| 17 Apr 2024
Hungarian folk singer sues BeyoncÚ for sampling her voice in 'Drunk in Love'

MUMBAI: Hungarian folk singer Monika Miczura Juhasz aka Mitsou is suing Beyoncé claiming that she stole her voice for her song 'Drunk in Love', which features her husband, Jay Z. In the Manhattan civil suit, it was stated that Beyoncé recorded Mitsou's voice in 1995 while she was singing a traditional Roma folk song that she learnt from her grandmother. The suit also highlighted that Mitsou has never signed any documents that would permit anyone to use her voice for advertising or trade purposes.

The suit also stated that Mitsou's voice was sampled and digitally manipulated without her permission. According to the suit, the sampling is used "to evoke foreign eroticism alongside the sexually intense lyrics performed by Beyoncé and Jay Z in 'Drunk in Love,'." The single is nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song, and has been viewed 236 million times on YouTube.

The suit filed, said that in the video, Mitsou's solo vocal introduction follows 57 seconds of a cinematic, intimate scene of Beyoncé and Jay Z at a beach at night. Following Mitsou's featured vocals played during the introduction, her voice continues to sing as Beyoncé begins her part. According to court papers, the sampling continues with Jay Z rapping alongside the Hungarian for 51 seconds.

Mitsou said she first found out that Beyoncé had stolen her voice when her friends started asking her about it after hearing the "a capella solo" for the initial 13 seconds of the song. The suit also stated that all together, Mitsou's vocals are featured for over one and half minute of the track, which clocks at five and a half minutes.

In 1997, North Pacific Records released the original recording of the song in reference, called 'Bajba, Bajba Pelem,' under the title 'Gypsy Life on the Road'.

As a part of the lawsuit, Mitsou is demanding unspecified damages.