Miley Cyrus was sued for $300 million on Tuesday by a Jamaican songwriter who said that the pop singer's 2013 hit "We Can't Stop" closely resembles a song he recorded 25 years earlier and that she is infringing on his copyright.
Michael May, who performs as Flourgon, alleges that his 1988 song "We Run Things" has been "a favorite for lovers of reggae music worldwide" since reaching No. 1 in his home country and that about 50% of "We Can't Stop" comes from him.
He accused Cyrus and her label RCA Records, owned by Sony, of misappropriating his material, including the phrase "We run things. Things no run we," which she sings as "We run things. Things don't run we."
Representatives for Cyrus, 25, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Sony did not immediately respond to a similar request.
May said he sought to protect his work last year with the U.S. Copyright Office, and in November won "formal copyright protection" for all musical arrangements in "We Run Things."
He said Cyrus' song "owes the basis of its chart-topping popularity to and its highly lucrative success to plaintiff May's protected, unique, creative and original content."
The Kingston, Jamaica, resident is also seeking a halt to further sales and performances of "We Can't Stop," according to his complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
While the complaint did not specify damages, May's lawyers in a press statement described it as a $300 million case.