Music veteran and “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” Mary J. Blige avoided major legal woes when she was cleared of copyright infringement allegations from “Family Affair,” her 2001 smash song.
Leonard Jones and James White filed the suit in January 2009, claiming that the single bore a striking lyrical resemblance to a demo track by artist Benevolence, titled “Party Ain’t Crunk.”
According to the suit, James, who managed Benevolence, claims that he sent a copyright-protected demo of the single to Universal Records in May 2001. Mary J. finished recording her single “Family Affair” three months later, going on to sell more than 4 million copies worldwide.
Dr. Dre, who produced the song, was originally named and then dropped from the lawsuit.
Plaintiffs could not provide substantial proof that Mary J.’s single bore any related lyrical content to Benevolence’s, resulting in the case being dismissed.
– Christina Coleman