Beyoncé is being sued by the estate of a YouTube personality for allegedly sampling one of his videos without permission in her hit single "Formation."
One minute into Beyoncé's "Formation" video, a voice can be heard saying, "Ooh, baby, oh yes, I like that." The lawsuit alleges that the sample is taken without authorization from a 2010 video made by Anthony Barré, who performed and published videos under the stage name Messy Mya.
A YouTube comedian and rapper from New Orleans, Barré was shot and killed in November 2010, two months after releasing the video that Beyoncé allegedly sampled.
"The Estate of Anthony Barré alleges that Beyonce Knowles Carter, Parkwood Entertainment, LLC, Sony Music Entertainment and others produced, distributed, publicly performed, used and otherwise exploited the voice, words and performance of the late Anthony Barré, also known as Messy Mya, without authorization in the extremely popular 'Formation' recording," the estate's lawyers wrote in a statement. "Barré was a well-known performance comedian, music artist and MC in New Orleans. He is very closely associated with the Bounce music phenomenon in New Orleans. There are more than a hundred videos documenting his performance, statements, comedic routines, etc."
Barré's estate is seeking $20 million in back royalties from sales of "Formation" and other damages.