Copyright Suit Says John Legend Stole Song

By Dale W. Eisinger
|  Saturday, Jul 9, 2011  |  Updated 7:28 PM PDT
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Copyright Suit Says John Legend Stole Song

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John Legend's "Wake Up!" won for Best R&B Album and his "Hang On In There" won for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. He headlined a show at Petco Park in November

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A copyright infringement suit was filed against crooner John Legend Tuesday in New Jersey District Court.

Anthony Stokes alleges that in 2004 he met Legend after a concert at the University of North Carolina. He says he gave Legend a demo tape of his track "Where Are You Now?" with the hopes the Grammy-winner would check it out. He was then shocked to hear Legend's 2006 track "Maxine's Interlude," which sounded remarkably similar, E! Online reports.

We can't really say where Legend's inspiration comes from - or where inspiration comes from, in general - but a quick listen of the tracks at the E! story reveals more than a couple similarities. Both Legend's "Maxine's Interlude" and Stoke's "Where Are You Now?" feature lilting piano, similar tonalities, and the main lyrical theme.

"My client was a college student at UNC and attended the school homecoming concert  by John Legend," Stokes' attorney, Louis D. Tambaro, told E! News. "There was a meet and greet afterwards and my client, being a fan and aspiring songwriter himself, presented Mr. Legend with a demo of his original...copyrighted work."

The legal team seeks damages relating to the recording, and the performance of the song, as it "featured heavily" in Legend's 2008 live shows.
 

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