George Clinton, a veteran funk singer, has sued the Black Eyed Peas, saying the hip hop group used elements of his old group Funkadelic's 1979 song "(Not Just) Knee Deep" in remixes of its track "Shut Up" without his permission.
Singers Fergie and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and its record label, Universal Music Group, were named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed on Friday, the Associated Press said. They have not commented.
Clinton is seeking copyright infringement damages and wants to ensure there are no more sales of the remixes.
The Black Eyed Peas is one of the most popular contemporary groups in the world and has topped charts all over the world with singles such as "My Humps", "I Gotta Feeling" and "Boom Boom Pow. The group is set to play the 2011 Super Bowl half-time show on February 6 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas, marking the first time a non-rock act has performed on the biggest stage on television in seven years.
The 2003 single "Shut Up" has sold at least five million copies worldwide and topped the charts in many countries. One remix of the track can be found on the Black Eyed Peas' fifth studio album, "The E.N.D.". Elements of "(Not Just Knee Deep" are said to be heard on songs by LL Cool J, Tone Loc and Snoop Dogg. They are not named in Clinton's lawsuit.
The Black Eyed Peas recently released the song "The Time (Dirty Bit)", which remixes the famous 1980s song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" from the Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey film "Dirty Dancing".