“Dancing With a Stranger” unarguably cemented Normani’s place in the music industry back then in 2019 when it was released, alongside collaborator Sam Smith. It was what I’d call a “hard jam”.
The “not-so-good-news” coming through is that a certain group of accusers are claiming that the ‘Dancing with a Stranger’ 2019 megahit from Sam Smith & Normani, was stolen from them.
According to Rolling Stone, several reports have surfaced of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed Friday (March 4) that asserts Smith and Normani copied key elements of a 2015 song – also titled “Dancing With a Stranger” – in their joint single four years later.
Songwriters Jordan Vincent, Christopher Miranda, and Rosco Banlaoi allege that the multiplatinum Smith and ‘Mani duet – which went on to be one of the biggest songs of 2019 – not only has the same chorus and composition as their song, but also strikingly similar music videos.
“The hook/chorus in both songs — the most significant part and artistic aspect of these works — contains the lyrics ‘dancing with a stranger’ being sung over a nearly identical melody and musical composition,” the complaint reads.
In reference to the cut’s award-winning, Vaughan Arnell-directed music video (seen above), the suit says:
“A girl dancing alone is not an obvious visual theme for a music video titled ‘Dancing With a Stranger,’ tending to dispel any notion that this similarity is a coincidence. When the extraordinary musical similarity between the songs is also factored in, it becomes even more apparent that it is impossible that the infringing composition and sound recording were independently created.”
Reportedly filed as a “last resort” after contacting the defending parties in 2020 about the alleged infraction, the group of accusers are seeking damages of an undisclosed amount from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, EMI Music Publishing, and others.
“Defendants were given every chance to come up with an innocent explanation, but, despite assurances that a response was coming including a musicological analysis and report, the defendants never issued a response,” the suit alleges.