Justin Bieber, Canadian singer/songwriter and magnet for moms and tween girls alike, is now getting some very much unwanted attention. Bieber and his equally famous mentor, R&B singer Usher, were just accused of ripping off Bieber’s song “Somebody to Love.” Singer Devin Copeland and songwriter Mareio Overton say they wrote the piece, and are asking for a cool $10 million for copyright infringement, Reuters says. Let’s hope that seeing Justin Bieber sued won’t drive superfans to extreme measures.
According to Wikipedia, “Somebody to Love” was written by a songwriting group called the Stereotypes. Usher recorded the song for his 2010 album Raymond vs. Raymond, but instead of including the song on the album, Usher and the Stereotypes ended up offering it to Bieber.
The track was released as part of Bieber’s 2010 album My World 2.0. On the album, the song is credited to the Stereotypes and Heather Bright. A second remix version of the song was included on Usher’s next album, Versus.
“Somebody to Love” was never a single and was certainly not one of Bieber’s bestsellers. The song peaked at #15 on the Billboard Top 100 and #10 on the Canadian Hot 100.
According to Devin Copeland and Mareio Overton, “Somebody to Love” originated in their heads. Devin Copeland, known by his stage name “Devin the Dude,” has a significant underground following out of his hometown of Houston as a rapper, while Mareio Overton is a songwriter or little current notoriety (even Google has no idea who he is). The pair claim to have written “Somebody to Love” in 2008, after which it allegedly made it to Usher’s camp.
Usher’s mother, who also serves as his manager, allegedly contacted Copeland in 2009 to invite him to record the song with Usher and go on tour with him. After that fateful conversation, communication with Usher’s representation reportedly ceased. A year later, Copeland and Overton say they heard Bieber singing their song on the radio.
Copeland and Overton filed their suit in the Virginia U.S. District Court last week. The suit names 19 defendants, including Bieber, Usher, Usher’s mother, and several recording companies. “There is essentially a zero probability for the number of points of congruence between the two versions of ‘Somebody to Love,’” the lawsuit reportedly reads, citing similarities in chord progressions, lyrics, and tempo. Copeland and Overton are seeking $10 million for the alleged copyright infringement.