H.E.R. is back in court after almost a year since settling a previous copyright lawsuit for the hit single “Focus”. The California artist is facing yet another lawsuit, this time for her song “Could’ve Been,” featuring artist Bryson Tiller from her debut album.
Grammy-winning singer H.E.R is back in the courts with another copyright lawsuit. Andre Sims, the songwriter and piano maestro, filed the first suit. He claims the song, “Focus,” on H.E.R’s debut album sounds similar to his smash hit “Endless Minds.”
Now, Grammy-winning group Take 6 is claiming the songwriter-producer sampled their music without permission or compensation. The song in question – “Could’ve Been” – is on H.E.R’s debut self-titled album.
The multi-count lawsuit named David A. Harris, David A. Harris d/b/a Progressive 86, Jeff Robinson d/b/a SLIH Songs, Sony ATV Sounds, LLC, and Sony Music Entertainment Inc. for copyright claims.
Attorney James L. Walker, Jr., lead counsel on the case on behalf of Take 6, described the group’s history and demanded restitution for the alleged sampling of their hit song “Come Unto Me.”
This is one of the most iconic groups in the history of music. If you listen to the two songs, you can clearly hear that it appears that a sample was taken from Take 6’s “Come Unto Me.
“Could’ve Been” went platinum twice and was nominated for Best Collaboration at the BET Awards 2019. It was also nominated for the Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
Attorney James L. Walker went on to explain the demanding request of concluding the lawsuit.
“If this is true, we demand that the album be pulled down and the label freeze any royalties in connection with this album, as we now have yet another claim of infringement on the same “Focus” album we discussed prior,” said Walker.
To wrap up the claims, Walker called on musicologist and super-producer Kevin Bond to review the sampling. He added that neither H.E.R nor her team sought r received approval to sample “Come Unto Me”. Meanwhile, Bond opined that the two songs are similar and that the Take 6 sample was lifted.
“It appears very clear to me that the two songs are very similar. It is obvious that someone lifted the Take 6 sample and must be held accountable.”
“We have been forced to prepare a complaint and file suit, as we cannot get substantive answers and documents to show this was approved,” said Attorney Walker.
Described by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet!’ Take 6 is a contemporary gospel group that includes Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea, and Khristian Dentley, as well as original members Mervyn Warren and Cedric Dent. The group has performed with and won praise from megastars such as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Whitney Houston.
Take 6 has headlined some of the greatest concerts and festivals on almost every continent in the world. This is in addition to ten Grammy Awards, ten Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award, and a Gospel Music Hall of Fame induction.
H.E.R isn’t the only female artist catching flack for copyright issues. Dancehall artist Shenseea and her label, Interscope Records, were hit with a $10 million copyright lawsuit for her hit single, “Lick”. The song is on her new album Alpha and features Megan Thee Stallion.