KEY POINTS

  • Tracy Chapman won her copyright infringement lawsuit against Nicki Minaj
  • Minaj will have to pay Chapman $450,000 as well as her legal fees
  • The rapper was sued for sampling Chapman's "Baby Can I Hold You" in her 2018 track "Sorry" without her permission

Nicki Minaj has agreed to pay Tracy Chapman almost half a million dollars after the latter sued her for taking her work without permission.

Chapman was victorious after suing Minaj for her track "Sorry," which sampled the former's song "Baby Can I Hold You," court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter revealed. Chapman had accepted Minaj's offer of judgment, thus they will not proceed to a trial.

Aside from paying Chapman $450,000, Minaj will also have to cover the latter's legal fees.

Minaj had asked for Chapman's permission to sample her song "Baby Can I Hold You" while making her 2018 album "Queen" but was rejected. While the track "Sorry" was not released with the album, it was leaked to popular New York radio DJ Funkmaster Flex, allegedly by Minaj herself, prompting Chapman to file a lawsuit.

"I am glad to have this matter resolved and grateful for this legal outcome which affirms that artists' rights are protected by law and should be respected by other artists," Chapman said in a statement quoted by Entertainment Weekly after winning her lawsuit 

She continued, "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. Apparently Ms. Minaj chose not to hear and used my composition despite my clear and express intentions."

Chapman went on to explain how protective she is when it comes to her work. She further said that filing the lawsuit was her last resort.

"As a songwriter and an independent publisher, I have been known to be protective of my work. I have never authorized the use of my songs for samples or requested a sample. This lawsuit was a last resort — pursued in an effort to defend myself and my work and to seek protection for the creative enterprise and expression of songwriters and independent publishers like myself," she stated.

Chapman sued Minaj in October 2018 for using her song without her permission. In the court documents obtained by People at the time, she claimed that "the Infringing Work incorporates the lyrics and vocal melody of the Composition, [which represent] its most recognizable and memorable parts. The Composition's lyrics and vocal melody comprise approximately half of the Infringing Work, and are easily recognizable and identifiable as Chapman's."

The lawsuit also claimed that Minaj recorded "Sorry" before her team reached out to Chapman. Chapman's team stressed that she said "no" multiple times and felt they were "too little, too late," The Blast reported.

Nicki Minaj New merchandise is available for purchase on Nicki Minaj’s website. The rapper is pictured attending Diesel Hate Couture on Sept. 19, 2018 in Milan, Italy. Photo: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images