Beyoncé Knowles Carter and her husband Jay-Z are being accused of not giving a Jamaican artist credit for her contribution to their single “Black Effect.”
Lenora Antoinette Stines filed Tuesday in the United States District Court Central District of California to be compensated for copyright infringement, right of publicity and unjust enrichment.
The suit is centred around the song “Black Effect” from the couple’s joint 2018 album, “Everything is Love.”Jay-Z’s legal name is Shawn Carter and the album is credited to “The Carters.”
CNN has reached out to reps for the couple for comment.
According to the suit, a copy of which CNN obtained, Stines “is 68 years old and she is extremely well respected and highly regarded in the island of Jamaica, and throughout the world for her artistry and wisdom.”
Stines alleges that she was approached in Jamaica by the couple in March of 2018 to help obtain dancers for a video meant to promote their album and tour.
Stines, who uses the title “Dr.” in the lawsuit, said she supplied some dancers for the video and was also asked to speak about her thoughts on love in the video.
According to Stines, on the day she showed up to film the video she was told she “must sign” an agreement in order to participate.
“When Dr Stines inquired into the terms of the agreement, she was told that the agreement ‘was just a standard document that everyone had to sign,’” the suit states. “She was then told not to ‘worry, because, the agreement was only going to be utilized so that her voice could be used in the Video.’”
Stines said that when she asked if she could snap a photo of the agreement to send to her son, who is an attorney in South Florida to review, she “was explicitly told that she could not send a picture of the agreement to anyone to review.”
The suit goes on to say that Stines was assured that the recording “would only be used in the video, which was said to be for promotional purposes.”
But when the album came out in June 2018, “To the shock, horror and chagrin of Dr Stines, the Project featured the unauthorized exploitation of her vocals on a song known as “Black Effect” (the “Recording”).”
“This discovery left Dr. Stines feeling violated,” the suit states.
Stines’ voice is featured in the first minute of the “Black Effect” song.
She is seeking damages, legal fees, a portion of the publishing rights and a writer’s credit for the single.