Singer Lizzo is usually seen with a big bright smile, but another lawsuit about the unlawful use of someone else’s music is poised to wipe it clear off her face.
According to the Detroit News, Orlandus Dunning, a distant relative of the singer, is set to sue the plus-size chart-topper over her alleged illegal use of parts of his voice in one of her songs.
He says because of his inclusion in her 2016 song “Coconut Oil” he has “suffered anguish, embarrassment, and outrage.”
Dunning, an elder in the Church of God In Christ, claims that the singer snuck and sampled audio from another relative’s funeral for the excerpt and wants the judge to order her and her team to pay $750,000 for its inclusion.
The lawsuit alerts, “When Plaintiff sang the devotional, it was at a private funeral and done for the specific purpose of uplifting his family and friends during their time of bereavement.”
“(Dunning) had a reasonable expectation of privacy and that his voice would not be heard publicly, as the funeral where he sang was held privately and open only to family and close friends,” it continued. The lawsuit flatly says, “recorded this audio without either (Dunning’s) knowledge or consent,” against the Plaintiff’s will.
The lawsuit also notes that he “would not have consented to the use of his voice” because “the song is contradictory to his own brand and beliefs as an ordained elder in the Church of God In Christ … organization.”
The Church of God In Christ is a Pentecostal–Holiness Christian denomination, that frowns deeply on mixing the sacred and secular.
Because of her affiliation with the COGIC church, the complaint further alleges that she “knew or should have known that portraying (Dunning) in such a light would cause him distress based on his position as an Elder in the church.”
In 2019, the 2020 Time’s Entertainer of the Year was sued over copyright allegations over her “Truth Hurts” song — a mega-hit that became Billboard‘s longest-running #1 rap song by a female artist, topping the Hot 100 list for seven weeks.
That lawsuit was dismissed on Friday, August 14th.
Listed as defendants in the “Coconut Oil” case with her are her label Atlantic Records; Nice Life Recording Co., an Atlantic subsidiary; and Warner Music Group Corp., which owns Atlantic.