New Orleans group sues Beyoncé for copyright infringement over 'Break My Soul'

Da Showstoppaz allege that their music was illegally sampled by Big Freedia and Beyoncé.

You will never break her soul, but you may see her in court. Beyoncé is being sued for copyright infringement by New Orleans group Da Showstoppaz, who say that their song "Release a Wiggle" was illegally sampled in Big Freedia's 2014 track "Explode," which Beyoncé in turn sampled on her 2022 single "Break My Soul."

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Da Showstoppaz members Tessa Avie, Keva Bourgeois, Henri Braggs, and Brian Clark filed the lawsuit in Louisiana federal court this week, alleging that they are owed compensation from both Big Freedia and Beyoncé for the unlicensed use of their music.

Representatives for Beyoncé did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

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<p>Kevin Mazur/WireImage</p>

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

"Defendants used Plaintiffs’ words, melody, and musical arrangement from their copyrighted works to create an album as homage to 'uncle Johnny' who exposed the music and culture of the LGBTQ community of greater New Orleans," the complaint reads, evoking the story Beyoncé herself has told about the creation of her Renaissance album, "of which three members are strongly affiliated with themselves, all displayed in its full force — the tone, actual words, melody, musical arrangement of bounce music."

The complaint continues, "Da Showstoppaz’s contribution to the New Orleans bounce music scene and usage of the actual words, melody, and musical arrangement of the 'Release A Wiggle' were deliberately taken by Big Freedia in the recording of 'Explode,' which was subsequently heavily sampled by Mrs. Carter in the master recording of 'Break My Soul.'”

Related: On Beyoncé's Renaissance: To be queer, gifted, and Black…oh what a lovely, precious dream

Da Showstoppaz's music is admittedly hard to find on Spotify and similar websites, although a version of "Release a Wiggle" does seem to exist on YouTube.

The members of Da Showstoppaz are seeking a jury trial, an admission that their work was used without credit, and a share of royalties from "Break My Soul," "Explode," and Renaissance (which was turned into both a massive world tour and successful concert film by Beyoncé).

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.