AceShowbiz - Sam Smith and Normani Kordei have found themselves caught in legal trouble. The English singer and the former Fifth Harmony member have been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit over their joint single, "Dancing With a Stranger".
Filing the suit were songwriters Jordan Vincent, Christopher Miranda and Rosco Banlaoi, according to Rolling Stone. In the complaint submitted in federal court in Los Angeles on Friday, March 4, the plaintiffs accused Sam and Normani of copying essential elements from Jordan's 2017 song "Dancing With Strangers".
"The hook/chorus in both songs - the most significant part and artistic aspect of these works - contains the lyrics 'dancing with a stranger' being sung over a nearly identical melody and musical composition," so read the docs. "Both videos consist of a girl performing interpretive dance alone in a minimalist studio, interspersed with shots of the male vocalist."
"A girl dancing alone is not an obvious visual theme for a music video titled 'Dancing With A Stranger,' tending to dispel any notion that this similarity is a coincidence," it added. "When the extraordinary musical similarity between the songs is also factored in, it becomes even more apparent that it is impossible that the infringing composition and sound recording were independently created."
The plaintiffs believed that Sam, their co-writers Tor Erik Hermansen and James John Napier, and members of Normani's team, had access to Jordan's track and its visuals through Thrive Records. The label allegedly received the materials in 2015.
"As a result of defendants' exploitation of plaintiff's song without permission, they obtained a massive international hit single which generated significant revenue and profits," the lawsuit stated. Jordan, who also named Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group and EMI Music Publishing as defendants, is seeking real and punitive damages.
This was not the first time Sam got slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit. In 2015, they reportedly had settled a lawsuit with Tom Petty over melodic similarities between their 2014 hit "Stay With Me" and Tom's 1989 song "I Won't Back Down." As a result, Tom and co-writer Jeff Lynne received a percentage of the royalties from Sam's song and were also given songwriting credits on the track.