Beyoncé is being sued by the estate of YouTube star and New Orleans hip-hop artist Messy Mya for allegedly sampling Mya's voice on her Lemonade track "Formation" without asking permission, giving him credit, or offering compensation. Per Pitchfork, Mya, who was murdered in 2010 at the age of 22, can be heard saying in the song "What happened after New Orleans?" and "Bitch, I'm back. By popular demand."
The estate claims it tried to contact Beyoncé about her use of Mya's voice, but didn't hear back. Furthermore, the estate argues, Mya's work in "Formation" is "the seed from which the entire song grows." The New York Daily News reported that "multiple news outlets and music websites cited the sampling of [Mya's] work after 'Formation' dropped."
The estate is seeking more than $20 million in damages. Beyoncé's representatives did not immediately respond to multiple outlets' requests for comment.