SONGWRITERS’ CORNER: Tracy Chapman Sues Nicki Minaj for Copyright Infringement
Rapper Nicki Minaj might have some apologizing to do over her song “Sorry.” Minaj has been sued by folk singer Tracy Chapman for copyright infringement, relating to the song “Sorry,” which Chapman alleges incorporates the lyrics and vocal melody from her song “Baby, Can I Hold You” without permission.
In the suit, obtained by CNN, Chapman claims Minaj and her representatives began reaching out in June 2018 about using the song, but Chapman denied their request, which was made after Minaj had recorded the song for her album “Queen.”
“Sorry” was not included on “Queen,” which released in August.
According to Chapman’s suit, Minaj, however, provided a copy of the song to a popular New York DJ at HOT 97, a hip-hop radio station. Chapman claims the DJ subsequently promoted the song’s release on his social media channels and played it on air.
Minaj has not responded to the suit. But the suit does make mention of a now-deleted tweet from Minaj in which — prior to her album’s release — acknowledged struggling with whether or not to keep the song on her album, as doing so would have delayed “Queen’s” release.
Grammy-winner Chapman, who was a staple of the late ’80s and ’90s music scene, is best known for her songs “Fast Car” and “Give Me One Reason.”
CNN’s Cheri Mossburg contributed to this story.
By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN