Keri Hilson, Mary J. Blige Sued for 2005 Hit
Mary J. Blige‘s 2005 hit ‘Take Me As I Am’ from her smash album ‘The Breakthrough’ might be almost a half-decade old, but it’s landed her in hot water. Songwriters Jay Ballard and Kim Jones filed suit against the Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul and The Clutch, the songwriting collective that includes Keri Hilson, for jacking their 1995 track of the same name. The suit, filed July 8 in the United States District Court in the Central District of California, is seeking compensation for all albums and singles sold as well as any publishing income earned from the track from its placement in advertisements.
Atlanta-based The Clutch, which consists of Candice Clotiel “Gg” Nelson, Ezekiel L “(E)Zeke” Lewis, Patrick Michael “J. Que” Smith, Balewa Muhammad and Hilson, have written tracks such as Ciara‘s ‘Like a Boy,’ Britney Spears‘ ‘Radar’ and Justin Bieber‘s ‘One Less Lonely Girl,’ has never before been sued for lifting a previously released song. Blige, on the other hand, has been sued for allegedly stealing the track ‘Work That’ off her 2007 release ‘Growing Pains.’
If the songwriting duo wins the lawsuit, they could be entitled to millions. The track, produced by Ron Fair and Infinity, was the third single off the album, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Adult R&B Airplay and getting prominently featured in an ad campaign for Chevy Tahoe. ‘The Breakthrough’ was one of Blige’s most successful albums, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 729,000 copies in its first week and going on to sell more than three million copies.