Florida reggae band Artikal Sound System have filed a complaint in California federal court alleging that Dua Lipa infringed on the copyright of their 2017 track "Live Your Life" for her massive 2020 hit "Levitating." Their complaint claims Lipa and her co-defendants — including Warner Records and songwriters Clarence Coffee, Jr., Sarah Hudson, and Stephen Kozmeniuk — "listened to and copied 'Live Your Life' before and during the time when they were writing 'Levitating.'”
It's a straightforward copyright claim, with the plaintiffs' attorneys alleging that, "[g]iven the degree of similarity, it is highly unlikely that 'Levitating' was created independently from 'Live Your Life.'” The allegation rests on the likeness of the two track's choruses (in Levitation's case, the chorus' second half), which have nearly identical chord structures — albeit ones relatively common in pop music — and vocal melodies, as well as lyrical similarities.
"Live Your Life" was a modest hit, reaching number two on Billboard's reggae charts. "Levitating," on the other hand, was a huge success, climbing to third on the Billboard 200 chart and second on the Billboard Hot 100. The original song features DaBaby, though that version was replaced on the charts by a Dua Lipa solo version after the rapper was criticized for a homophobic speech he made at Rolling Loud Miami 2021.
The FADER has reached out to the plaintiff's attorneys and to representatives of Dua Lipa and Warner Records for further comment on the case.