beyonce formation

Screengrab via beyonceVEVO/YouTube

Beyoncé sued for $20 million over ‘Formation’ samples

She used samples from deceased New Orleans rapper Messy Mya.


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Feb 8, 2017   Updated on May 25, 2021, 1:17 am CDT

The estate of a deceased New Orleans rapper is suing Beyoncé for a “Formation” sample.

TMZ reports that the estate of Anthony Barré, also known as Messy Mya, has filed a lawsuit against the singer for using samples from YouTube videos. The samples in question come from a video posted in August of 2010, in which Mya walks down the street and asks, “What happened after New Orleans?” Another sample early in “Formation” comes from the 2010 video “A 27-Piece Huh?”

Barré was murdered in November 2010, but left behind many videos like these, in which the camera is a window into the world of “Messyland.”

“Formation” was released before Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance last year. The video has more than 20 million views and her Grammy-nominated album Lemonade went platinum. The estate claims the sample was not authorized, and that Beyoncé ignored communications about using it.

The lawsuit, filed Monday by Barré’s sister, claims copyright infringement and seeks $20 million in royalties and damages, as well as a writer and producer credit for her late brother.


Share this article
*First Published: Feb 8, 2017, 11:14 am CST