Rihanna and Michael Jackson sued by African singer

Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango has filed a lawsuit claiming that Don't Stop the Music and Wanna Be Startin' Something have used one one of his hooks without permission

Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango had filed a lawsuit against both Rihanna and Michael Jackson, claiming the artists have nicked one of his hooks.

Dibango, 75, points to one of the most famous bits in Jackson's 1983 track, Wanna Be Startin' Something. In that song, the King of Pop ends the chorus with a nonsensical chant, "mama-say mama-sa ma-ma-coo-sa," words that sound awfully close to the Duala chant in Dibango's classic Soul Makossa.

Jackson had already admitted to borrowing the line, according to the AFP, settling with Dibango out of court. But when Rihanna came calling in 2007, asking to sample Jackson on her song Don't Stop the Music, Jackson agreed – allegedly without contacting the Cameroonian.

Don't Stop the Music went on to top the European Hot 100.

Dibango's lawyers have now brought the case before a Parisian court, demanding €500,000 in damages and that Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music be barred from receiving "mama-say mama-sa"-related income until the matter is resolved.

French judges will announce on 17 February whether they will hear the case.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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