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Lady Gaga hits back after songwriter claims ‘Shallow’ is a rip-off of his song

Songwriter Steve Ronsen claims the Oscar-winning track copied parts of his own.

By Will Stroude

Lady Gaga has hit back after being accused of ripping off a songwriter’s work for her Oscar-winning track ‘Shallow’ from A Star Is Born.

Just days after a judge ruled that Katy Perry’s 2013 ‘Dark Horse’ infringed the copyright of a 2008 Christian rap-song – resulting in a $2.8million payout – songwriter Steve Ronsen has accused Gaga and Mark Ronson of sampling his work without credit.

Ronsen claims ‘Shallow’ – which topped the charts on both sides of the pond last year, becoming Gaga’s biggest hit for seven years in the process – copies a three-note progression recorded for his own song, ‘Almost’, ET Online reports.

In a statement, Ronsen said: “It was brought to my attention by many people that the ‘Shallow’ song sounds like mine. I did not seek this out, I haven’t even seen the movie (I heard it’s pretty good).

“I admire Lady Gaga and I just want to get to the bottom of this. There are other writers that wrote the ‘Shallow’ song, including Mark Ronson. I have secured a musicologist who also agrees that the songs are similar.

“I am simply going about this how anyone else would investigate any possible infringement.”

Lawyers for Gaga have already issued a statement on behalf of the singer, branding Ronsen’s claims and those of his lawer Mark D. Shirian “shameful”.

“Mr. Ronsen and his lawyer are trying to make easy money off the back of a successful artist. It is shameful and wrong,” said Gaga’s lawyer, Orin Snyder.

“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 opportunistic claims such as this. Should Mr. Shirian proceed with the case, Lady Gaga will fight it vigorously and will prevail. 

He added: “We provided Mr. Shirian a lengthy letter with the findings of multiple leading musicologists, each of whom found no actionable similarities between the two songs.

“Even Shirian’s own musicologist acknowledged the generic three note progression is present in many other songs predating his client’s song.”