Kanye West & Ty Dolla $ign Sued By Donna Summer’s Estate Over Uncleared Sample

Kanye West & Ty Dolla $ign Sued By Donna Summer’s Estate Over Uncleared Sample

Following the rules can keep you out of a lot of legal trouble.

Earlier this month, Kanye “Ye” West and Ty Dolla $ign dropped their first collaborative album, “Vultures 1.” Soon after its debut, the artists were hit with problems surrounding the project. Last week news broke that they had to find a new distributor after FUGA threatened to pull the album from certain streaming platforms over claims that the company never cleared the release. And if that’s not bad enough, Donna Summer’s estate called Kanye West out for sampling the late singer’s song “I Feel Love” after he was explicitly told not to do so.


Today (Feb. 27), Kanye West, his record label, Ty Dolla $ign, and a few other associated parties were officially hit with a lawsuit by Donna Summer’s estate. Reportedly, Kanye asked the estate earlier this year if he could sample the track in question for his song “Good (Don’t Die).” The suit states that Bruce Sudano, the second husband of Donna Summer and the executor of the late singer’s estate, ultimately denied his request because,

“West is known as a controversial public figure whose conduct has led numerous brands and business partners to disassociate from him.”

Reportedly, Sudano wrote to the musicians’ reps,

“…this denial meant an ‘absolute prohibition against any licensee (or other recording artist) covering I FEEL LOVE from using a Donna Summer “soundalike”, or using the original Donna Summer recording.’”

After being told no, Kanye and Ty Dolla $ign allegedly tried to get approval from Summer’s record label, Universal Music Enterprises, but the label turned them down as well. Instead of accepting defeat, the man purportedly decided to use “an unauthorized interpolation” of Summer’s song. Sudano lawyers claim,

“In the face of these repeated denials, West and Co-Defendants attempted to get around this roadblock by instead making an unauthorized interpolation. West and his Co-Defendants used the song’s iconic melody as the hook for their infringing song and essentially re-recorded almost verbatim key, instantly recognizable portions of “I FEEL LOVE” using a singer soundalike to Summer, with slight changes to the lyrics (also done without permission).”

05/21/2008 – Donna Summer – 2008 American Idol Finale – Press Room – Nokia Theater – Los Angeles, CA. USA – Keywords: Donna Summer – False – – Photo Credit: Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos – Contact (1-866-551-7827)

At the time of this report, the “Good (Don’t Die)” track has already been pulled from most streaming services. However, the late entertainer’s estate is claiming the tune was streamed millions of times before it was pulled. The estate is seeking major damages and an injunction blocking further distribution of the song.

What are your thoughts on this entire situation? Tell us in the comments below! 

Authored by: Twila-Amoure McDaniel