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John Mayer Steals Curtis Mayfield’s Music

May 27, 2008

When Grave Robbing Artists Strike (Part 1)

John Mayer

John Mayer is in trouble with the family of the late legend Curtis Mayfield. His son Kirk has denounced Mayer. The bisexual singer stole Mayfield’s music for his current Sony/BMG album.

Instead of apologizing for violating the soul Legend’s copyrights, he’s made facetious statements on video regarding the thefts. That doesn’t look good. The man is dead and you’ve stolen from his estate.

Curtis Mayfield

Furthermore, you stole from well known, decades old songs that are civil rights anthems treasured by millions. It was disrespectful. Show some contrition, as you had no business touching them.

That goes for you too John Legend. Just last week I wrote about Legend not paying a legendary songwriting duo, Jacqueline and Robert Poindexter, after he used their music to sell millions of records.

John Legend

They went homeless, while Legend and others like Jay-Z lived lavishly off their labor and that of others as well. You know what else is shameful about their conduct, these are the very lazy artists winning Grammys for stealing other artists copyrights.

Kirk Mayfield, the late R&B great’s son, wants Mayer put on notice publicly. The singer’s latest single, “Waiting on the World to Change,” Mayfield believes, is uncomfortably close sounding to his father’s classic, “We’re a Winner.”

Indeed, one listen to “Waiting” and it’s pretty obvious that the music is pure Mayfield. Even Mayer’s performance of it sounds like Curtis, who was famous for “Superfly,” “I’m So Proud,” “People Get Ready” and many other classic songs.

Of course, this kind of thing seems to be happening a lot lately. I told you last week that John Legend lifted the music from “Stormy,” by the Classics IV, changed the lyrics and pretended he wrote a new song called “Save Room.”

This used to be called plagiarism. Now it’s called “sampling.” Mayfield, I’m told, is also listening closely to the new Legend album, which may contain a sample of his father’s work.

But Mayer, at least, hasn’t contacted the Mayfield estate for use of “We’re a Winner.” That, says Kirk Mayfield, won’t be tolerated.


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