Songwriter Earl Shuman, whose music has been performed by stars including Tom Jones and Barbra Streisand, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in a California federal court last week, accusing the singer of using parts of a track he wrote in 1962 without permission. The song was a chart hit for Eddie Holman in 1970 after he recorded it as "Hey There Lonely Girl," and Shuman claims it was illegally sampled by Keys.
The lawsuit targets Keys as well as the co-writers of the song and her record label, Sony Music Entertainment. The legal documents, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, state, "Plaintiff alleges that Keys ... did not obtain authorization concerning the use of 'Lonely Boy/Girl' before writing, distributing and/or exhibiting 'Girl on Fire' ... Defendants are earning money from the exploitation of 'Girl On Fire' ... without credit, attribution, payment of royalties, or other recognition of Plaintiff's rights."
"Girl on Fire" is the lead single from Keys' album of the same name. The song was released in September.