Miley Cyrus has been slapped with a lawsuit alleging that her 2013 tune “We Can’t Stop” rips off an earlier song by a Jamaican composer.
In his suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in New York, Michael May, aka Flourgon, says that he wrote the song “We Run Things” in the ’80s, and that the song was a No. 1 hit in Jamaica, and “was additionally met with great acclaim in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America.” (You can hear it above.)
May’s song contains the phrase ‘We run things. Things no run we.’” Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop,” meanwhile, contains the chorus hook “We run things. Things don’t run we.”
The suit also contends that “We Can’t Stop” is “largely rooted in Caribbean musical influence” and features “a theme of defiant audaciousness in the realm of self-discovery and self-governance. The entire theme of ‘We Can’t Stop’ would be hollow in sound and impact, and would fail to achieve… success without the unique thrust of authenticity and the substantially similar theme of/provided by Plaintiff May’s original, protected content.”
TheWrap has reached out to Cyrus label RCA, also named as a defendant in the suit, for comment.
The suit seeks a judicial determination that May’s copyright has been infringed, as well as unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
Destiny Hope Cyrus, destined to become entertainment sensation known as Miley Cyrus, was born in Nashville, Tenn., on Nov. 23, 1993 to parents Letitia Jean and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. This baby photo was snapped while Cyrus and her father were attending an Elvis Presley Tribute Concert on Oct. 8, 1994 at the Pyramid Arena in Memphis.
March 11, 2001: The future Disney star makes her adorable television debut alongside her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, in the “Doc” pilot.
Feb. 9, 2006: The young actress appeared at a Disney Channel event in New York City one month ahead of the premiere of her hit sitcom, “Hannah Montana.”
Jan. 9, 2007: Cyrus charms the press with a squeaky clean smile while walking the red carpet the People’s Choice Awards.
Feb. 10, 2008:Â Cyrus appears on stage next to ’80s icon Cyndi Lauper at the 50th annual Grammy Awards to present Amy Winehouse. Her dress stayed on.
April, 2008: The tongue comes out during the taping of “Idol Gives Back” at the former Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.
Jan. 11, 2009: Cyrus attends the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards with her parents.
Sept. 3, 2009: Cyrus didn’t strip down, but she did get down at the Teen Choice awards while performing a headline-grabbing PG-13 pole dance.
Sept. 17, 2009: Cyrus exposes a whole lotta leg during a performance at the VH1 Divas ceremony in New York City.
Jan. 23, 2009: During an outing with her future fiancÃ©, Liam Hemsworth, Cyrus is spotted in casual attire that is strikingly different from her “Hannah Montana” image.
Jan. 31, 2010: Cyrus attends the 52nd annual Grammy Awards in attire that is noticeably shorter and tighter than previous award show outfits.
June 6, 2010: Cyrus’ outfits get skimpier and shorter while performing at the Rock in Rio Madrid Festival in Spain.
Feb. 12, 2011: Cyrus rocks a mesh chest to a Pre-Grammy Gala at the Beverly Hilton.
May 10, 2011: The singer’s budding sexuality is on full display during a “Gypsy Heart” Tour stop in Paraguay.
Feb. 26, 2012: Cyrus keeps it classy — and covered — at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar party.
June 27, 2012: Cyrus supports her man, and shows off an engagement ring, at the Australians in Film Awards and Benefit Dinner in Los Angeles.
Sept. 6, 2012: Her style evolution continued to surprise when she debuted a dramatically different look at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards.
Dec. 16, 2012: Cyrus debuts another new look while arriving for the VH1 Divas ceremony in Los Angeles.
Dec. 16, 2012: The pop star’s new attitude is on full display when taking a cue from Michael Jackson during a performance at the annual VH1 event.
May 4, 2013: Cyrus tops Maxim’s annual Hot 100 List for the first time, and broke the news herself by posting this photo on her Instagram account. “My 1st Instagram is dedicated to all my fans,” she wrote. “Thank you for crowning me #1 Maxim Hot 100.”
May 6, 2013: Cyrus goes punk rock in honor of the “PUNK: Chaos to Courture” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City last spring.
June 2, 2013: Cyrus uploads a new Instragram photo highlighting a new necklace — and her cleavage.
June 28, 2013: Cyrus twerks it at Y100’s Mackapoolza in Miami, Fla.
Aug. 11, 2013: Cyrus continues to let her tongue do the talking after winning a Teen Choice award.
Aug. 14, 2013: Taking a page from Rihanna’s social media playbook, Cyrus makes a concentrated effort to let everyone know that she likes to smoke pot by uploading this photo to her Instagram account.
Aug. 25, 2013: Cyrus arrives at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in, uh…style?
Aug. 25, 2013: Cyrus is No. 1 on Twitter after sticking a foam finger where the sun don’t shine while grinding her tiny hiney all over married man, Robin Thicke.
Aug. 26, 2013: Another day, another booty shot.
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See her evolution from adorable Disney star to scantily-clad pop star
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