Throughout the annals of pop music history there have been several songs titled "Somebody to Love," including certifiable classics by Queen and Jefferson Airplane. Pop sensation Justin Bieber released a track bearing that title in 2010; it became his fourth consecutive top 20 hit and was subsequently released as a remix featuring the Bieb's mentor, Usher. Then Usher released his own version of the track, with him on lead vocals and Justin in the featured role.
Both artists got a lot of mileage out of the track, and now two songwriters are suing Usher and Bieber for $10 million, claiming they stole their song, TheWrap reports. In a complaint filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Devin Copeland (who performs under the stage name De Rico) and songwriter Mareio Overton claim they wrote a song titled "Somebody to Love," and De Rico released it on his album My Story II in 2008. De Rico's track can heard HERE for compare-and-contrast purposes.
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In the suit, the duo claims that through connections, they met Usher's momanger Jonetta Patton, who passed the song to her son. Usher even recorded a demo version of the track. The complaint claims the Bieber/Usher recordings have several similarities to the Copeland/Overton version, including the title, time signature, and chorus hook, as well as "call and response" passages and the use of "strategic silence."
Although there's been no public response from the Usher or Bieber camps about the suit, a little research reveals that Usher doesn't even have a songwriting credit on the track. It was written by Heather Bright and the Stereotypes, who brought it to Usher. Bright has also written songs for Britney Spears and Karmin, while the songwriting trio known as the Stereotypes has penned hits for Danity Kane, Mary J. Blige, and Ne-Yo.
In a 2010 interview with Rap-Up.com, the Stereotypes' Jonathan Yip confirmed that Usher originally recorded the track and someone else of note suggested that Bieber record the song. "He cut it and everything, but I guess the label didn’t know what they wanted to do with the record," Yip said. "So the same day we were actually creating the record, we had Perez Hilton in the studio. He was like, 'Ya know what, that would be good for Justin Bieber.' And we were like, 'Hey, we’d love for it to be for Justin Bieber as well.'"
So if this case ever goes to court, it'll be one heck of an interesting trial. Paging Perez Hilton, can you testify for the Bieb?