Beyoncé and Big Freedia Sued for Alleged ‘Break My Soul’ Copyright Infringement

Beyoncé and Big Freedia are being sued for alleged “willful copyright infringement, unfair trade practices, and unjust enrichment” over the 2022 song “Break My Soul.”

According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, the New Orleans-based group Da Showstoppaz claims that Big Freedia, and later Beyoncé, took the phrase “Release a Wiggle” from the group’s 2002 song of the same name without permission or credit to both “Break My Soul” and Big Freedia’s 2014 song, “Explode.”

According to court documents, “Big Freedia deliberately took the use of the actual words, melody and musical arrangement of “Release a Wiggle” in the recording of ‘Explode,’ which was subsequently heavily sampled by Ms. Carter in the master. recording of ‘Break My Soul’.” The lawsuit was filed in Louisiana.

Representatives for Beyoncé, Big Freedia and Da Showstoppaz did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

The lawsuit also alleges that Da Showstoppaz, consisting of Tessa Avie, Keva Bourgeois, Henri Braggs and Brian Clark, was not given credit amid their enormous success. “Defendants did not acknowledge his contribution, obtain permission to use his copyrighted lyrics, melodies, and musical arrangements, or provide compensation to Da Showstoppaz,” they read.

Showstoppaz filed the lawsuit for “willful appropriation of his work” and requests that “defendants be required to substantiate any ill-gotten gains attributable to their infringement, and to cease and desist from continued unauthorized use of their works, and to provide royalties.” credit and compensation. , assets and interests.”

Court documents state that members of Da Showstoppaz have a “protectable copyright interest” in the “musical composition and sound recording of Da Showstoppaz’s original and unique works, ‘Release a Wiggle’.”

Beyoncé sampled Big Freedia’s 2014 song “Explode” on “Break My Soul,” her first single. Renaissance album. “Break My Soul” would receive four Grammy nominations and win best dance/electronic recording in 2023.

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