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Lizzo faces controversy over lyrics in hit song

by Courtney Deeren
Thu, Mar 26th 2020 04:00 pm
American pop superstar Lizzo faces controversy over lyrics she allegedly stole a famous lyric. The line comes from her song `Truth Hurts,` the singer was initially served with a lawsuit in October.
American pop superstar Lizzo faces controversy over lyrics she allegedly stole a famous lyric. The line comes from her song "Truth Hurts," the singer was initially served with a lawsuit in October.

Fans have touted Billboard topping pop star Lizzo for her body positivity and feminist messages within her music. What those fans may not know about is Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, is that she has been in quite a bit of legal trouble throughout her short career. 

Recently it has come out that Lizzo is being sued by three men who claim to have had a hand in writing the hit song “Truth Hurts.” 

“Justin and Jeremiah Raisen, who were sued by Lizzo in October, claim that the hit song’s key line came from another song they had written with her,” The New York Times reported. 

In order to get the full story, however, one must look all the way back to October 2019 when the first issue arose. 

Buzzfeed News reported on the first issue that arose with the song “Truth Hurts.” British performer Mina Lioness — who had been in a months-long battle with Lizzo and the singer’s management — said in a tweet, “I just took a DNA Test, turns out I'm a credited writer for the number one song on Billboard.” 

All this came about after Lioness tweeted “I did a DNA test and found out I’m 100% that b----” a mere seven months before the hit song with a similar lyric was released. This led to Lioness claiming Lizzo stole the tweet and used it in her song. 

Lizzo denied this accusation saying, “I’ve never seen this before in my life. That’s crazy.” 

This whole ordeal led to the current issue Lizzo is facing with the Raisen brothers. They are asking for credits on the song, claiming the aforementioned lyric was used in an unreleased track called “Healthy” from an April 2017 studio session with Lizzo and other songwriters. 

According to Variety, the brother’s attorney released a statement saying, “Lizzo is a talented musician and performer who currently enjoys immense popularity based on a hit song that she did not write alone. The counterclaims we filed today seek a judgment from the court that the song that is now called ‘Truth Hurts’ originated in Justin Raisen’s home recording studio from a collaboration among our clients, Justin and Jeremiah Raisen and Yves Rothman, along with Lizzo and Jesse Saint John. When the case proceeds to trial, we look forward to sharing the sound recordings, videos, photographs and musicology that 100% prove that collaboration. Our clients deserve their fair share of the recognition and revenue that comes from collaborating on a hit song.” 

The countersuit saw a musicologist find “strikingly similar lyric and musical elements” in the songs. Both open with “I just did a DNA test / turns out I’m a 100% that b----.” The countersuit claims there are other musical similarities as well. 

Previously, Lizzo’s lawyers claimed the brothers had given Lizzo a written statement saying she was allowed to use the lyrics. When the claims first became public, Lizzo posted on social media: “The men who now claim a piece of ‘Truth Hurts’ did not help me write any part of the song. They had nothing to do with the line or how I chose to sing it. There was no one in the room when I wrote ‘Truth Hurts,’ except me, Ricky Reed and my tears.” 

While Lizzo fought this battle over her music, she was also facing another legal issue. On Sept. 16, 2019, Lizzo tweeted, “Hey @Postmates this girl Tiffany W. stole my food she lucky I don’t fight no more.” Lizzo included a photo of the delivery person. The next day, she deleted the tweet and posted an apology. 

Lizzo was then hit with a federal lawsuit for libel by the former Postmates driver Tiffany Wells. 

While all this controversy is concerning, it might call attention to the fact that celebrities are just people who have flaws and are learning their place. 

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