The Weeknd is denying all claims put forth by former rock band, Yeasayer, that his song “Pray For Me” with Kendrick Lamar used a sample of their song, “Sunrise,” without clearance or credit. Back in February, the Brooklyn rock band, who have since split, filed a lawsuit against The Weeknd, Kendrick, and Top Dawg Entertainment for copyright infringement, alleging that “Pray For Me,” which was released on the 2018 Black Panther soundtrack, had ripped off their song, “Sunrise,” off their 2007 debut album, All Hour Cymbals. The band claimed that “Pray For Me” used the same “distinctive choral performance” as “Sunrise,” “comprised of male voices singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato.” This lead them to believe that the artists had illegally sampled their song with “intent to conceal the infringement.” However, the Weeknd has fired back, denying all claims and requesting that the case to be dismissed.
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“Each and every allegation contained in the complaint not specifically admitted herein is denied,” official court documents read. “The sound recording of ‘Pray for Me’ does not capture any actual sounds from the sound record, ‘Sunrise.'” He is also requesting that his attorney fees be covered by the band. We’ll keep you posted on any further updates.