Arts & Entertainment

Singer Lizzo accused of plagiarism

By Hannah Hover | Staff Writer

Singer, songwriter and body positivity icon Lizzo has been accused by at least three people of plagiarism over the past week. Lizzo’s former producers, Justin Raisen and his brother Jeremiah Raisen, accused her of stealing the line, “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch” in her chart-topping song, Truth Hurts.

On Oct. 15, Justin Raisen posted a video on Instagram that shows Lizzo working with the two brothers, singing along to a song called “Healthy” in April 2017. In the video, Lizzo can be heard singing, “I just did a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch.” Justin commented on the video stating, “On April 11th, 2017, we wrote a song called ‘Healthy’ w/ Lizzo, Jesse St. John, and Yves Rothman at our studio. I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch’ was taken from ‘Healthy’ and used in ‘Truth Hurts.’ We were never contacted about being credited for the use of the parts of ‘Healthy’ (melody, lyrics, and chords) that appear in ‘Truth Hurts.’”

He also claims he reached out to Lizzo’s team and he and his brother, Jeremiah, asked for 5% each but were shut down. The singer’s attorney denied the allegations to the New York Times, saying “The Raisens are not writers of ‘Truth Hurts.’ They did not collaborate with Lizzo or anyone else to create this song, and they did not help write any of the material that they now seek profit from, which is why they expressly renounced any claim to the work, in writing, months ago.” Lizzo has yet to respond to the brothers’ claims herself.

The third musician to publicly accuse Lizzo is Cece Peniston, an early 1990s recording artist, and beauty queen. In the early 90s, she scored five number one hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music chart. Her most famous song, “Finally,” reached the number 5 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1992.

Peniston claims that Lizzo stole the hook, “Ya Ya EE” from the introduction of her song Finally and used it in “Juice,” and last Thursday posted a video of an 18-second video on Instagram comparing the two songs and verses. The 1990s star made another, now deleted post and commented, “For everybody who thought I was exaggerating on my claims of #copyrightinfringement please go check out the article I’m the the #3rd person who has said something. […] just for the record and so you understand … anytime anybody uses a song over 7 seconds that’s using a “portion” of their copyright, Lizzo not only takes over that, she’s used several times adding up to about 40 seconds!” Lizzo has not responded to this claim either.

 Lizzo’s lawyer said all of the claims, both against “Truth Hurts” and “Juice” hold no merit, “Although it has become all too commonplace for successful artists to be subjected to these type of opportunistic claims, it is nevertheless disappointing that after all of her hard work, Lizzo has to respond to this specious claim.”

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