Nicki Minaj Agrees to Pay Tracy Chapman $450,000 in Copyright Suit Settlement

Nicki Minaj is settling a dispute.

The Queen rapper was sued by Tracy Chapman for illicitly using “Baby Can I Hold You,” and it cost her $450,000, according to THR on Friday (January 8).

Nicki will be paying Tracy that amount over her copyright infringement claim for “Sorry,” which contained Tracy‘s 1988 song “Baby Can I Hold You.”

Documents became public in California federal court confirming the offer was accepted. And as a result, the two will not go to trial later this year. Tracy won the case and $450,000, as well as not being held responsible for costs had a jury decided her claims weren’t worth that amount.

She first filed the case back in 2018 after Nicki allegedly leaked the song to Funkmaster Flex, resulting in the song hitting the Internet.

Nicki and her reps sought a license to the song according to the court documents.

“One of the clearance specialists put on the task is said to have known that Chapman was on the ‘do not sample list’— an unwritten list of artists that were well-known for not allowing samples of their works. Minaj‘s team made efforts anyway, but Chapman rejected a request. Minaj persisted, but the song only got out through leak,” the outlet reported.

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips concluded Nicki had a fair use right to use the song in the studio to enable musical experimentation: “A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry,” the judge previously said while setting up a trial to explore the facts of the leak, which will now no longer move forward.

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