Thursday, 22 September 2011
Usher accused of stealing #1 hit, Burn
Usher may face a jury after claims material from his 1998 #1 Burn was stolen from another songwriter.
Ernest Lee Straughter has offered a Californian judge evidence from a musicologist’s report that shows the track taken from Usher’s album Reasons contains substantial similarities to his 1998 track The Reasons Why. The song was written for R’n’B quartet Reel Tight who released the song as No More Pain.
Apparently the similarities include the “highly unusual” 18-bar introduction including instruments which begin at the same bars, certain phrasings and pitch and similar guitar lines.
Although Usher, Sony Music, Arista Records, EMI April Music and producer Jermaine Dupri claim they were never familiar with Straughter’s work, the judge feels both parties’ mutual collaborations with intermediary Warren G could taint their defense.
In addition to this theory, the judge has also said that Usher and Co. could have heard the track on the radio as it reached #197 on the U.S. charts for one week in 1999, despite being played just three times in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Denver.
Compare Usher’s Burn with Reel Tight’s No More Pain below.