Someone at HTC dropped the ball. Nina Simone‘s estate is suing the phone company for using the late, great Jazz singer and pianist’s “Sinnerman” without proper permission.
Don’t mess with the High Priestess of Soul.
Nina Simone’s 1965 hit “Sinnerman” is an R&B classic … but that doesn’t mean a phone company can boldly rip it off … so her heirs are suing for $1 Mil minimum … TMZ has learned.
The lawsuit — filed by Simone’s estate — accuses smartphone company HTC of using her song in its TV commercial without obtaining the rights.
We reached out and touched someone at HTC … so far, no call back.
“Sinnerman,” from Simon’s Pastel Blues album, was famously sampled by Kanye West for Talib Kweli’s hit “Get By,” which got the proper sample clearance.
A biopic starring Zoe Saldana as Simone has been completed. Check out HTC’s commercial, part of its You campaign, below.
Photo: RCA Records