Alicia Keys is being sued by songwriter Earl Shuman over her new single ‘Girl On Fire’. Shuman claims that the lyrics of the song bear similarities to those of his 1962 composition ‘Lonely Girl’, written with Leon Carr and best known via Eddie Holman’s 1970 version under the name ‘Hey There Lonely Girl’.
To be honest, if I thought some of my lyrics sounded a bit like some as bad as the ones in ‘Girl On Fire’, I’d stay quiet about it, but it’s only a very small bit of Keys’ track that Shuman says has been lifted from his song.
The similarity was apparently first brought to his attention via an article on Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411 website, in which the entertainment journalist stated: “In the middle of the song, Alicia sings a couplet or so from Eddie Holman’s 1970 classic ‘Hey There Lonely Girl’. The song was written by Leon Carr and Earl Shuman, who are both gone to rock and rock and roll heaven … Keys only uses two seconds of the original, but it helps make her record”.
Shuman subsequently got in touch with Friedman, firstly to point out that he’s not dead, and secondly so say that he’s not amused with Keys borrowing his words and that he is now getting his lawyer on the case. Previously both Anita Baker and Beastie Boys have used unaccredited samples from Holman’s recording of ‘Lonely Girl’, both subsequently reaching settlements with Shuman and the estate of Leon Carr.