Miley Cyrus is being accused of stealing from a Caribbean songwriter for her hit “We Can’t Stop” and he wants a court order prohibiting her from continuing to profit off the infringing song.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Michael May (aka Flourgon) sued the singer in federal court in New York.
The suit claims the Jamaica-based songwriter wrote a song titled “We Run Things” back in 1988. The song allegedly became a cultural hit and garnered significant sales and popularity both domestically and in the Caribbean region.
May says the song contained the lyric, “We run things. Things no run we,” while Cyrus’s song has the lyric, “We run things, things don’t run we.”
In the lawsuit, May claims both songs have the same overarching and pervasive theme. He points out that both songs feature a theme of “defiant audaciousness in the realm of self-discovery and self-governance.”
The suit says at the time Cyrus released her song, she had reinvented herself as “edgy” and her new music had traces and hints of urban or Caribbean sound.
“Cyrus exchanged her trademark ‘good girl’ Disney profile for a gritty and hyper-sexualized image, quite often brazenly and defiantly invoking provocative and obscene statements, lyrics and dress and personal vocalizations to reflect the grittiness, aggression and sultriness associated with U.S. based hip-hop, R&B, urban and Caribbean music,” the lawsuit claims.
May points out the track has over 100 million views on VEVO and the music video has over 100 million views.
He is suing for an injunction prohibiting Cyrus from continuing to sell the track and for unspecified damages.