Beyoncé has to be fed up with this sample/interpolation permission nonsense. After making such a herculean effort to credit every single songwriter, producer, DJ, and influence she used on her sweeping new album Renaissance, she’s spent the last several months fielding accusations that she didn’t get permission to use those interpolations — even though she wouldn’t have been able to put out the album without them.
First, Kelis groused that part of her song “Milkshake” was used without her permission, even though she’s not technically the rights owner of the song in the first place. Then, ’80s pop band Right Said Fred put down Beyoncé in an interview with The Sun (which sounds about right), saying, “Normally the artist approaches us but Beyoncé didn’t because she is such an arrogant person.” This after the band wrote on Twitter, “We’re delighted Beyoncé is using our melody, a simple ‘please’ or ‘may I’ would have been nice.”
And while Bey stayed quiet during the Kelis issue, this time, she’s speaking up to defend herself. Upon learning of Right Said Fred’s statement, she issued a press statement via E! News refuting the band’s claims and pointing out their seemingly abrupt about-face (again, this was in The Sun, which should tell you everything you need to know). “Permission was not only granted for its use, but they publicly spoke of their gratitude for being on the album,” it reads. “For their song, there was no sound recording use, only the composition was utilized. Permission was asked of their publisher on May 11, 2022, and the publisher approved the use on June 15, 2022. They were paid for the usage in August 2022.”
Additionally, the statement shuts down RSF’s claim that they would only “get about 40 [pounds]” for their contribution. Instead, the statement says, “The copyright percentage of the Right Said Fred writers with respect to the use of ‘I’m Too Sexy’ is a substantial portion of the composition. Collectively the Right Said Fred writers own more than any other singular writer and have co-writer credit. This accusation is false.”
Like I said: Fed. Up. Hopefully, this instance will set an example for all the other artists who want to come for the Queen; check with your publishers first. Meanwhile, many of the other artists credited on Renaissance absolutely gushed at their inclusions, so perhaps this will be the last we’ll hear of it.