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            Pop star singer Katy Perry has been found guilty of copying a song by a Christian rapper called Flame. Perry’s hit song Dark Horse was accused of being an imitation of Flame’s song Joyful Noise. The court ordered that Perry pay over $550,000 and that Capital Records, Perry’s record label, pay a larger sum of $1.2 million. Perry’s song Dark Horse spent four weeks at the # 1 position on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart early in 2014. Dark Horse was written by six song writers in total, all of whom were sued; Perry herself only wrote the lyrics to the song. The lyrics of the two songs are about very different topics. Joyful Noise is about the singer rejecting his older hedonistic attitudes in favor of spirituality and religion; in contrast, Dark Horse is about a hedonistic and addictive romantic relationship.

Despite the gigantic philosophical differences between the two songs, the jurors decided that two riffs from Joyful Noise were stolen and put into Dark Horse. Perry’s attorney claimed that there is no evidence that the writers of Dark Horse had access to the song Joyful Noise. Katy Perry is making an appeal to a higher court in order to overturn what she believes is an unjust decision. Musicians have been influencing each other for as long as music has existed; and there’s nothing wrong with allowing other artists to influence your art as long as you are also making something original happen in your work. In recent years, lawsuits have been increasingly common about songs allegedly being too similar to other songs. Now the question is, how much similarity is acceptable from a legal perspective?

Many new music and unexpected collaborations have been coming out of the woodwork as of recent. This week we saw exactly that, and the results were pretty jarring. Zedd and Katy Perry have teamed up to create the overwhelmingly average “365”. Around this time last year, Zedd released “The Middle”  with country pop singer-songwriter Maren Morris. Is he expecting “365” to carry the torch the Grammy nominated “Middle” lit up? “365” is far from a disaster, but it borderlines generic pop as opposed to the grandiose and creative electronica Zedd used to wow us with. We’ll have to see if it lives up to the success “The Middle” generated. Oh yeah, and there’s the overtly weird and creepy themes of obsession Katy throws in the lyrics. Yikes.

(Listen to “365”- Zedd & Katy Perry here).

Shockingly, Avril Lavigne partnered up with Nicki Minaj and released “Dumb Blonde” from Avril’s new album Head Above Water, released February 15th (Yes, you’re reading that sentence correctly). Many suspected Avril died after internet memes and various fans stated she was replaced by a clone named Melissa. She’s proving us that she’s here, in the flesh, with an extremely bland and unseasoned song. This song is very much Avril trying to revisit her old school Canadian punk rock chick era, which she proves on this track she’s far outgrown. The lyrics have been done before, and its style is attempting to mirror Avril’s 2007 banger, “Girlfriend”, which simply cannot be recreated. And Nicki Minaj is practically lifeless in this, her presence isn’t bad but doesn’t really do anything to enhance this track.

(Listen to “Dumb Blonde”- Avril Lavigne & Nicki Minaj here).

In the world of pop music collaborations this week, one song took the cake and managed to be bearable. Cardi B and Bruno Mars released “Please Me” which once again showcases Bruno as a ladies man, being wooed by girls in the club. We already know these two have amazing chemistry and they’ve proven this with how successful the “Finesse (Remix)” ended up being. This, much like “Finesse” highlights Bruno’s cockiness and magnificently powerful vocal range. This mixed with Cardi’s wit and bubbling personality is what makes these two unstoppable. Both Cardi and Bruno deliver amazingly, and give us something new to grind at the bar to.

(Listen to “Please Me” – Cardi B & Bruno Mars here).