The Weeknd is being sued once again. A group of British songwriters have officially filed a complaint with the Central District of California on Wednesday (April 3), according to court documents obtained by Billboard. Songwriters William Smith, Brian Clover and Scott McCulloch are claiming that The Weeknd (born Abel Tesfaye) ripped off their 2004 track “I Need Love” for his Starboy album cut “A Lonely Night.”
The trio has filed the lawsuit for “unspecified damages” against The Weeknd, Universal Music, Warner Bros. Music Corp., among others. Back in 2008, Big Life Music, who owned the rights to “I Need Love,” was acquired by Universal Music Publishing Group.
Court documents state that Universal informed the plaintiffs in 2016 that their songs had not been exploited and would relinquish the rights to their music going forward. It wasn’t until weeks after Starboy‘s release that Clover heard the similarities between The Weeknd’s track and his work while shopping at Topman, which spurred the group to begin taking legal action.
The Canadian-born artist is no stranger to being entangled in lawsuits. In 2018 alone, The Weeknd was forced to fight in court for the right to trademark the name of his Grammy-winning album, Starboy. Then, he was accused of ripping off a comic book writer to pass off the story of his own comic book superhero with Marvel.
Listen to the pair of tracks in question for yourself below.