Nicki Minaj poses backstage at Herve Leger By Max Azria fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Sept. 7, 2013 in New York City.
(Photo: Neilson Barnard, Getty Images)
Did Nicki Minaj really steal her summer 2012 hit Starships from someone else?
That's the case if you believe Chicago musician Clive Tanaka, who says Minaj's summer 2012 mega-hit copies substantial parts of his own 2009 song Neu Chicago.
Tanaka filed a lawsuit against Minaj, producer Nadir Khayat - better known as RedOne - and writers Carl Falk, Wayne Hector and Rami Yacoub, claiming copyright infringement, according to The Chicago Tribune. Tanaka says his song already had significant airplay in the United States, as well as hundreds of thousands of streams online, before Starships could have been conceived.
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Tanaka is described in the Chicago Tribune article as a mysterious figure, albeit an award-winning musician, who has never performed live in public.
"We believe they are similar to the point that it is nearly impossible for it to be a coincidence," Christopher Niro, Tanaka's attorney, tells the paper about the two songs.
Starships set a Billboard record when it remained in the Top 10 for 21 straight weeks.