Tracy Chapman Wins $450K From Nicki Minaj in ‘Sorry’ Copyright Lawsuit
Legally speaking, one might say that Tracy Chapman just drove a “Fast Car” over Nicki Minaj. (Sorry.) The four-time Grammy winner filed a lawsuit against Minaj in 2018 over the rapper’s song “Sorry”—a derivative ditty based on the Chapman hit “Baby Can I Hold You.” Per The Hollywood Reporter, Chapman has accepted Minaj’s offer of judgment, allowing her to collect $450,000 and saving both the trouble of appearing in court later this year.
THR reports that court papers from the case, made public Thursday, indicate that Minaj and her team initially sought a license to use the song, which Chapman rejected. Although “Sorry,” produced in collaboration with Nas, was never released on Minaj’s 2018 album, Queen, she allegedly leaked it to radio DJ Funkmaster Flex—and subsequently, the song circulated online.
In a statement, Chapman expressed gratitude for this outcome. “I was asked in this situation numerous times for permission to use my song; in each instance, politely and in a timely manner, I unequivocally said no,” she said. “Apparently Ms. Minaj chose not to hear and used my composition despite my clear and express intentions.” Chapman added that the lawsuit was intended “to defend myself and my work and to seek protection for the creative enterprise and expression of songwriters and independent publishers like myself.”