Beyoncé Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Copyright Infringement in ‘Break My Soul’

by Patria

Beyoncé is facing a lawsuit for alleged copyright infringement concerning a sample in her 2022 hit “Break My Soul.” Members of the bounce group Da Showstoppaz filed the suit in a Louisiana federal court on Wednesday, claiming that Big Freedia’s 2014 track “Explode,” which was sampled in Beyoncé’s song, illegally used elements from their 2002 song “Release a Wiggle.”

The plaintiffs—Tessa Avie, Keva Bourgeois, Henri Braggs, and Brian Clark—allege that “Explode” contains “copyrighted lyrics, melody, and musical arrangement” from “Release a Wiggle.” They are suing Beyoncé, her husband Jay-Z, Big Freedia, and Sony Music, among others.

According to the lawsuit, “Explode infringes on Da Showstoppaz’s Release A Wiggle twelve times, as the infringing phrase ‘release yo’ wiggle’ and several other substantially similar phrases are featured prominently in the song and evenly spread out across Explode’s furious two-minute and forty-seven second runtime.” The suit further claims, “Any reasonable person listening to Release A Wiggle and Explode would conclude that the songs are substantially similar.”

Da Showstoppaz argue that while the defendants have profited significantly from “Break My Soul,” Beyoncé’s album Renaissance, the Renaissance World Tour, and the subsequent concert film, they have “received nothing – no acknowledgment, no credit, no remuneration of any kind.”

The group seeks to be credited on both “Explode” and “Break My Soul” and to receive royalties for any future uses of the songs. Additionally, they are requesting damages related to the profits made by Beyoncé and Big Freedia from the tracks.

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