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A lawsuit against Lizzo claims she used audio from a relative’s funeral without permission on her 2016 song “Coconut Oil.”
Mutual relative Orlandus Dunning of Detroit alleges that the artist used snippets of a hymn he sang during a funeral, and he’s now seeking $750,000 after suffering “anguish, embarrassment and outrage,” according to The Detroit News.
Dunning, who is an elder in the Church of God In Christ, is suing Lizzo, Atlantic Records, Atlantic subsidiary Nice Life Recording Co., and Warner Music Group Corp. The lawsuit was moved Friday to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after he filed it in Wayne Circuit Court in December.
The lawsuit claims that Dunning had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” that his singing at the funeral would not be heard publicly, and that he was later embarrassed when confronted by his church about the sample, as he allegedly would not have consented to be on the track. It claims he was recorded without his knowledge.
“When Plaintiff sang the devotional, it was at a private funeral and done for the specific purpose of uplifting his family and friends during their time of bereavement,” the lawsuit reads.
Complex has reached out to a representative for Lizzo for comment
“Coconut Oil,” the titular track on Lizzo’s six-song 2016 EP, closes off the project, which features single “Good As Hell,” a track that later peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Coconut Oil” itself did not chart, but the EP placed at No. 31 on the Billboard 200.
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