Katy Perry is having an epic summer thanks to her smash hit “California Gurls,” which has sold more than 3 million copies already and topped the singles charts for weeks. But the soon-to-be-wed pop star and Rolling Stone cover girl may end up sharing some of the proceeds from that track with the pop icons who first sang the praises of West Coast beauties.
According to the New York Post, representatives for the Beach Boys are threatening to sue Perry for including the classic line “I wish they all could be California girls” in her tune. The line is lifted from the Boys’ 1965 rock classic “California Girls,” and the paper reported that publishing reps at the Boys’ Rondor Music have sent a letter to Perry’s label demanding that the original song’s writers, Mike Love and Brian Wilson, be given a writing credit on “Gurls” as well as a share of royalties.
Spokespeople for Perry and the Beach Boys could not be reached for comment by MTV News at press time.
An unnamed recording industry source reportedly told the paper: “Rondor Music has sent a letter to Capitol on behalf of Mike Love and Brian Wilson, saying Katy has cribbed one of the most famous lyrics in history, so Love and Wilson should be entitled to a writing credit and a portion of the royalties.”
The iconic line is rapped by Snoop Dogg near the end of Perry’s song (“California girls, man/ I wish they all could be California Girls”), which, ironically, was recently praised by Love. “The subject matter is still in vogue — just ask Katy Perry. I think the part she did is pretty cool. There are a lot of writers on it, and I think it’s probably a stroke of genius to have the king of canine cool, Mr. [Snoop] Dogg, do his thing. But I think her creative part, her musical part, is pretty hooky. I think it brings the Beach Boys’ 1965 classic to mind, that’s for sure,” Love told Billboard. Wilson has called the song “infectious.”
Sources reportedly told the Post that Wilson and Love asked Rondor to send the letter, but spokespeople for the musicians said it was Rondor’s decision. “Rondor owns the track and called Brian and Mike, saying they were going to complain. Brian likes Katy’s record and doesn’t know where the situation stands,” according to Wilson’s rep, while Love’s rep added, “Mike and Brian wrote the song … but any legal action is up to Rondor.”