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Kanye West sued by Donna Summer's estate over use of 'I Feel Love'

FILE PHOTO: Donna Summer performing in New York in 2008

By Blake Brittain

(Reuters) - The estate of disco legend Donna Summer filed a lawsuit in California federal court on Tuesday against Ye, the rap star formerly known as Kanye West, accusing him of incorporating her 1977 hit "I Feel Love" into his new album without permission.

The lawsuit said that Ye and singer Ty Dolla $ign used "instantly recognizable" parts of her song in "Good (Don't Die)" for their collaborative album "Vultures 1" after the estate had explicitly rejected their request to sample it.

Representatives for Ye and Ty Dolla $ign, whose given name is Tyrone Griffin, could not be reached for comment. An attorney for the Summer estate said it would "let the complaint speak for itself."

Ye, who legally changed his name from Kanye West in 2021, sparked outrage in 2022 with a series of anti-Semitic social-media posts. The rapper apologized for his remarks in December.

Ye and Griffin released "Vultures 1" on Feb. 10. It is currently the best-selling album in the U.S., according to Billboard.

Summer's estate said that it rejected a request to allow Ye and Griffin to sample "I Feel Love" on Feb. 3.

"The Summer Estate not only considered the immense commercial value of the 'I Feel Love' composition, but also the potential degradation to Summer's legacy," the complaint said. "West is known as a controversial public figure whose conduct has led numerous brands and business partners to disassociate from him."

The lawsuit said that Ye and Griffin re-recorded the hook of "I Feel Love" with a different singer for their album despite the estate's "absolute prohibition" against the use of Summer's recording or a "soundalike."

The estate requested monetary damages and asked the court to permanently block Ye and Griffin from infringing Summer's copyrights.

(Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington; Editing by David Bario and Sandra Maler)