"The X Factor" U.K. judge Tulisa Contostavlos is taking legal action against "The Voice" U.K. coach Will.i.am over his hit song "Scream & Shout," according to an article published in The Sun's issue dated Feb. 10, 2013. Contostavlos claims that she was not given songwriting credit on the track, and she is suing for royalties and songwriting credit.
As previously reported, Contostavlos, who is a founding member of the hip-hop trio N-Dubz, was allegedly furious that Will.i.am decided to do another version of "Scream & Shout" with Britney Spears, who was a judge on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2012.
According to report published by The Sun, Contostavlos (who goes by the one-word stage name Tulisa) originally recorded the song, which was at first titled "I Don't Give a F*ck." She co-wrote the song with Will.i.am's close business associate Jean Baptiste. The song was intended to be on Contostavlos' first solo album, "The Female Boss." Some initial, never-released copies of the album had the song on it.
However, Will.i.am (a founding member of the Black Eyed Peas) decided that he wanted the song for his fourth solo album, "#willpower," so he rewrote parts of it, recorded it as a solo artist, and had Spears as a featured singer on the song, which was renamed "Scream & Shout" and released in November 2012. According to The Sun, Spears heard Contostavlos' original vocals on the song, and that is why Spears has a fake British accent on "Scream & Shout."
"Scream & Shout" has been a No. 1 hit in several countries, including the U.K., and has gotten mixed reviews. In the U.S., the song peaked at No. 3 and has sold 1 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The single was released by Interscope Records, which has changed the release date for "#willpower" multiple times.
As of this writing, there is no U.S. release date yet for the "#willpower" album, but it is expected to be out sometime in 2013. In 2012, Will.i.am made a guest appearance on "The X Factor" U.S. as a guest mentor assisting Spears in evaluating contestants during the "judges' houses" phase of the competition.
"The Female Boss" album has been a flop: It debuted at No. 35 in the U.K. and sold only 7,000 copies sold in its first week, according to the Official Charts Company. The album's three singles so far, released in this order, are "Young" (which was a No. 1 hit in the U.K.), "Live It Up" (No. 11 in the U.K.) and "Sight of You" (No. 18 in the U.K.). Contostavlos first rose to fame in 2008 as a member of the hip-hop trio N-Dubz, which has had several Top 40 U.K. hits. N-Dubz is currently on hiatus as the group's members pursue solo careers.
An unnamed source told The Sun: “The song was due to be Tulisa’s third single from her album until Will told his protégé Jean that he wanted the beat for him and Britney. Tulisa’s team thought it was a surefire hit but, after losing the battle for the rights, they were forced to release 'Sight Of You' which only got to No. 18. She now has to watch on as the song goes Top 5 around the world. At one point Tulisa was even considering releasing her version to rival 'Scream & Shout,' but now it’s unlikely to see the light of day unless it gets leaked.”
As for the lawsuit, an unnamed source told The Sun: “Tulisa is still fuming with Will for taking the song off her. The fact the song blew up only makes it worse. She’s well within her right to claim some of the publishing money. If she proves the words are hers, she could get a huge pay-out.”
One of the "Scream & Shout" lines that Contostavlos claims to have written is: “When you hear this in the club, you’d better turn this sh*t up.”
Contostavlos, Will.i.am and their representatives have not yet publicly commented on the legal dispute over "Scream & Shout." In most cases like this, the lawsuit is either dismissed or settled out of court.
"The X Factor" U.K. judging panel for 2013 still hasn't been officially announced yet, but it should be announced by May. British tabloids have been reporting for months that Contostavlos will not be returning to the show, but in January 2013, she tweeted an angry denial about one of those tabloid reports. In 2012, the judges on "The X Factor" U.K. were Contostavlos and Gary Barlow (who both joined the show in May 2011), Nicole Scherzinger (who joined in June 2012) and Louis Walsh, who has been a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. since its 2004 debut.