Folks either love or hate Alicia Keys’ new single, “Girl on Fire.” Regardless of the public opinion of the song, songwriter Earl Shuman isn’t happy that Keys apparently lifted lyrics from his and the late Leon Carr’s 1960’s hit, “Hey There Lonely Girl.”
In an interview with Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411, Shuman said that he plans to take legal action to insure that Keys pays him for lifting two exact lines from the tune.
On her song, “Girl on Fire” the Grammy-winning singer belts: “Nobody knows that she’s a lonely girl/And it’s a lonely world.”
In the chorus of Shuman and Carr’s classic goes: “Hey there lonely girl/lonely girl.”
Shuman, now 89, told Friedman he has a “good lawyer” who is already pursuing the situation. He also revealed that he had to sue both Anita Baker and the Beastie Boys in the past for using portions of the song without prior permission.
The first version of the song “Hey There Lonely Boy” was recorded by Ruby and the Romantics in 1963.
Back to “Girl of Fire,” the un-credited “Hey There” is not the only sample in the song either. Keys did actually give credit for the song “The Big Beat” by Billy Squiers, which is what the drumline is lifted from.
The 31-year-old vocalist/pianist has not commented on the matter.