Beyonce and Jay-Z sued by Dr L'Antoinette Stines over taking credit for her monologue on song 'Black Effect'

Dr L'Antoinette Stines claims that her voice was used on the first minute of the 'Black Effect' song despite her being told it was only going to be used for promotional purposes


                            Beyonce and Jay-Z sued by Dr L'Antoinette Stines over taking credit for her monologue on song 'Black Effect'
Beyonce and Jay-Z (Getty Images)

Both Beyonce and Jay-Z, aka The Carters, one of the biggest A-list power couples in the American music industry, are currently being sued by a Jamaican artist for using her vocals on one of their songs. Dr L'Antoinette Stines, a veteran dancer/choreographer who has a reputation in her native Jamaica for "her artistry and wisdom", has taken the duo to court over the underhanded way in which they featured her voice on the 'Black Effect' song from their 2018 'Everything Is Love' album. Stines claimed that she was never given proper credit or monetary compensation for her contributions even though her voice is prominently featured in the track's intro. In the first minute of the 'Black Effect' song, we can hear Stines' voice talking about love in all its various forms.



 

'Black Effect' starts off with a sample of Stines' voice as she expounds on love: "Well, there's love of children / Love of self / Love of God / Love of a partner / And all of them have a different shape / But all of them is the same in the end / It's about sensitivity, it's about passion / It's about unconditional giving of self to another person / And there's love of humanity." The entire sample continues for a full minute after which Jay-Z comes in with his rap bars. 

However, Stines alleges that she was never informed that her voice would be used on the track itself. She claims that she was first approached by The Carters in March 2018 to provide dancers for a video that promoted their upcoming tour. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court on Tuesday, June 16, Stines states that she got them the dancers, but was later asked to provide her views on love in a recorded statement. She alleges that she was told the interview would be used for "promotional purposes" only, and was subsequently shocked to find out that they had used her speech on the track itself.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z attend the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean 'Diddy' Combs on January 25, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California (Getty Images)

This violation of her trust left her feeling dismayed and "artistically raped", according to the lawsuit. Stines also alleges that while she did sign a contract for her services on the day of the interview shoot, she regrets that she did not get a chance to have it reviewed by her own legal counsel. While signing the agreement, she was told it was a "standard document that everyone had to sign". And when Stines asked if she could send a photo of the contract to her son (who is a lawyer), she was "explicitly told that she could not send a picture of the agreement to anyone to review".

Since she was informed her voice would only be used in promo videos and not the song itself, she is disappointed that she hasn't been fairly credited or compensated for her input, which makes up 20% of the song 'Black Effect'. Hence, Stines is suing both Beyonce and Jay-Z for copyright infringement and violation of her right to publicity, plus damages. She is also requesting a writing credit on 'Black Effect' and royalties for her vocal contributions as compensation.

Both Jay-Z and Beyonce are yet to comment on the matter, but it is expected that a financial settlement should be in the offing for Stines shortly.

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