Miley Cyrus Settled a $300 Million Copyright Settlement Over This Hit Song

Miley Cyrus has been busy teasing the next chapter of her life. The singer’s social media posts insinuate 2020 will be her best year yet. After a rollercoaster of events last year, it’s clear Cyrus is ready to turn the page. Part of starting anew involves a multi-million dollar settlement over one of Cyrus’s hit songs.

Miley Cyrus had a turbulent year

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus performs onstage during the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Despite 2019 looking up, Miley Cyrus’s personal life took a wild turn. Her marriage to actor, Liam Hemsworth, ended with the shocking twist of Cyrus moving into a relationship with Brody Jenner’s ex, Kaitlynn Carter.

When that ended, Cyrus fell into her current relationship with the singer, Cody Simpson. Love life aside, Cyrus had surgery on her vocal cords, had a multi-week vocal rest, and is finally working on new music for devoted fans.

With the new year, Cyrus is clearly trying to take control of her narrative. This includes a multi-million dollar settlement over one of her hit singles.

Which song garnered a lawsuit?

The 2013 single “We Can’t Stop” from Cyrus’s fourth studio album, Bangerz, is at the center of the $300 million copyright infringement lawsuit. Cyrus and her legal team settled just last week.

Jamaican songwriter, Michael May (otherwise known as Flourgon), sued Cyrus over claims that “We Can’t Stop” sounded too similar to his 1988 song, “We Run Things.”

According to Reuters, Cyrus’s legal team and label came to the agreement after over a year in discussions. May filed the lawsuit in March 2018, alleging “We Can’t Stop” lyrics, mimicked “We Run Things” too closely.

“We run things / Things no run we,” May’s song says, compared to Cyrus’s, “We run things / Things don’t run we.”

May also sued Cyrus’s manager, Larry Rudolph, Sony Music, RCA Records, and the song’s writers and producers which includes Mike Williams, Pierre Slaughter, and Theron and Timothy Thomas. Other contributors include rappers Douglas Davis (Doug E. Fresh) and Ricky Walters (Slick Rick).

May also asked that Cyrus not perform the song and for distribution to cease. On January 3, all parties filed a joint stipulation “pending payment of the settlement proceeds,” according to Variety.

Are any of her other songs at risk for another lawsuit?

So far, Cyrus has not addressed the lawsuit. “We Can’t Stop” made the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, opening conversations about other potential copyright infringements.

Is it possible Cyrus could face backlash for any of her other songs? It’s something all artists have to navigate, as they might unintentionally sample another artist’s work, or infuse inspiration into their own work with the finished product sounding a little too much like another work.

At this point, “We Can’t Stop” is the only song in question. Hopefully, it’s the only one so Cyrus can live her best life in 2020, drama-free.