Miley Cyrus sued for stealing lyrics

NEW YORK • Miley Cyrus has been hit with a financial "wrecking ball" after she was sued for US$300 million (S$390 million) on Tuesday by a Jamaican songwriter, who said the pop singer's 2013 smash We Can't Stop closely resembles a song he recorded 25 years earlier.

Michael May, who performs as Flourgon, said his 1988 song We Run Things has been "a favourite for lovers of reggae music worldwide" since reaching No. 1 in his home country and that about 50 per cent of We Can't Stop comes from him.

He accused Cyrus, 25, and her label RCA Records, owned by Sony, of misappropriating his material, including the phrase, "We run things. Things no run we", which she sings as "We run things. Things don't run we".

May said he sought to protect his work last year with the United States Copyright Office and, in November, won "formal protection" for all musical arrangements in We Run Things.

The Kingston, Jamaica, resident is also seeking a halt to further sales and performances of We Can't Stop, according to his complaint filed with a court in Manhattan.

We Can't Stop, from Cyrus' album Bangerz, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013, with the single Wrecking Ball a major smash too.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2018, with the headline 'Miley Cyrus sued for stealing lyrics'. Print Edition | Subscribe