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Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s award winning song, “Shallow,” from the A Star Is Born soundtrack, is under siege.
A completely unknown songwriter named Steve Ronsen (not to be confused with “Shallow’s” co-writer, producer Mark Ronson) claims Gaga ripped off a song he released in 2012 and is threatening her with a multi-million dollar lawsuit.
Ronsen, who has one monthly listener on SoundCloud, claims “Shallow” steals the G, A, B progression from his song “Almost,” which reportedly had only 300 streams on the platform prior to the recent publicity. It’s worth mentioning this same progression can be heard in lots of songs, like Kansas’ 1978 track “Dust In The Wind.”
Gaga is not going down with a fight. She hired a high-power attorney in New York to vigorously fight Ronsen’s claims.
“Mr. Ronsen and his lawyer are trying to make easy money off the back of a successful artist,” Gaga’s lawyer said in a statement. “It is shameful and wrong. I applaud Lady Gaga for having the courage and integrity to stand up on behalf of successful artists who find themselves on the receiving end of such [claims]. Should Mr. Shirian proceed with this case, Lady Gaga will fight it vigorously and will prevail.”
Ronsen’s team fired back saying they tried working things out with Gaga’s team, but to no avail.
“In an effort to amicably resolve this matter months ago, my office provided Lady Gaga’s legal team, at their request, with an official report from a renowned and respected musicologist and professor who determined that there are significant tempo, melodic, rhythmic and harmonic similarities between the two ‘hooks’ of the songs at issue. Lady Gaga’s team has yet to provide my office with an opposing musicologist report, which we have requested multiple times.”
Gaga previously said of “Shallow,” “When I wrote that song with Mark and Anthony and Andrew, it was different from any other experience I’ve had writing a song. There was a grave nature to the room. I was at the piano, the guys each had a guitar in their hands and we started coming up with lyrics and talking to each other. That’s really what the song is. It’s a conversation between a man and a woman. But we didn’t know that when we started.”
She added: “It’s a song that essentially inspires both of them to be fearless in different ways. For him, fearless in love; for her, fearless in not just only love, but her ability to share that part of her that’s a songwriter, the part of her that doesn’t feel comfortable singing her song. I mean, this girl has completely given up. She’s completely depressed. She doesn’t think she has what it takes. And then she meets this superstar, and he believes in her, and she’s overwhelmed by that belief. That’s what drives her out there. And I think that’s what people are connecting to when they watch it.”
“Shallow” earned an Oscar, has been streamed nearly 800 million times on Spotify, and became the longest-leading Digital Song Sales No. 1 by a female in a lead role.