Katy Perry was not ready for this storm. A nine-member federal Jury in a Los Angeles courtroom found that her 2013 hit “Dark Horse” featuring Juicy J was plagiarized from a Christian rap song made in 2009 called “Joyful Noise,” from singer-songwriter Marcus Gray. The song was released under Gray’s stage name Flame. According to AP News, jurors also found that all six songwriters and four corporations that released the song were liable, including Perry, Jordan Houston, Lukasz Gottwald, and Juicy J for his rap verse. Corporations include Capitol Records and VEVO for the song’s distribution. Gray and two additional co-writers, Emanuel Lambert and Chike Ojukwu, first filed the lawsuit in 2014 alleging the plagiarism.
During the seven-day trial, Perry and her co-writers testified that they have never heard of “Joyful Noise” but Gray’s attorney thought otherwise. His attorney claimed that it could’ve been heard by Perry or a co-writer, which she then provided evidence that Gray’s song had millions of plays on streaming services and was even featured on a Grammy-nominated album. The jury also found that the bumping beat and riff at the center of “Joyful Noise” were original enough to be copyrighted. As of now, the case will be in the penalty phase, where the jury will determine how much Perry and other defendants will owe for copyright infringement. Other defendants include Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Cirkut (Henry Walter) who provided the song’s beat.
“Dark Horse,” was featured on the pop superstar’s fourth studio album Prism, which also included the empowering and lead single “Roar.”