Beyonce Strikes To Slay ‘Formation’ Lawsuit

Published: Tuesday 18th Apr 2017 by Sam

Beyonce has got her legal team in ‘Formation’ in a bid to squash a lawsuit levelled against her for the 2016 hit.

The superstar singer, who is heavily pregnant with twins, was sued by a relative of deceased New Orleans comedian Messy Mya (real name Anthony Barre) back in February. She wasn’t the only name listed on the suit – pretty much everyone connected with the track and its video were served papers.

So what was the issue?

In the ‘Formation’ visual, Mya’s voice is heard twice – first at the start of the clip (“What happened at the New Orleans”) and later on (“B*tch, I’m back by popular demand.”)

The suit, filed by his sister Angel Barre, claims the samples infringe the rights in two works of Barre’s performance art, ‘A 27 Piece Huh?’ and ‘Booking the Hoes from New Wildin.’ Angel seeks royalties, damages and an order that her brother be credited as a writer, composer, producer and artist on the ‘Lemonade’ lead single.

Bey’s team say not so fast. 

Her attorney Mary Ellen Roy makes an important point clear from the onset about the production company that produced the video – Pretty Bird:

“[W]hile beyond the scope of this motion, Pretty Bird licensed the YouTube Videos from Mr. Barré’s family before plaintiff Angel Barré had herself appointed as the administrator of the Estate of Anthony Barré weeks after the Music Video’s premiere — presumably for the purpose of bringing this action.”

Roy goes on to stress that Barre’s sister has grossly overstated the use of her brother’s work in the clip and its subsequent use during live performances. She notes that the claim erroneously includes ‘Super Bowl 50,’ during which Beyonce performed the song but didn’t even use the clip of his voice.

As for the use of Mya’s speech in the video and live performances on the ‘Formation World Tour,’ Bey’s motion to dismiss hits back with the fact that just 6-10 seconds were used on each occasion. Hence, it ultimately falls under the protection of Fair Use. And if it didn’t, that wouldn’t matter as the proper licences were secured by the production company ahead of time.


Sounds like Bey a strong case. But time will tell how it all plays out.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Bey ? April 18, 2017

    THe irony in her refusing to pay black creatives for work she used to make a song to celebrate black people. She knows she needs to give them money because his voice helped to sell the song. Bey I love you but wrong is wrong.

    • Lovett April 18, 2017

      I’m confused “Bey”, did you just not read the article or something? Everything was correctly licensed and paid for. This woman is now trying to get MORE money, for absolutely no reason. If you really loved her, you’d read the article properly and not make such stupid comments.

    • NahGurl April 18, 2017

      Cab you read ? She payed them and secured the rights Mya team is trying to be messy. Reading is fundamental

      • meme April 18, 2017

        Cleary Lovett NahGurl didn’t read. She neverpaid his family anything. She simply got licsening from youtube…which I assure you didn’t make the family any money. Beyond the usage in the video, she use his voice on her whole tour. You cant get youtube approval for that sweetheart.

    • Jasmine April 18, 2017

      I agree with meme. I have gotten licensing from youtube for some work I produced and I did not have pay a dime. All this time I thought that was Big Freedia’s voice in the video so I feel stupid now. I’m proud of Beyonce for finally fighting back against this lawsuit. This will likely end with the family either accepting a settlement Beyonce’s team comes up or taking Beyonce to court and losing. “Pretty Bird licensed the YouTube Videos from Mr. Barré’s family” so any legal claim Angel Barre has would have to be paid by Angel Barre’s family which signed a licensing deal over to Beyonce.

  2. meme April 18, 2017

    greedy, you clearly used the man voice in your video, pay his family their coins. PERIOD! I don’t care what no one says. Messy Mya’s voice set the tone for the mood and esthetic of the video. You cant just steal/use someones art for gain and expect not to pay. this is the problem with mega stars. always using art from freelancers for free while you make your millions

    • MUSICHEAD April 18, 2017

      What part of this are you not understanding? Beyonce and her team licensed the song from the man’s family. That means, his family negotiated a rate for her to use the song and she paid it. Maybe the family wasn’t smart enough to ask for more or maybe they didn’t anticipate Formation being a big hit when they agreed to let her use his vocals. Maybe they should have consulted a lawyer to negotiate publishing rights for her use of the song BEFORE they gave it to her. Either way, Beyonce covered her ass and this is just going to be one of those hard lessons learned for the family.

  3. Lea April 18, 2017

    This lil gul stay getting sued!

  4. Omar April 18, 2017

    That’s not the first time They sue Beyoncé for things that she alrealdy payed , that’s why she always win.. These people are haters.

  5. HailLegendBeysus April 18, 2017

    They’ll lose! Sony isn’t letting that family walk away with that $20m they asked for. Beyoncé has a strong case and clearly did everything by the book. I said this along time ago when this lawsuit first came into fruition.

    This woman gave a 33% writing credit to an Indie music group for 6 words that were similar to their lines in one of their songs.

  6. RihYonce April 18, 2017

    They stay suing Bey for sh*t she’s already payed for which is why she always win. People are just greedy.

  7. truthteller April 18, 2017

    People, it’s paid not payed

    • Music lover April 18, 2017

      Hahahahahahahq…PAID NOT PAYED…

    • gina April 18, 2017

      you forget youre dealing with beyonces roaches. theyre not the smartest insects in the roach motel, just like their bug queen lol.

    • DanYiel Iman April 18, 2017

      RIGHT READING ? THAT WAS ANNOYING ME!! lol I’m like please someone say PAID once!!

  8. Career Ender April 18, 2017

    why would you be angry at Queen Beyonce using your voice?
    how iconic is that?
    and im sure the g-ay guy never made no money from that you tube video of his
    them hoodrats better find work and stop trying to eat off Beyonce

    • gina April 18, 2017

      how bout telling thief to use her own work and she wont be dragged into court every week for stealing so much. so typical for you roaches to blame the victim and not the scammer.

  9. gina April 18, 2017

    maybe if the b*tch wrote her OWN songs & used her OWN creativity, she wouldnt be getting sued for being a thief so much.

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