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Nicki Minaj Agrees to Pay Tracy Chapman $450,000 in Copyright Suit Settlement

Nicki Minaj is settling a dispute.

The Queen rapper was sued by Tracy Chapman for illicitly using “Baby Can I Hold You,” and it cost her $450,000, according to THR on Friday (January 8).

Nicki will be paying Tracy that amount over her copyright infringement claim for “Sorry,” which contained Tracy‘s 1988 song “Baby Can I Hold You.”

Documents became public in California federal court confirming the offer was accepted. And as a result, the two will not go to trial later this year. Tracy won the case and $450,000, as well as not being held responsible for costs had a jury decided her claims weren’t worth that amount.

She first filed the case back in 2018 after Nicki allegedly leaked the song to Funkmaster Flex, resulting in the song hitting the Internet.

Nicki and her reps sought a license to the song according to the court documents.

“One of the clearance specialists put on the task is said to have known that Chapman was on the ‘do not sample list’— an unwritten list of artists that were well-known for not allowing samples of their works. Minaj‘s team made efforts anyway, but Chapman rejected a request. Minaj persisted, but the song only got out through leak,” the outlet reported.

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips concluded Nicki had a fair use right to use the song in the studio to enable musical experimentation: “A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry,” the judge previously said while setting up a trial to explore the facts of the leak, which will now no longer move forward.

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Tracy Chapman Performs on TV for the First Time in Five Years

Tracy Chapman is making a rare return to television.

The legendary singer-songwriter appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers on Monday night (November 2), one day ahead of Election Day (November 3).

During the appearance, she performed “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution” from her self-titled 1988 debut album, marking the first time she performed on TV since she was on The Late Show With David Letterman in 2015.

“This is the most important election of our lifetime. It is imperative that everyone vote to restore our democracy,” Tracy said in a statement.

“I’ve always thought Tracy Chapman’s music skips your ears and goes straight to your heart. I’m so honored and excited to have her on the show. She’s living proof you can be a great artist while also speaking out for what you believe in,” Seth added.

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Nicki Minaj Did Not Commit Copyright Infringement, Judge Rules, in Tracy Chapman Lawsuit

Nicki Minaj came out victorious in her lawsuit against singing Tracy Chapman, as a judge ruled she did not commit copyright infringement.

The lawsuit claimed that Nicki committed copyright infringement when she experimented with Tracy‘s “Baby Can I Hold You” song for her own, “Sorry”.

Variety reports that a judge ruled on Wednesday that Nicki was within the realms of “fair use” of the song and it is not copyright infringement.

Nicki had worked on “Sorry” with recording artist Nasir Bin Olu in 2017 and during that time, she had believed the song was a remake of another track by Shelly Thunder.

“Baby Can I Hold You” was included on Tracy‘s debut album in 1988.

Nicki and her reps reached out to Tracy for permission to use the song, but she denied the request.

However, a copy of the unreleased track made its way to DJ Flex, a New York radio DJ, who then played it on the air, which is where the copyright issue comes into play.

Nicki‘s attorneys said that Tracy‘s lawsuit against Nicki “should send a shiver down the spine of those concerned with the entertainment industry” and the added that a ruling in favor of Tracy would “impose a financial and administrative burden so early in the creative process that all but the most well-funded creators would be forced to abandon their visions at the outset.”

The judge agreed, and in writing stated that “artists usually experiment with works before seeking licenses from rights holders and rights holders typically ask to see a proposed work before approving a license. A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry.”

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Tracy Chapman Is Suing Nicki Minaj - Find Out Why!

Tracy Chapman is suing Nicki Minaj.

The “Fast Car” singer-songwriter claims that Nicki stole her song, “Baby Can I Hold You,” to record a song called “Sorry” meant for her latest album Queen, according to TMZ.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Tracy Chapman

Tracy claims that Nicki made multiple requests to license the song, which were all rejected. Nicki then apparently went on to record the song, which included lyrics and melodies from her song.

The track didn’t make the album, but still surfaced on the radio, which Nicki seemingly acknowledged with a tweet: “Sis said no,” alluding to Tracy‘s rejection of her song’s usage.

Tracy is suing to prohibit Nicki from releasing the song in the future, and is also seeking an undisclosed sum.