Is it a reach or copyright infringement?
That’s what people are debating after beloved singer CeCe Peniston, known for her dance track “Finally,” accused popular singer Lizzo of ripping the ad-lib “Ya Ya” from her biggest song for the hit “Juice,” which has been used by vodka brand Absolut for an ad recently.
CeCe put this on blast last week, noting the similarities by saying, “just for the record and so you understand … anytime anybody uses a song over 7 seconds thats using a ‘portion’ of their copyright , Lizzo not only takes over that , she’s used several times adding up to about 40 seconds , its my lyric it’s written down as well , it’s the signature to the opening in my song #finally and all commercials are using it from the “Adlib “ section because they know it’s catchy sooo “#notjustanadlib it’s a check !!!! @umpg @atlanticrecords”
She added a few days later that the star “chopped it up” and used the “Ya Ya (or “Yeah Yeah”?).” several times in her song in a similar way that she uses “Ya Ya” in “Finally.”
The 50-year-old singer went further to accuse the 31-year-old singer and rapper of biting her track by sharing a clip of the two songs together:
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@bendaworld sent me this video and this is a clear example of #copyrightinfringement Cece Peniston versus @lizzobeeating y’all check this out and btw I love her music #tbt #juice #absolutvodka #finally #thetea #royalties #atlanticrecords #umpg #lizzo #lizzojuice #intellectualproperty …video contains footage from @absolute_vodka
Interesting enough, singer India Arie commented on one of CeCe’s posts about the matter and was on her side.
CeCe has since claimed that she’s a fan of Lizzo’s music but just wants her to take responsibility for what she claims is the use of her signature ad-lib without permission. However, Lizzo’s lawyer, Cynthia Arato, disagrees, calling BS on CeCe’s allegations. This comes at a time when Lizzo’s been accused of copyright infringement by two other artists for the rights to the opening line in her current number one hit, “Truth Hurts.”
Accusations of CeCe being an opportunist looking for a check may not be that hard to believe, especially since Lizzo is everywhere, including holding the number one spot on the Billboard charts and one week away from from having the longest-running number one hit from a female rapper (currently held by Iggy Azalea for “Fancy”). However, I can’t lie, the thing that stands out most from “Juice” to me is the “Ya Ya” part, which provides that extra bit of sass to the track, just as it does to CeCe’s “Finally.” Does that equal out to copyright infringement, though? If CeCe doesn’t plan to let this go and it ends up in court, that will certainly be for a judge to decide.