Nicki Minaj's mega-smash "Starships" was everywhere in 2012, going four times platinum in the U.S. alone, spending three weeks in the top ten.

But a reclusive musician who goes by the name Clive Tanaka is suing Minaj and "Starships" producer RedOne, claiming that the song infringed on his track "Neu Chicago." One listen to the song suggests that there's more than a cursory similarity in the track's melody. Tanaka would not comment on the case when asked by the Chicago Tribune. His lawyer claimed he was working on "a new album and screenplay," according to the paper.

The song's three other writers (Carl Falk, Wayne Hector, and Rami Yacoub) are also named in the lawsuit. The suit alleges that RedOne and these songwriters, as Swedish citizens, were living in the country when "Neu Chicago" was used in television ads for a clothing retailer and by a swedish beverage company.

Earlier this year, there was controversy over whether or not Robin Thicke and Pharrell's "Blurred Lines" was infringing on Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up," since the song clearly borrows from the original's dancefloor-friendly groove. But the clear melodic similarity of "Neu Chicago" and "Starships" actually reminds this writer of an older lawsuit. Jorge Ben, a Brazillian musician, successfully sued Rod Stewart after his "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" was found to have swiped substantial portions of Ben's (incredible) "Taj Mahal."

[via The Chicago Tribune]

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