Beyoncé Faces Copyright Controversy Over “Break My Soul”

Beyoncé is facing a copyright lawsuit over her hit song “Break My Soul.” The lawsuit was filed by a New Orleans group called Da Showstoppaz, who accuse the pop star of copyright infringement on her “Renaissance” track. The dispute originates from Beyoncé‘s 2022 song, which samples Big Freedia. The group claims that Big Freedia unlawfully used lyrics from their 2002 track “Release A Wiggle.”

Members Tessa Avie, Keva Bourgeois, Henri Braggs, and Brian Clark filed the complaint in a Louisiana federal court on May 22. They allege that Beyoncé sampled Big Freedia’s 2014 track “Explode,” which unlawfully incorporated “copyrighted lyrics, melody, and musical arrangement” from their own song, making its use in “Break My Soul” illegal. The lawsuit names Beyoncé, Big Freedia, Sony Music, Jay-Z, and others as defendants.

The suit claims, “Defendants used Plaintiffs’ words, melody, and musical arrangement from their copyrighted works to create an album as homage to ‘Uncle Johnny,’ who introduced the music and culture of the LGBTQ community of greater New Orleans, to which three members have strong ties, fully showcasing the tone, actual words, melody, and musical arrangement of bounce music,” according to Rolling Stone.