Singer Claims Beyonce Ripped Off 'XO' Melody, Files $3 Million Lawsuit
Did Beyonce Knowles pull a fast one and steal a melody for her song "XO" from a backup singer?
"I believe my copyrighted musical work has been infringed upon," a 27-year-old artist named Javon contends in a new federal lawsuit.
Javon is asking for millions in damages from Knowles in the handwritten complaint that he filed in New York without a lawyer. The judge granted him "pauper" status — which waives his court fees — because he said he makes just $2,800 a month working for Carnival Cruise Lines.
"I am seeking the earnings she has made from the copied record," he writes in the legal papers. "Also live performances, etc. I would like money compensation of $3 million, or whichever is greater."
Knowles' "XO" was the first single released from her fifth self-titled studio album in December 2013, and Javon alleges the tune "copies my song and artwork."
Javon blames another singer for sharing his material with Knowles — even though he doesn't include her as a co-defendant in the suit.
"I have worked with Beyonce's background singer 'Crissy Collins' as a background singer for another artist," Javon writes. "I sent her the material I wrote after releasing it."
Javon then claims that The-Dream — also known as Terius Nash —sings the same melody he sings in his song "XOXO." Nash, also not named in the suit, is listed as a co-writer and co-producer of Knowles' "XO."
While Javon was able to fill in the blanks on a federal court complaint form, he may find butting heads in court with the 33-year-old superstar's army of lawyers is a lot tougher. Copyright fights usually become complex and drawn out disputes, involving music experts and extensive depositions.
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Although the complaint was filed in August, Knowles' lawyers have yet to respond to the scandalous allegations. In fact, it is unclear if the singer has even been served papers, because Javon, by his own admission, has been busy working on a cruise ship.
Listen to both songs and share in the comments whether or not you think Knowles has to worry.