Indie Band Sleigh Bells Sue Demi Lovato for Unlawfully Sampling Their Music

Photo: Mike Windle/Getty Images

If you’ve ever listened to the Demi Lovato song “Stars” and thought it sounded a little familiar, you might be right. Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller of the band Sleigh Bells filed a complaint in California federal court on Monday that alleges Lovato’s track from her most recent album, Confident, borrowed from the indie band without asking first. “On information and belief it is alleged that ‘Stars’ includes compositional elements taken from Sleigh Bells’ song ‘Infinity Guitars,’” the document reads. “A comparison of the two songs reveals that, at the very least, the combination of the hand claps and bass drum, structured as 3 quarter beats and a rest, with the bass drum providing a counter-rhythm to the hand claps, is at least substantially similar in both works. This infringing material repeats throughout the Defendants’ song.” In summary, Krauss and Miller’s team asserts that the similarities between the songs “transcend the realm of coincidence or shared generic material, and inform the very essence of the works.” If the court finds merit in the complaint from Sleigh Bells, the band is requesting $150,000, the maximum allowable amount to be paid in damages, recuperated legal fees, and “a permanent injunction prohibiting the reproduction, distribution, sale, public performance or other use or exploitation of ‘Infinity Guitars’ by Defendants.” Last year, Lovato’s producers on Confident denied using the samples after members of Sleigh Bells publicly called the singer out on Twitter for allegedly swiping material from “Infinity Guitars,” as well as their song “Riot Rhythm.” Those producers also said that Lovato herself was not involved with the production of the songs.

Here are the songs in question so you can hold your own personal trials at home: