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Kelis Accuses Beyoncé and Pharrell of ‘Thievery’ for Using Her Song “Milkshake” on Beyoncé’s New Album “Renaissance”

Kelis, photographed in April 2019. (Rachel Murray/Getty Images for UOMA Beauty)

Kelis accused Beyoncé and songwriter-producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of “thievery” late Thursday after discovering a track on Beyoncé’s highly anticipated new album “Renaissance,” released overnight, contains an interpolation of Kelis’s hit single “Milkshake.”

An Instagram fan page noted the usage earlier this week. On Thursday, Kelis commented on a post saying that she hadn’t been contacted about the Beyoncé track before its release. She pointed to the “level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved” — a clear reference to Beyoncé, Williams and Hugo — and expanded on her frustration in a pair of videos later posted to her personal Instagram page.

“It’s not a collaboration,” she said. “It’s called thievery because the definition of collaboration means we are working together. There’s no working together if you are not checking in to see if everything’s cool.”

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Representatives for Beyoncé and Williams haven’t responded to The Washington Post’s requests for comment.

According to Joe Bennett, a forensic musicologist and professor at the Berklee College of Music, there are two main copyrights in music: the musical work as it relates to songwriting and publishing; and the sound recording, often referred to as the masters. A common industry model, called out in recent years by Taylor Swift, is for the record label to own the masters and the songwriters the musical work.

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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Sonia Rao

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