Earlier this year, Ariana Grande made her flawless transition from actress to chart-topping pop star with her explosive single, “The Way.” But now, the hit song that brought her so much success is landing her in some serious legal trouble.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ariana (along with Sony/ATV and UMG Recordings) is being sued for copyright infringement over one of the lines in her song.
So what are the offending lyrics? Apparently, the phrase, “what we gotta do right here is go back, back into time” is too similar to the line, “what we gotta do right here is go back, way back, back into time” in a 1972 hit called “Troglodyte” by 1970s American disco group, The Jimmy Castor Bunch.
Should Ariana really be sued for what, in all likelihood, is a coincidence? Minder Music, the company that owns the rights to the band’s music, certainly thinks so — so much, in fact, that they want $150,000 per infringement from Ariana. Ouch!
“The songs’ phrases are strikingly similar in several ways,” lawyer Richard Busch says. “The deliberate compositional decision to place the ‘Troglodyte’ Phrase at the beginning of ‘The Way,’ as it appears in ‘Troglodyte’ itself, not only shows a deliberate attempt to copy ‘Troglodyte’ compositionally, but to also evoke ‘Troglodyte’ to the many fans of it.”
“The Way,” which spent 26 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, was a collaborative effort between several songwriters, including but not limited to producer Harmony Samuels, Jordin Sparks, and Mac Miller — which means if Minder Music wins this one, a lot of people will be affected by the outcome.