.
Leroy Mitchell, a.k.a. Prince Phillip Mitchell, penned “If We Can’t Be Lovers” in 1970, and he said West and Knowles both sampled the song without his permission. Now he wants them to pay up.
Mitchell said that West used his song on West’s track, “Everything I Am,” and Knowles used it for her tune, “F-ck the Industry.” Both songs were not hits, according to TMZ, but Mitchell wants them to pay for their unauthorized use. It is noted, however, that West and Knowles gave Mitchell co-writing credit.
According to The Independent, West credited Mitchell on his single as a co-writer. He also listed other musicians such as George Clinton. When Solange sampled West’s song, she attributed Mitchell and all the writers credited on West’s track as well.
In addition to punitive damages, Mitchell is also requesting that West and Knowles stop performing the tracks and that the songs cease playing on the radio.
Mitchell, 73, was a solo singer in the 1970s and 1980s. He also wrote big hits for Millie Jackson and Mel and Tim.
West is an international rap and R&B superstar who has released seven hit albums, including “The College Dropout” and “Graduation.” He frequently collaborates with Jay-Z, who is Knowles brother-in-law. Jay-Z is married to Beyonce Knowles, who is Solange’s older sister.
Knowles is a singer, model, actress, and activist. She has released four albums, two of which included the song “F-ck the Industry.”
While it happens quite frequently where musicians are sued for alleged plagiarism, this case is unique for two reasons. One, Mitchell was credited for his work, unlike many other infringement cases; and two, he is suing for two songs that were not popular nor money-making. However, West and Knowles reportedly have deep pockets. According to Instyle, West is worth $145 million; and Knowles has $5 million, according to The Richest.
- Judge Allows “Formation” Copyright Lawsuit to Move Forward
- Judge Dismisses Justin Bieber’s “Somebody to Love” Copyright Lawsuit
- The Weeknd Sued for Copyright Infringement in Songs “The Hills”