"Erroneous and incredibly disparaging" accusations.
Alien Superstar, a highlight from Beyoncé's latest album, Renaissance, samples the Right Said Fred 1992 hit, I'm Too Sexy. Fred and Richard Fairbrass and past member Rob Manzoli received writing credits. Now, however, they claim that Beyoncé didn't ask for their permission to use their song.
Speaking at the 2022 Broadcast Music Inc Awards in London with British tabloid The Sun, they said, "Normally the artist approaches us, but Beyoncé didn't because she is such an arrogant person; she just had probably thought 'come and get me', so we heard about it after the fact when you did."
Beyoncé's representatives have now responded to the accusations. In a statement shared with Pitchfork, it reads:
"The comments made by Right Said Fred stating that Beyoncé used I’m Too Sexy in Alien Superstar without permission are erroneous and incredibly disparaging. Permission was not only granted for its use, but they publicly spoke of their gratitude for being on the album.
For their song, there was no sound recording use, only the composition was utilized. Permission was asked of their publisher on May 11, 2022 and the publisher approved the use on June 15, 2022. They were paid for the usage in August, 2022.
Furthermore, the copyright percentage of the Right Said Fred writers with respect to the use of I’m Too Sexy is a substantial portion of the composition. Collectively the Right Said Fred writers own more than any other singular writer and have co-writer credit. This accusation is false."
Renaissance has found controversy elsewhere, with an ableist slur heard on Heated. The words "sp*z" and "sp*zzin" were removed from the song after Lizzo amended her song GRRRLS which featured the same word. Kelis also criticised Beyoncé for interpolating her hit, Milkshake, on the track Energy without permission; the sample was subsequently drawn from streaming platforms.
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As she explained, "They found my work through an Instagram account … [that] champions emerging designers and young designers who are trying to share their work on an international … scale, "But I didn't let myself believe it (that Beyoncé would wear her design) until I saw the photo. "I had held my breath for a couple of months, hoping that it would make the final cut and I'm so thankful that it did. To have this happen to me so young … it's incredibly exciting and unbelievable."