Alicia Keys is being sued over 'Girl on Fire'.
Songwriter Earl Shuman claims the singer's latest track bears similarities to his and Leon Carr's 1962 composition 'Lonely Boy', best known for being recorded in 1972 by Eddie Holman under the title 'Hey There Lonely Girl'.
The part of the song Earl is concerned with is in the middle section, where Alicia sings: "Nobody knows that she's a lonely girl / And it's a lonely world / But she's gonna let it burn, baby, burn, baby, burn."
Earl claims the particular way in which Alicia sings the words "lonely girl" are reminiscent of his hit.
He was initially alerted to the track by blogger Roger Friedman, who wrote: "In the middle of the song, Alicia sings a couplet or so from Eddie Holman's 1970 classic 'Hey There Lonely Girl'.
"Keys only uses two seconds of the original, but it helps make her record." He also called the use of the words an uncredited sample.
Although Earl has filed a complaint of copyright infringement, his lawsuit has little further evidence to back up his claims.
If a court rules a sample or section of 'Lonely Boy' has been used without permission, Alicia could face losing royalties from both the track and the 'Girl on Fire' album it appears on.
Speaking about the recording process of her album, Alicia said: "Before making this record, in some ways I felt like a lion locked in a cage... I felt like a girl misunderstood that no one really knew, I felt like it was time to stop making excuses for any part of my life that I wanted to change. Once I made that choice I became a Girl on Fire, the lion broke free! (sic)"
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