The Rolling Stone Blog

Usher Accused of Plagiarism

The Rolling Stone Blog

Usher is being accused of plagiarism
by a songwriter who claims the singer's 2004 Number One hit "Burn" rips
off one of his own compositions. Last month, a California federal judge
found that there was sufficient evidence to suggest that Usher and
co-producer Jermaine Dupri had access to complainant Ernest Lee
Straughter's 1998 song "Reasons."

The judge also accepted a
musicologist's report demonstrating the similarities between the two
songs, which share a "highly unusual" 18-bar intro, strikingly similar
arrangements, melodies and vocal phrasing.

Photos: Usher at Essence Music Festival 2011

It
is believed that Usher had access to Straughter's material through
Warren G, who had collaborated with both men. Usher and his attorneys
have filed papers in the hopes of convincing U.S. District Court Judge
Christina Snyder that Warren G had no connection to the creation of
"Burn" and that the singer was not familiar with Straughter's work. If
she is not persuaded, the case is likely to go in front of a jury.

 

Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

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