Metro Weekly

Dua Lipa hit with lawsuit over single “Levitating”

Reggae act Artikal Sound System claims that Dua Lipa's global smash is essentially a soundalike of their track “Live Your Life.”

Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia

After waiting nearly two years, Dua Lipa is finally back on tour, and the pop star’s legion of fans are thrilled to see her sing and dance like never before. All seemed to be going incredibly well for the Grammy winner until just a few days ago, when she was hit with a lawsuit that claims the biggest hit of her career isn’t entirely hers.

A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles argues that Lipa’s single “Levitating” borrows more than a little bit from another song released by a band few have heard of. Florida-based reggae act Artikal Sound System claims that the global smash is essentially a soundalike of their track “Live Your Life.” That tune was released by the act back in 2017, and it is featured on their EP Smoke and Mirrors, which dropped the same year.

A quick play of both “Levitating” and “Live Your Life” should make any listener’s ears perk up, as there are certainly similarities between the two.

The lawsuit claims, according to Music Business Worldwide, that Lipa’s worldwide behemoth is so much like the reggae band’s tune that it is “highly unlikely that ‘Levitating’ was created independently.”

This case is the latest in a long stretch of complaints by songwriters, producers, and artists who claim a star has stolen their intellectual property and made millions from it.

Fellow chart-loving pop stars like Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, and the powerful team of Pharrell, Robin Thicke and T.I. have all gone through similar legal fights in the past decade or so, to name just a few.

While it may be one of her most successful songs, “Levitating” has already faced some controversy during its time on the charts. The album version of the cut is a solo venture, while the single edition that was sent to radio initially featured a verse by rapper DaBaby.

That take was the one that became the best-known, but it fell out of favor after the hip-hop musician made homophobic remarks during a concert in mid-2021. After that incident, which he stretched into an ongoing battle with the LGBTQ community, fans and radio programmers instead began favoring the solo option.

“Levitating” was released as the fifth official single from Lipa’s sophomore album Future Nostalgia, which she is currently busy promoting on her tour of the same name. The track followed in the highly-successful footsteps of prior promotional cuts “Don’t Start Now,” “Physical,” “Break My Heart” and “Hallucinate,” which all performed well in dozens of countries around the world.

“Levitating” quickly became the pop superstar’s third top 10 hit on the Hot 100 in America, and it narrowly missed out on becoming her first leader, peaking at No. 2. Frustratingly, it was the second single from Future Nostalgia to stall in the runner-up rung, as “Don’t Stop Now” actually did stop, one space shy of history.

Listen for yourself to decide if you think the songs are too similar, or if it’s all a coincidence. 

“Levitating”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hldMjKHGpag

“Live Your Life”

https://soundcloud.com/artikal-sound-system/03-live-your-life

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