The Weeknd Accused of Sampling British Songwriters' Song Without Permission
WENN/Derrick Salters

In their lawsuit against the 'Starboy' hitmaker, Scott McCullouch, Brian Clover and Billy Smith claims that his 'A Lonely Night' track plagiarized their 2014 song, 'I Need to Love'.

AceShowbiz - The Weeknd is facing legal action from three British songwriters who allege he copied one of their songs.

Scott McCullouch, Brian Clover and Billy Smith believe a a track from the Canadian musician's 2016 album "Starboy", "A Lonely Night", uses a key section of "I Need to Love" a song they recorded in 2004 with their then band Sonic Religion.

Clover claims he and his old bandmates had tried to sell several songs, including "I Need Love" via a record label in 2016. He alleges that two weeks before "Starboy"'s release on November 25 that year, label executives told him there were no buyers and returned the rights.

"We had the song on hold for a few things like Pop Idol but it never got used so then a label took the song on to flog it but it never got sold," he told the BBC. "So we got it back...they released the rights of the song to us."

The 47-year-old said that he had noticed the similarity between the two songs after hearing The Weeknd's track while shopping in Colchester, England and that he and his fellow songwriters had tried to resolve the matter amicably before heading to court.

He called the situation "frustrating" as his greatest ambition was always to be credited on a major artist's hit album.

Clover believes that the connection between their tracks is that an in-house songwriter at the label the trio sent their songs to also worked on "Starboy". The Brit, who now works as an estate agent, told the BBC the case has been embroiled in pre-court proceedings since January.

According to British newspaper The Sun, lawyers from U.K. firm Russells are representing The Weeknd, real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, who denies the claims.

"Starboy" topped the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart, but peaked at number five in the U.K. The record won the 28-year-old the prize for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2018 Grammy Awards.

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