Beyoncé Responds To Right Said Fred’s “Erroneous And Incredibly Disparaging” Comments About Her

Beyoncé Responds To Right Said Fred’s “Erroneous And Incredibly Disparaging” Comments About Her

In recent years, Right Said Fred’s 1991 pop-house novelty “I’m Too Sexy” has been sampled on hit songs by Taylor Swift, the Drake/Future/Young Thug triumvirate, and Beyoncé. Queen Bey interpolated “I’m Too Sexy” on “Alien Superstar” from her recent chart-topper Renaissance, which has led to an angry exchange of words between artists.

Earlier this week Right Said Fred members Fred and Richard Fairbrass told the British tabloid The Sun that Beyoncé had used their song without asking: “Normally the artist approaches us, but Beyoncé didn’t because she is such an arrogant person. She just had probably thought, ‘Come and get me,’ so we heard about it after the fact when you did.”

As E! points out, Beyoncé disputes that account, calling it “erroneous and incredibly disparaging” in a statement to The Sun. “Permission was not only granted for its use, but they publicly spoke of their gratitude for being on the album. 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.”

This conflict seems similar to the situation with Kelis, who complained that Beyoncé did not consult her about sampling two of her songs on the Renaissance track “Energy,” leading to the removal of those samples. Because Kelis does not own the publishing or copyright on those songs, Beyoncé did not legally have to contact her about sampling them; she had to clear the sample with the rights holders.

This instance with Right Said Fred is similar but different. “Alien Superstar” interpolates (or mimics) “I’m Too Sexy,” so the Fairbrass brothers are credited as writers on the song. It doesn’t sample the original recording, so no sample clearance was necessary. But according to Beyoncé’s statement, her team requested permission for the interpolation from “I’m Too Sexy” publisher Spirit Music Group, who granted permission, just as they did five years ago with Swfit’s “Look What You Made Me Do.” “We trust our publisher to know what we agree and don’t agree to,” Richard Fairbrass told Vulture back then, adding, “How Taylor and her team have treated us should be commended. Time and again we see artists go ahead with clearly stolen ideas, but we’ve been treated fairly.” Seems like Beyoncé treated the same way, no?

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