John Legend, Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music Accused Of Stealing ‘Maxine’s Interlude’
Singer John Legend and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label are being sued by a songwriter who claims the song “Maxine’s Interlude,” from Legend’s 2006 platinum album, Once Again, was stolen by the G.O.O.D. Music artist.
According to AllHipHop.com, aspiring songwriter Anthony Stokes filed the lawsuit in United States District Court, in New Jersey on July 5th.
The lawsuit claims that Stokes was a student at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, when he wrote a song titled “Where Are You Now.”
He registered the composition with the United States Copyright Office in October of 2004, according to the complaint.
Several days before he registered the copyright for his song, Stokes claims he attended a sold-out “Homecoming Concert” that featured John legend at UNC.
After the concert was over, John Legend hosted an autograph signing session, where Stokes was afforded the opportunity to personally meet the world famous R&B singer.
According to the lawsuit, Stokes presented John Legend with a demo recording of “Where Are You Now,” along with his contact information.
Stokes, whose lawsuit includes pictures that he took with John Legend that night, claims that John Legend stole the majority of the song and used it for his track “Maxine’s Interlude” from Once Again.
“A key similarity is at 1:29 minutes, where Legend sings “where are you now” similarly to Stokes’s singing of the catchphrase throughout the course of the original ‘where are you now,’ Stokes’ lawyer Louis Tambaro said.
“Also, like in Stokes’s “Where are You Now,” in “Maxine’s Interlude,” Legend cuts off the “now” after the first recital, while background vocalists sing the full phrase “where are you now” on the refrain.”
Stokes is suing John Legend, G.O.O.D. Music and Sony Records for copyright infringement and unjust enrichment.
Stokes is seeking damages, all profits from sales, publishing income and an injunction barring the sale of Once Again, until the copyright dispute is resolved.
Stokes would be better off suing over a John Legend single or a song with real notoriety like “Green Light” or “Ordinary People,” but we’ll let him have his moment.
A copy of the lawsuit is posted on the following pages.