Monday, July 22, 2024

Grammys: Actual Writer of Beyonce’s “Break My Soul” Disappointed His Name Isn’t on the Credits for Song of the Year


Back in June when Beyonce released her now Grammy nominated “Break My Soul” I wrote about its origins: the record is sampled largely from Robin S.’s 1993 disco hit, “Show Me Love,” written by Allen George and the late Fred McFarlane. (He died in 2016.)

In June, I left a message for Allen George about the excitement of having his record sampled by such a big star. The message got mislaid. He called me back tonight. Is he going to the Grammy’s, I wondered? “Break My Soul” is nominated for Song and Record of the Year, and Best Dance/Electronic Recording. Also, the Terry Hunter remix is nominated for Best Remixed Recording.

George, who lives in New Jersey, is not going west. Why not, I asked? It turns out, he says, the Recording Academy doesn’t acknowledge samples. So his name and McFarlane’s are not on the credits for Song of the Year even though he owns the copyright and receives 50% of the royalties from Beyonce’s hit. For the Grammys, the songwriters are just BeyoncĂ©, S. Carter, Terius “The-Dream” Gesteelde-Diamant & Christopher A. Stewart.

(Also PS, George wasn’t invited to the Big Show, has never spoken to Beyonce or anyone involved with “Break My Soul.”)

Among George’s other hits: producing the classic 1986 pop dance hit “World Domination” by the Belle Starrs. More recently he’s worked with Jason DeRulo, Chris Brown, and Kid Ink.

Allen George is not unhappy with Beyonce, but he is upset about the Academy rules. “It’s not fair,” he told me. “I wrote that record. It wouldn’t exist without Show Me Love. I wrote the song that got nominated. These samples in songs that get nominated– they don’t honor the original artists, and they didn’t when their records came out. They’re [the Academy] being a gatekeeper, don’t be a gate keeper. They say, You can’t come to our party!”

In truth, Allen has a good sense of humor. He’s rooting for Beyonce to win Best Song anyway. “How can she not win?” he asked rhetorically. “That record was a game changer for her. It brought her new audiences.”

By the way, “Show Me Love,” he says, was sampled on three big records last year including “Used to Know Me,” by Charlie XCX. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Meantime, Allen is not letting any grass grow under his feet. He’s writing a theme song for a new movie starring Loretta DeVine. He’s opening a new studio in Englewood, New Jersey. “I want to start making some new music,” he says. “The stuff that’s out there is no good, no one can play an instrument!”

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.

Read more

In Other News