A Jamaican musician filed a $300 million lawsuit against Miley Cyrus in New York on Tuesday (March 13) claiming that the singer’s 2013 hit “We Can’t Stop” too closely resembles the lyrics to a song he released more than 25 years ago. According to a Reuters report, Michael May (who performs as Flourgon), claims that “We Can’t Stop” is similar to his 1988 hit “We Run Things,” which he said has been a “favorite for lovers of reggae music worldwide” since it reached No. 1 in Jamaica.
The singer accused Miley and her label, RCA Records, of misappropriating his lyrics, which include “We run things/ Things no run we,” which Cyrus sings as “We run things/ Things don’t run we.” Miley’s song was co-written and produced by Mike Will Made-It, P-Nasty and Rock City, with Cyrus earning a songwriting credit as well; the song also credits Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick due to a sample of their iconic 1985 hit “La Di Da Di.”
A spokesperson for Cyrus could not be reached for comment at press time. May sought protection for his work last year with the U.S. Copyright Office and won “formal copyright protection” in November for all musical arrangements of “We Run Things.” He claims that Cyrus’ song “owes the basis of its chart-topping popularity to and its highly lucrative success to plaintiff May’s protected, unique, creative and original content.” May’s complaint, filmed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, requests a halt to all further sales and performances of “We Can’t Stop,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 2013.
Check out May and Cyrus’ songs below.