In 2008, a song called “I Need Love” by a trio of British songwriters (William Smith, Scott McCulloch, and Brian Clover) was involved in Universal Music Group’s acquisition of Big Life Music. Fast forward 11 years and now, the songwriters are suing The Weeknd, a Universal Music Group artist, for allegedly ripping off their song with his Starboy track “A Lonely Night.”
Clover first heard the song while shopping at UK clothing store Topman, when he noticed similarities between the track and “I Need Love.” After that, the three filed a lawsuit with the Central District of California on April 3 for “unspecified damages” against The Weeknd, Universal Music, Warner Bros. Music Corp., and others. According to court documents, Universal told the songwriters in 2016 that “their songs had not been exploited and would relinquish the rights to their music going forward.”
This is not the first time The Weeknd’s work has been involved in a legal battle. Last year, it was revealed that he was fighting for the trademark to the name of the Starboy album, because a realtor named Eymun Talasazan filed for a trademark for the name after The Weeknd released his album.
Listen to a key-matched comparison of the two songs below.