January 17, 2020 / 12:46 AM / a month ago

Ariana Grande sued by hip hop artist who says she stole hit single '7 Rings'

(Reuters) - Ariana Grande and more than a half-dozen songwriters were sued for copyright infringement on Thursday by a hip hop artist who says the pop star’s 2019 Grammy-nominated single “7 Rings” was plagiarized from a song he recorded two years earlier.

FILE PHOTO: Ariana Grande accepts the award for artist of the year at the 2016 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Josh Stone, who performs under the moniker DOT, says in his lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, that “highly regarded musicology experts” have concluded that Grande’s hit copied his song “You Need It, I Got It.”

“Indeed any comparative analysis of the beat, lyrics, hook, rhythmic structure, metrical placement and narrative context, by musicology experts or everyday listeners alike, demonstrates clearly and convincingly that ‘7 Rings’ copied ‘I Got It,’ Stone’s attorneys said in the court papers.

Representatives for Grande, who is nominated for five Grammys at the awards show on Jan. 26, including two for “7 Rings,” did not immediately respond to a request by Reuters for comment.

The 26-year-old superstar’s record label, Republic Records, also could not be reached for comment on Thursday afternoon.

“7 Rings,” which gives songwriting credit to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein because it borrows from their classic “My Favorite Things,” from the 1959 film “The Sound of Music,” and spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard charts after it was released in February of last year.

The song has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, including record of the year. In addition to Grande, Rogers and Hammerstein, songwriting credits are listed for seven other people on the track, including three producers.

Stone says in his lawsuit that he recorded “I Got It” in New York in January 2017 and that summer pitched the song to executives with Universal Music Group, including Thomas Brown, who has worked with Grande on all five of her albums.

According to the lawsuit Brown showed interest in the song and told Stone he was “exploring opportunities” for the two men to work together.

Universal Music Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In addition to monetary damages, Stone seeks to bar Grande from performing “7 Rings” in the future and deliver up all copies of the song for destruction.

Grande, who appeared on Broadway and in the Nickelodeon television series Victorious as a teenager before becoming a top-selling pop star, was expected to perform at the upcoming Grammy Awards.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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