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George Clinton Sues Black Eyed Peas Over ‘Shut Up’

07:01 AM Wednesday 12/15/10 | |

Funk pioneer George Clinton wants a federal judge to force The Black Eyed Peas to shut up when it comes to sampling his music.

Clinton sued the Grammy-winning pop group in Los Angeles on Friday, claiming it used elements of his 1979 song “(Not Just) Knee Deep" in remixes of their song “Shut Up.”

The song first appeared on the group’s 2003 album Elephunk, and it released “Shut Up Remix” the same year. It also was used in another remix included on the deluxe edition of the Peas’ 2009 release, The E.N.D., according to the complaint.

  • George Clinton

    New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, New Orleans, La.
    April 23, 2010

    (AP Photo)


Clinton says he never granted permission for the use of his music, and he is seeking copyright infringement damages and an injunction to block further sales of the remixes.

His lawsuit also names as defendants will.i.am and Fergie, the two highest-profile members of Black Eyed Peas. He is also suing the group’s label, Universal Music Group.

  • The Black Eyed Peas

    Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Colo.
    August 10, 2010

    (Owen Sweeney / OwenSweeneyPhoto.com)


A representative for attorney Ken Hertz, who represents the Black Eyed Peas, says he doesn’t comment on client issues. A phone message left for Universal Music Group was not immediately returned.

Clinton claims producers tried to license “(Not Just) Knee Deep” in 2009, but he refused. He claims his signature was forged on a release form later provided to his attorneys and that he has never been paid royalties on the remixes.

The musician previously obtained the rights to his music after suing his label in federal court.


  1. ahhhhhh wrote:

    07:49 AM, Dec 15, 2010

    Thank you Mr Clinton.

Artists Mentioned in this article