NICKI MINAJ $450k DEFEAT IN LAWSUIT WITH LEGENDARY BLACK SONGWRITER
The two-year-old case between rap icon Nicki Minaj and legendary songwriter Tracy Chapman was decided on Monday.
The case began in October 2018 after Tracy Chapman sued Nicki Minaj for using her lyrics and vocal melody in her song "SORRY." Chapman claimed that she originally used the lyrics in her 1988 piece, "Baby, Can I?”
Although Chapman's team admitted that Nicki Minaj sent a formal request to use Chapman's song, the offer was turned down, as she has always responded to those with such requests. Nicki Minaj later claimed she was ignorant that Chapman's song was used though she later did not include "sorry" in that album. Nevertheless, the song had been leaked and played on various stations.
On Thursday 7th of January 2021, the U.S district court in California stated that Chapman had accepted Minaj's offer of judgment, which meant she'd pay a sum of $450,000 to Chapman.
Reacting to the settlement, Chapman said, "I am glad to have this matter resolved and grateful for this legal outcome, which affirms that artists' rights are protected by law and should be respected by other artists. I was asked in this situation numerous times for permission to use my song. In each instance, politely and promptly, I unequivocally said no. Ms. Minaj chose not to hear and used my composition despite my clear and express intentions.
As a songwriter and an independent publisher, I have been known to be protective of my work. I have never authorized the use of my songs for samples or requested a sample. This lawsuit was a last resort—pursued to defend me and my work and to seek protection for the creative enterprise and expression of songwriters and independent publishers like myself.”
Nicki Minaj and her team have failed to comment on the settlement while Chapman continues to earn from her years of creativity.