In this dismissal obtained by Billboard today (July 10), the indie rock band and its record label We Are Free “confirmed to their satisfaction that no copyright infringement occurred” by the defendants The Weeknd (real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye), Lamar (Kendrick Lamar Duckworth), Canadian producers Doc McKinney (Martin “Doc” McKinney) and Frank Dukes (Adam King Feeney), and labels Universal Music Group, Interscope, Aftermath and Top Dawg Entertainment.
In February 2018, “Pray For Me” propelled both The Weeknd and Lamar into another echelon of superstardom when it peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 before running into legal trouble for the song two years later. Yeasayer, comprised of Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton and Anand Wilder, alleged in the suit from February 2020 that the artists “extracted” a “distinctive choral performance” from the group’s song “Sunrise” on its 2007 debut album All Hour Cymbals.
“This material was specifically created for use in ‘Sunrise’ and is unique, comprised of male voices singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato, and developed via distinctive audio post-processing,” the complaint read.
In April, the After Hours artist denied all allegations of copyright infringement in court documents obtained by The Blast, claiming the hit was “created independently from and without knowledge of the allegedly infringed work.”