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John Legend Accused of SONG JACKING

7/7/2011 4:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

John Legend is a no good song-stealer ... at least according to some unknown singer, who claims Legend listened to his demo tape and then ripped off his hard work for profit.
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According to the lawsuit, filed earlier this week in New Jersey, songwriter Anthony Stokes passed his demo off to Legend back in 2004 ... after Stokes watched him perform at UNC.

Stokes claims Legend promised to listen to the song, but never heard back from him. Fast forward to 2006 ... Legend released a track called "Maxine's Interlude" -- and according to Stokes, it's a dead ringer for his track "Where Are You Now?"

Stokes wants to block Legend from selling the alleged rip-off -- and demands unspecified damages.

It's hard to hear the similarities if you listen to each song separately -- so we mashed them up ... the lyrics echo each other, and the key matches up nearly perfectly.

So we gotta ask ...

67 COMMENTS

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Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
61.

dvg    

These songs are not the same. Maybe he heard the demo and stole the lyric "where are you now", I don't know. Maybe he heard it, forgot he heard it, and wrote it down after singing it in the shower (happens all the time to songwriters). But the chord progression is *not* the same. The mashup may layer notes within chords that fit the style (2nds, 6ths added), but they are not the same in and of themselves. Two different songs. The other guy's demo isn't terrible, but the track is off and the chords are different. It's a long stretch to say this was a ripoff.

1085 days ago
62.

m    

listen closely - richard marx should sue them both for ripping his "I Will Be Right There Waiting For You."

1059 days ago
63.

Bjtoile    

If you believe that this is a rip off, it's only because you want to believe that it is. The two tunes, while they may have some of the same notes or rhythm patterns are not from the same "branch" at all. I could pull 20 other tunes from my collection that fit that genre & play them over one another & get the same effect.

Personally, I believe that John Legend it too talented an artist to need to rip off anyone else...as evidenced in his slew of work that hasn't been attacked.

988 days ago
64.

Daniel    

The music is nothing alike. If you think it is you're stupid. Can people not come up with lyrics similar to any of the lyrics of the millions of songs out there without being sued? How is he supposed to know that there's something else out there in the whole music world that's similar to what he created? And I highly doubt John Legend even listened to the demo. Big stars don't take their time to do such small things like listen to something like that. John Legend really doesn't need to steal anything because he can write by himself. Besides that, "Maxine's Interlude" was a less than two minute interlude! Obviously it wasn't released as a single. Doubt that one song sold the Once Again album for anyone...

952 days ago
65.

Caress    

And why do people keep saying the other guys song is better? John Legends clip is an interlude, not a song. Furthermore, it's not a question of talent or who has better skills. Are the songs the same? Did John plagiarize? Those are the issues. Focus people.

951 days ago
66.

Caress    

The only similarity is in the three words "where are you now?" if it's stealing to use words in the same sequence, there are alot of plagiarists in the world.

951 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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