A new round of copyright infringement charges has been leveled against Sam Smith.
Lawsuit claims that Sam Smith and Normani plagiarized parts of “Dancing With Strangers” by Jordan Vincent for the 2019 duet titled “Dancing With a Stranger,” according to Rolling Stone.
As per a music magazine, composers Vincent, Christopher Miranda, and Rosco Banlaoi filed a lawsuit in federal court in LA on Friday, claiming that their songs have the identical chorus and musical composition.
“The hook/chorus in both songs — the most significant part and artistic aspect of these works — contains the lyrics ‘dancing with a stranger’ being sung over a nearly identical melody and musical composition,” the lawsuit reads. Complaints also point to parallels in the music videos, citing a comparison of the two.
“Both videos consist of a girl performing interpretive dance alone in a minimalist studio, interspersed with shots of the male vocalist,” the complaint reads. “A girl dancing alone is not an obvious visual theme for a music video titled ‘Dancing With a Stranger,’ tending to dispel any notion that this similarity is a coincidence. When the extraordinary musical similarity between the songs is also factored in, it becomes even more apparent that it is impossible that the infringing composition and sound recording were independently created.”
EW reached out to Smith and Normani for comment, but they are yet to respond to it.
This is Smith’s second run-in with high-profile copyright infringement claims. A lawsuit filed by Tom Petty in 1989 about the melodic similarity between Smith’s “Stay With Me” and Tom Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down” was resolved in 2015. As a result of the agreement, Petty and Jeff Lynne received a share of Smith’s song’s royalties. The songwriting honors were also shared between the two of them.
As defendants in the ‘Dancing With a Stranger’ legal action are Sony Music Group, EMI Music Publishing, and Universal Music Group, and damages for claimed infringement are sought in both actual and punitive amounts.
“Defendants were given every chance to come up with an innocent explanation, but, despite assurances that a response was coming including a musicological analysis and report, the defendants never issued a response,” the complaint reads. “This suit is being filed as a last resort.”