Beyoncé says there’s no truth to claims by English pop duo Right Said Fred that she sampled their 1990s hit “I’m Too Sexy” without permission.
The duo, made up of brothers Fred Fairbrass and Richard Fairbrass, blasted the singer and called her “arrogant” for using a portion of the song in her new single “Alien Superstar.”
“Normally the artist approaches us but Beyoncé didn’t because she is such an arrogant person, she just had probably thought ‘come and get me,’ so we heard about it after the fact when you did,” the brothers told The Sun earlier this week at the 2022 BMI London Awards.
The duo said other artists, including Drake and Taylor Swift, have gotten clearance before sampling the song.
Swift used a portion of the track in her single “Look What You Made Me Do.” Drake sampled it for “Way 2 Sexy,” featuring Future and Young Thug, off his 2021 album “Certified Lover Boy.”
“To use our melody they need our permission so they send us the demo and we approve it and if so, we get a co-write credit. With this Beyoncé thing there are 22 writers, it’s ridiculous, so we would get about 40p [about 45 cents],” the brothers said.
The pair added that they felt powerless.
“We can’t stop it. There is nothing we can do. It is s–t,” they said. “You are going to get into a conversation with someone who has a lot more presence and power and money than we do. And that won’t go well. It’s best to let it go.”
After the band’s comments went viral, a representative for Beyoncé issued a statement to The Sun and E! News saying the musicians are mistaken.
“The comments made by Right Said Fred stating that Beyoncé used ‘I’m Too Sexy’ in ‘Alien Superstar’ without permission are erroneous and incredibly disparaging,” the rep said. “Permission was not only granted for its use, but they publicly spoke of their gratitude for being on the album.”
Beyoncé’s team added that they requested clearance from the band’s publisher and the duo was compensated.
“For their song, there was no sound recording use, only the composition was utilized. Permission was asked of their publisher on May 11, 2022 and the publisher approved the use on June 15, 2022. They were paid for the usage in August, 2022,” the rep said.
In July, when Beyoncé’s album “Renaissance” was released, the brothers took to Twitter to praise the Grammy-winning singer.
“It’s nice to get a writing credit on the new ‘Beyonce’ album. ‘Renaissance’ Credits: Drake, A. G. Cook, Syd, Right Said Fred, & More #Beyonce,” they tweeted on July 22.
It seems now the duo has had a change of heart.
— Right Said Fred (@TheFreds) July 22, 2022