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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. 

Reports TMZ:

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

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