DENVER (CN) – Colorado artist Yella the Triple Threat sued singer Miley Cyrus in federal court Wednesday for allegedly ripping off her 2012 song “J’s on my Feet.”
Colorado-based artist Ariella Asher, who performs as Yella the Triple Threat, first published her original song “J’s on my Feet” on Sept. 4, 2012 as part of “The Big Bang” mix tape—a name referencing not to the origin of the universe but “a song [that] is extremely tight or just unbelievably awesome,” according to the lawsuit.
Asher additionally registered her music with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Months later, Cyrus released “23,” a song with a strikingly similar chorus, which also appeared on her 2013 triple platinum record “Bangerz.”
The chorus on both songs repeats “I got J’s on my feet” referring to Nike’s coveted Air Jordan basketball shoes which commonly sell for hundreds of dollars.
“Defendant Cyrus used the release of the infringing composition and sound recording ‘23 (J’s On My Feet)’ to reinvent her musical career from child star to the edgier, urban, and adult performer she is today,” the lawsuit said.
Prior to the release of the album, Cyrus also “changed her image to a hairstyle which is strikingly similar to Ms. Asher’s photograph in the artwork for the promotional mix “The Big Bang.”
While Asher’s song received 16 million YouTube views, Cyrus’ “23” spent 23 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and received more than 794 million views.
Asher seeks $150,000 in damages per infringement, which are “ongoing as both the infringing composition and sound recording ‘23 (J’s on my Feet)’ and “Bangerz” continue to be marketed, distributed, performed, licensed for sale, available for digital downloads, ringtones, mastertones, motion pictures, advertisements and other exploitations.”
Other celebrities featured on Cyrus’ track, Mike Will Made It and Wiz Khalifa, are named in the lawsuit as are other “writers, composers, producers, record labels, manufacturers, distributors, publishers, performers, and concert promoters” credited with creating and benefiting from “23.”
Another popular song from the “Bangerz” album, “We Can’t Stop,” is the subject of litigation filed in the Southern District of New York in March alleging that the song copies Jamaican artist Flourgon’s 1988 song “We Run Things.”
Asher is represented by Douglas Richards of the Denver-based firm Richards Carrington, who did not respond to requests for comment.
James Rosenfeld of New York City firm Davis Wright Tremaine is representing Cyrus against Flourgon, but did not respond to inquiries regarding Asher’s case.