Romani singer sues Beyoncé, claiming she used her music without permission
Agence France-Presse reports that Mónika Juhász Miczura, a Romani singer from Hungary, is suing Beyoncé because she is convinced the American superstar stole a musical motif of hers and used it in her song "Drunk in Love". According to the Romani singer, the music was used without permission.
The song, from the album "Beyoncé", which was nominated for several Grammies in 2014, begins with an a cappella song that gradually fades away, after which Beyoncé begins to sing. Miczura, who performs under the artistic name Mitsou, says the opening vocal has been stolen from her work.
In a lawsuit filed in New York, Mitsou claims the vocal is a digitally altered sample from her song "Bajba, Bajba", which she recorded in 1995 and learned from her grandmother. According to her, it is an old traditional Romani song.
"The song is about hopelessness, when one can't trust anyone but one's mother and God," Mitsou said. In the song "Drunk in Love", Beyoncé and her husband, the rapper Jay-Z, are singing about marital happiness.
The lawsuit states that Beyoncé and Jay-Z did not request permission to use the Romani song and have caused the Romani singer irrecoverable damage and emotional harm. Mitsou does not list an amount of compensation sought in her suit, but merely states that her voice is heard in 29 % of "Drunk in Love".
In the past Mitsou has collaborated, for example, on Tony Gatlif's films, including the film "Gadžo Dilo", which won the Ceasar national prize for film music in France in 1999. Mitsou is a former member of the popular Romani group Ando Drom from Hungary.
Beyoncé released the album with the song "Drunk in Love" and an accompanying video in December 2013. The piece has been viewed more than 242 million times on YouTube.com and the album "Beyoncé" has sold around five million copies.
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