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Songwriter Blasts Rihanna, Kanye Over Song Publishing

Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Songwriter Heather Bright is putting the music industry on blast for failing to acknowledge the people that write the bulk of its hits. She’s particularly singling out artists like Rihanna, Kanye West and Justin Bieber for failing to pay full publishing fees on songs they didn’t write.

“Rihanna takes publishing. Justin Bieber takes publishing. Kanye West takes publishing,” she said in an interview with Free Wired. “On all the stuff that they don’t write, they take publishing.”

Bright, who doesn’t actually cite any specific examples, co-wrote the Bieber smash ‘Somebody to Love’ as a track for Usher, yet after the song was released, she was surprised to see that the young pop star had received songwriting credit for her work. She gets no royalties when he performs the song in concert, either.

“How did he get a writing credit? That’s an interesting question,” she said. “I don’t know … You can’t be Rihanna and be producing and writing records. You just can’t be doing that. You just won’t have time. All the appearances, the performances, and the this and that. You gotta show up to record. You gotta promote the album, go on tour.”

Bright’s controversial comments actually came as a defense of Britney Spears. The songwriter co-wrote ‘Trouble for Me,’ a song off Spears’ new album, ‘Femme Fatale.’ Many music fans criticize Spears for not writing her songs, yet Bright claims Spears doesn’t take publishing royalties that don’t belong to her and called her team a “bonafide class act.”

For more on Heather Bright, a recently signed BMI songwriter, visit her blog here.


Watch Rihanna’s ‘What’s My Name?’
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