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Jay-Z & Beyonce Face Copyright Lawsuit Over ‘Black Effect’ Vocals

Jay-Z and Beyonce are facing a lawsuit for their Everything Is Love standout "Black Effect."

Jay Z and Beyonce are facing a lawsuit for their Everything Is Love standout track “Black Effect” after Jamaican choreographer and academic Dr. Lenora Stines called out the couple for allegedly recording her vocals and using them in the song without her permission or credit.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, states that Dr. Stines felt exploited by the track.

“To the shock, horror and chagrin of Dr. Stines, [Everything Is Love] featured the unauthorized exploitation of her vocals on a song known as ‘Black Effect,'” her lawyers write. “Dr. Stines’ horror and chagrin was compounded when she realized that not only were her vocals featured on the recording, but she also discovered that she was not even credited by the DEFENDANTS for providing her vocals.”

The lawsuit goes on to say that Dr. Stines felt that the defendants had “artistically raped” her.


During a promotional shoot in Jamaica March 2018, Stines claimed she provided the music duo dancers for the visual and was on-site during the making of the video. There, her comments about love were recorded and inevitably used for the album. Stines is looking to be compensated since her voice usage in the first 60 seconds of “Black Effect” infringes on copyright.

According to the lawsuit, close to 20% of her vocals comprised the recording and the power couple “knowingly and intentionally used Dr. Stines’ vocals in the Recording to promote the Project, their tour and to amass substantial wealth and income for themselves.”

“Dr. Stines’ vocals are featured in the first 60 seconds of the recording, which is approximately five minutes and thirteen seconds long, [which means] her vocals are featured in roughly 19.17% of the recording,” reads the lawsuit. “The defendants’ use of Dr. Stines’ vocals in the recording is, and was, unauthorized, and Dr. Stines is therefore entitled to compensation.”


Dr. Stines is seeking legal fees, a portion of publishing rights and a writer’s credit for the record. She is being represented by Andrew Williams of the Williams Law Group.

Billboard reached out to Jay Z and Beyonce’s reps for comment but did not hear back at time of publishing.