Chapman sues Minaj

Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj

LOS ANGELES • Nicki Minaj (above) may now be feeling sorry that she had recorded Sorry.

On Monday, folk singer Tracy Chapman sued the rapper for allegedly copying her lyrics and a melody.

Chapman claimed that Sorry was partially lifted from her own 1988 hit Baby Can I Hold You.

In the lawsuit, she said Minaj and her agents made "multiple requests" starting in June this year to license the song - after Sorry had already been recorded.

Even though Chapman "repeatedly" rejected those requests, Minaj provided a copy of Sorry to a radio-station DJ, the suit alleged.

In a July tweet that she later deleted, Minaj wrote that a song on her now-released album, Queen, featured one of "the greatest rappers of all time", but that she had "no clue it sampled the legend #TracyChapman".

Chapman's lawsuit, which referenced that tweet, noted that "Minaj wrongfully deprived Chapman of the right and opportunity to decide whether to allow the use of the composition and, if so, on what terms".

Baby Can I Hold You was featured on Chapman's self-titled debut album and led to numerous accolades, including her 1989 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album and a nomination for Album of the Year.

Chapman said her song's lyrics and vocal melody accounted for about half of Sorry and were "easily recognisable as her.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2018, with the headline 'Chapman sues Minaj'. Print Edition | Subscribe