John Legend Denies Jacking Anthony Stokes' Song

UPDATE: The ivory tickler refutes a lawsuit that claims he stole a song from the New Jersey singer-songwriter.

Singer-songwriter Anthony Stokes has filed suit against John Legend, claiming that the Grammy-winning ivory tickler listened to his demo tape and modeled a song after one of his tracks.

The suit, filed in New Jersey, claims that Legend watched Stokes give a performance at UNC in 2004. Following the gig, Stokes gave Legend his demo tape with the promise that he would listen to it, but never heard back.

But in 2006, Stokes heard the song “Maxine’s Interlude” off of Legend’s Once Again and realized that it ripped off his track “Where Are You Now?”

Stokes is suing Legend for unspecified damages and is attempting to block Legend from selling the track.

[July 8]

UPDATE: John Legend has denied claims that he stole Stokes' song, claiming that stealing a track is something he would never do.

"This gentleman made an accusation that's not true and we know it's not true," he told E! News. "I never heard of his song until he sued me. [...] I would never steal anyone's song. I've never, ever done that before. Never even been accused of it before, and we will fight it in court and we will prevail. I'm not worried about it. I know the truth is on my side."

RELATED: The Roots & John Legend Pull In Three Grammy Awards For "Wake Up!"


  • Mr Flamboyant

    I think everyone has forgotten Record Industry Rule 2080... Did he or didn't he? It wouldn't surprise me if he did. You'd be shocked at how much stuff, albeit some suttle, is jacked by these cats y'all obviously look up to. Kanye said "mayonaisse colored benz, I push miracle whips" on college dropout's last call. Only he didn't come up with the line. I know this to be truth cause I know, personally, the guy who did. Another one is, allegedly, revolving around the December 4th beat. One guy, who I know from school, sent in a beat tape demo or called it in. Discussions had, talks ensued, and then nothing... Later down the road over time, this person gets the Black Album as everyone else did... here's track #2...and hears his beat. Not the same exact beat perse, but the base and construction, boom. Just added different drums and stuff to it. So at the very least, give the guy a co-production credit. Nope. Too much like right. I'm not saying I know it all. But I'm saying I do know something and know of some things. People all thought Lauryn Hill was this grandiose musician and composer who crafted a hip hop classic. Those people sued and finally got their story out with everything to back it up. Ms. Hill ain't been shit since and sounds like a broke dick dog getting head with a gang of teeth. So hear this out. Legend might have good lawyers and talking brash because of this. Or he could be telling the truth. Stay tuned I guess. I don't care really.

  • Falona

    It's not irrelevant. It fits perfectly on "Once Again" because it is right after the song "Where Did My Baby Go", picking up where that song left off. I believe him, not just because I'm a fan but I don't think that he needs to steal music. He's too talented for that.


      he doesn't need any humble pie if he knows for a fact that he didn't steal the song and can prove so.

    • steve

      in a courtroom, it won't matter how the songs were arranged on a CD. bullshit. the only songs in question are the ones listed in the article. that's it. Legend seems mighty confident he's gonna win. he needs a little humble pie.

  • Falona

    John Legend took to his twitter account last night about this. He said "I never have and never will steal another writer's song. Never heard this dude's song til yesterday. The case has no merit." and the other tweet was "I guess he thinks he can squeeze a little money & fame from this. We'll go to court and we'll win."

  • Anonymous

    I own that album and Maxines interlude is clearly the most irrelevant cut on it. end of story.

  • Big Log

    Do any artist's created the own, these day i just look like nigga hang around jacking other nigga beat and song what going on, guess i have to ask marvin

  • Poetic Assasin

    attmpting to block legend from selling the track ? when in 2012 ? I know lawsuits take a while to materialize, but damn, that's 5 years now... If it's true that's sad, because I love Legend's work - there is always a risk of people stealing your work - copywritten or not.

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