In a lawsuit obtained by E! News, Mitsou (real name: Mónika Juhász Miczura) claims Jay, Bey and "Drunk in Love" producers (including Timbaland) sampled and digitally manipulated her vocals from a 1995 traditional Roma folk song without permission. Per the suit, filed Friday in Manhattan civil court, Mitsou is seeking unspecified damages for the "irreparable harm and emotional distress" caused by the musicians' "blatant unauthorized use of [her] voice for trade purposes."
Mitsou claims "Drunk in Love" begins with her voice singing an a cappella solo for the first 13 seconds of the song. After this introduction, she purports that her "voice continues to sing as Beyoncé begins to sing"—up until the 41 second mark. Mitsou states that her vocals join Jay Z when he raps in the song from 3:14 until 4:05, a total of 51 seconds. Mitsou claims her vocals, taken from a song called "Bajba, Bajba Pélem" that she recorded with her folk band Ando Drom, are featured for over 1.5 minutes of the 5.5-minute song.
According to Mitsoui's suit, her original track is about "hopelessness, when one can no longer trust anyone but her own mother and God." She claims that her vocals from this track were lifted without permission and sampled in "Drunk in Love" in order "to evoke foreign eroticism alongside the sexually intense lyrics."
Beyoncé, Jay Z and Timbaland did not respond to E! News' request for comment.
—by Claudia Rosenbaum