When You Listen to This Hungarian Folk Singer's Song, You'll Know Why She's Suing Beyoncé

Source: AP
Source: AP

"Drunk in Love" was one of the biggest songs of 2013 and 2014. And one Hungarian thinks that's a sham. 

Per the Guardian:

A Hungarian Roma singer has accused Beyoncé of sampling her voice without credit or permission. Monika Miczura Juhász claims that Beyoncé illegally appropriated one of her tracks for one of 'Drunk in Love''s most distinctive hooks.

Juhász, who performs under the name Mitsou, filed the civil suit in Manhattan supreme court, naming Beyoncé, Jay Z and one of 'Drunk in Love''s songwriters, Timbaland, as co-defendants. Her lawyers allege that a recurring section of the song is a "digitally manipulated" excerpt from the track 'Bajba, Bajba Pelém,' which Juhász recorded with the group Ando Drom in 1995.

Here's Mitsou's song:

Source: YouTube

And here's Beyoncé's song:

Source: YouTube

Mitsou said the similarities are enough to claim that 29% of Beyoncé's song should be credited to her. The lawsuit says Beyoncé's sample evokes a "foreign eroticism alongside the sexually intense lyrics," adding that Mitsou's voice is "widely considered unique and ethereal" and is in "high demand for countless international collaborations as a featured guest singer."

Beyoncé has not responded to the lawsuit, Complex reported. But this isn't the first controversy over the song, either. Not long after its release, Future claimed that Bey had borrowed some of the melodies from his own song, "Good Morning," which shares a producer and several opening melodies.

It's somewhat difficult to believe that Beyoncé would somehow find "Bajba, Bajba Pelem" to use for her own gain since it isn't readily available on the Internet, but only time and the justice system will tell. Even if the lawsuit is thrown out, though, there's a suspicious silver lining for Mitsou — this is probably the best publicity she has ever received. 

Editor's Note: Feb. 13, 2015

Due to an attribution error in the editing process, a previous version of this story cited and linked to the Guardian but did not include quotations around the following passages: "A Hungarian Roma singer has accused Beyoncé of sampling her voice without credit or permission. Monika Miczura Juhász claims that Beyoncé illegally appropriated one of her tracks for one of 'Drunk in Love''s most distinctive hooks. 
Juhász, who performs under the name Mitsou, filed the civil suit in Manhattan supreme court, naming Beyoncé, Jay Z and one of 'Drunk in Love's songwriters,' Timbaland, as co-defendants. Her lawyers allege that a recurring section of the song is a 'digitally manipulated' excerpt from the track 'Bajba, Bajba Pelen,' which Juhász recorded with the group Ando Drom in 1995." The article has been updated to fully attribute the Guardian's language.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jordan Valinsky

Jordan is a writer at the Live News desk. He's previously written for The Week, Betabeat, The Daily Dot and CNN.com.

MORE FROM

The 'Will and Grace' revival will lay out the "rules" in the premiere

Series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan are addressing that pesky finale

'Han Solo' director Ron Howard recalls his first 'Star Wars' experience

The veteran filmmaker revealed 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas was talking about it as early as 1972.

RuPaul is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

RuPaul is among the latest Walk of Fame honorees.

Stop trying to reveal Banksy's secret identity

Revealing the identity of Banksy is a great way to destroy the power of his work.

'Arrow' executive producer talks gun violence episode and teases another topical story in season 6

"Spectre of the Gun" brought the gun control debate to 'Arrow'.

Diddy talks 'Can't Stop, Won't Stop' documentary, Biggie and not being a hater

As the Bad Boy Entertainment founder looks to burnish his legacy with a new film, he looks back on more than 20 years in the music business.

The 'Will and Grace' revival will lay out the "rules" in the premiere

Series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan are addressing that pesky finale

'Han Solo' director Ron Howard recalls his first 'Star Wars' experience

The veteran filmmaker revealed 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas was talking about it as early as 1972.

RuPaul is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

RuPaul is among the latest Walk of Fame honorees.

Stop trying to reveal Banksy's secret identity

Revealing the identity of Banksy is a great way to destroy the power of his work.

'Arrow' executive producer talks gun violence episode and teases another topical story in season 6

"Spectre of the Gun" brought the gun control debate to 'Arrow'.

Diddy talks 'Can't Stop, Won't Stop' documentary, Biggie and not being a hater

As the Bad Boy Entertainment founder looks to burnish his legacy with a new film, he looks back on more than 20 years in the music business.