Thursday, April 18, 2024

“Hey There Lonely Girl” Writer Files Suit Against Alicia Keys


Alicia Keys is a Girl in Trouble today. Earl Shuman, the co-songwriter (with the late Leon Carr) of “Hey There Lonely Girl,” has filed suit against her in Los Angeles for copyright infringement. Some of the suit is based on my reporting. Hopefully musicologists will be called in, etc., experts who can testify about Keys’s use of two lines from the chorus of “Hey There Lonely Girl” in “Girl on Fire.” (The Hollywood Reporter’s Eriq Gardner reported the suit as well, mentioning my inclusion. But for some reason people at that dreadful website don’t pick up the phone and call people they’re writing about.)

Anyway, anyone who listens to “Girl on Fire” can hear Alicia sing “she’s a lonely girl/in a lonely world” about her burning subject. Why Keys or someone with her didn’t just clear this sample is beyond me. Keys is a sampling queen, with loads of history in this department. What makes it disturbing is that if someone had done the same thing to Keys–like take her “If I Ain’t Got You” or her new song “Brand New Me”– and done the same thing, she’d be the Girl on Fire indeed.

Hey There Lonely Girl:!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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