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Elton John Sued For Stealing Lyrics To ‘Nikita’

Elton John
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

Elton John and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin are being sued for copyright infringement over John’s 1985 hit ‘Nikita.’ TMZ is reporting that papers filed in a federal court in Illinois state that Guy Hobbs claims that lyrics are very similar to his own composition ‘Natasha,’ which he wrote in 1982.

Hobbs, who said he had been living in Africa since 1984 and therefore never heard the song until recently, said he wrote ‘Natasha’ following an affair with a waitress on a Russian cruise ship. He maintains that he copyrighted the song and sent it to many publishing houses, including Big Pig, which is John’s publishing company. ‘Nikita’ is about an East German border guard.

Representatives for John and Taupin have released the following statement emphatically denying the charge:

Sir Elton and Mr Taupin do not know the plaintiff, nor did they make use of any song lyrics he claims to have written when they wrote ‘Nikita’,

In short, the suit is completely meritless. The fact that Hobbs has chosen to wait more than 26 years after the release of ‘Nikita’ to bring this lawsuit calls his motives into question. Sir Elton John and Mr Taupin fully expect to prevail against this baseless claim.

Although ‘Nikita’ was an international smash that reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, it is hardly considered to be a highlight of Elton John’s career. This leads us to prompt the question, if you’re going to wait decades to accuse someone of stealing your song without any real proof, why wouldn’t you claim to have written a better song? Then again, at least he didn’t try to take credit for anything off of ‘Leather Jackets.’


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