As the summer days continue to heat up, so do legal troubles for some of today’s biggest artists. This summer we’ve seen no shortage of musicians getting slapped with lawsuits, both from other artists claiming their songs were stolen, to fans who were unhappy with their concert experience. And we’re not just talking about the overpriced water, though that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Today, we’re taking a look at some of this summer’s biggest legal dramas.
Lawsuit: Producer Detail says that he declined working with Drake in 2014 after the pair made “305 To My City.” Reportedly offended, Drake invited Detail to his home, only to have Detail beaten up by Drake’s bodyguard. Detail claims the bodyguard broke his jaw and is asking for a big settlement.
Validity: This isn’t the first time Drake and his bodyguards have been in trouble. In 2012, Drizzy and his bodyguards were at the center of a fight with Chris Brown and his crew at a NYC club. In the case of Detail, hospital records could go a long way against Drake, who, for his sake, hopefully installed a lot of surveillance cameras at his home.
Lawsuit: Songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard weren’t as touched by Ed Sheeran’s 2014 track “Photograph” as the rest of the world was. The duo announced this summer that they’re suing Sheeran and his songwriters for $20 million—the amount Sheeran’s team made on the song (who knew our tears were worth so much?). Harrington and Leonard allege that their song “Amazing,” which was written in 2009 but became popular in 2012 when X Factor winner Matt Cardle released it as a single, was ripped off in Sheeran’s “Photograph.” For his part, Cardle has distanced himself from the lawsuit, tweeting that he feels Sheeran earned all of his success. That can’t be good for the plaintiffs. On the plus side for Harrington and Leonard, they’ve got Richard Busch representing them, the same lawyer who won the lawsuit for Marvin Gaye’s family against Pharrell and Robin Thicke for “Blurred Lines.”
Validity: Ehhhh…it’s a stretch.
Lawsuit: Sleigh Bells first tweeted back in November 2015 that Demi Lovato sampled their 2010 song “Infinity Guitars” on her track “Stars” from the album Confident. Tweeting “.@ddlovato Demi Lovato flattered you guys sampled Infinity Guitars & Riot Rhythm for “Stars: but we were not contacted. Gotta clear those,” the band launched a lawsuit on Monday. Lovato’s songwriters claim the pop star wasn’t involved with the production of the song.
Validity: Whether or not Lovato was involved with her own song, someone needs to pay Sleigh Bells.
Lawsuit: A group of fans who recently attended Sia’s concert in Tel Aviv are suing the singer for a ‘lackluster’ and ‘impersonal’ performance. The complainants allege that the singer stood at the back of the stage with her face obscured by a wig and played pre-recorded films on the big screen.
Validity: If suing artists for not delivering on concerts was really a thing, Lauryn Hill would have been arrested years ago.
Lawsuit: The Black Keys front man reportedly made a verbal agreement to become the director and executive producer for a documentary on legendary bluesman Howlin’ Wolf. According to the lawsuit, which was made public this week, Auerbach demanded among other things expensive re-shoots. Producers complied, but then Auerbach walked away from the film. He’s now being sued for $100,000.
Validity: Auerbach better have gold on the ceiling (and in his wallet) to pay up.
Lawsuit: In 2012, songwriter Alex Greggs wrote the EDM track “Takes All Night,” which was later performed by Skye Stevens. In 2014, David Guetta and Ariana Grande wrote “One Last Time,” which sounded an awful lot like “Takes All Night.” In 2016, Guetta and Grande got hit with a lawsuit for copying Greggs’ track.
Validity: We don’t know which is more surprising—the fact that “One More Time” sounds exactly like “Takes All Night,” or that Skye Stevens sounds exactly like Jason Derulo. Double lawsuit?