The Weeknd Denies Stealing "Starboy" Beat From Somali-American Singer
It seems as if The Weeknd can't catch a break when it comes to Starboy. The singer, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, has been attached to a number of lawsuits centered around his hit record. Recently it was announced that three songwriters from the U.K. were suing Tesfaye over "A Loney Night," a track featured on Starboy, alleging that it sounds identical to their single, "I Need To Love." They're reportedly suing for $150,000 and unspecified damages.
After Starboy became a global hit, Tesfaye linked up with Marvel to create a comic of the same name, and before he knew it, he was hit with another lawsuit. A comic book writer by the name of Eymun Talasazan reportedly claimed that he first created a character named "Starboy" way back in 2015. According to Talasazan, he was in the midst of creating a universe for his character when Marvel released their Weeknd collaboration. The writer also said that he had contact with Tesfaye about blending their characters, but in the end, he said he wasn't included. He's suing for copyright infringement.
Tesfaye also found himself being sued by Yasminah, a Somali-American poet and activist, who said that the singer stole the beat from her song "Jewel of My Life," also known as "Hooyo." Yasminah claimed that her song may not be a chart-topping hit, but it is popular among East African communities in North America. She says Tesfaye used her beat for his hit song "Starboy" and that he learned about it because of his Canadian, Ethiopian immigrant parents.
According to Yasminah, her lawyer reached a settlement about the case but her label kept the money. She's suing Tesfaye, Daft Punk, and Republic Records for $5 million. In new documents, Tesfaye has requested that the entire case be thrown out. He says "Starboy" was "created independently" without taking beats from anyone. He denies all allegations of wrongdoing.