Miley Cyrus has been slapped with a lawsuit alleging that her 2013 tune “We Can’t Stop” rips off an earlier song by a Jamaican composer.
In his suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in New York, Michael May, aka Flourgon, says that he wrote the song “We Run Things” in the ’80s, and that the song was a No. 1 hit in Jamaica, and “was additionally met with great acclaim in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America.” (You can hear it above.)
May’s song contains the phrase ‘We run things. Things no run we.'” Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop,” meanwhile, contains the chorus hook “We run things. Things don’t run we.”
The suit also contends that “We Can’t Stop” is “largely rooted in Caribbean musical influence” and features “a theme of defiant audaciousness in the realm of self-discovery and self-governance. The entire theme of ‘We Can’t Stop’ would be hollow in sound and impact, and would fail to achieve… success without the unique thrust of authenticity and the substantially similar theme of/provided by Plaintiff May’s original, protected content.”
TheWrap has reached out to Cyrus label RCA, also named as a defendant in the suit, for comment.
The suit seeks a judicial determination that May’s copyright has been infringed, as well as unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.