Late last month, a California federal judge ruled that there was sufficient possibility that Usher stole his hit song, “Burn” from an unknown R&B group named Reel Tight. It’s a rare case, because, for once, the case went to trial, and for once, the judge ruled that there is a real possibility that an unknown group may have had their music stolen. Apparently a musicologist even testified, saying that the songs were definitely alike.
We bring this up now because Usher’s camp isn’t taking this lying down: They’re fighting back, claiming there’s absolutely no way that Usher (or the song’s producer Jermaine Dupri) heard the song before the lawsuit. Reel Tight’s album hit number 197 on the Billboard charts, which means the group did have some profile, but the song itself wasn’t really a single, and it never got significant airplay. It’s an interesting case–how do you prove someone heard a song?–and you can read more details at Billboard. Compare the songs below.