Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” copied a Christian rap song, jury declares

A jury found that Perry and Dr. Luke copied Christian rapper Flame.

July 29, 2019
Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” copied a Christian rap song, jury declares Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

A jury has found that Katy Perry’s 2013 number one “Dark Horse” copied a Christian rap song called “Joyful Noise,” by the rapper Flame. As Stereogum reports, the jury came to this decision on Monday, five years after Flame — real name Marcus Gray — and his two co-writers first sued Perry. The jury is now tasked with deciding how much Perry and her writing team — producer Dr. Luke, as well as a handful of co-writers — owe Gray and his collaborators.

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Gray’s lawyers claimed that “Dark Horse”’s beat and instrumental lines were copied directly from “Joyful Noise”; Perry’s lawyers, on the other hand, argue that the supposedly copied sections were too simple to be considered specific to “Joyful Noise.” “They’re trying to own basic building blocks of music, the alphabet of music that should be available to everyone,” Perry’s attorney said during closing arguments. Listen to both songs below.


Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” copied a Christian rap song, jury declares