Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson’s hit song, “Shallow,” from her Oscar winning film, A Star Is Born, is the subject of a bit of controversy. Songwriter Steve Ronsen (to complicate things further) has threatened to file a lawsuit against the songwriting duo for sampling from his work. Specifically, he claims that the song features a three-note progression found in his tune, “Almost.”
“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),” Ronsen says in a statement to ET. “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.”
Gaga’s lawyer, Orin Snyder, has released an official statement on behalf of the Oscar winner, slamming the songwriter and his lawyer Mark D. Shirian’s claims.
“Mr. Ronsen and his lawyer are trying to make easy money off the back of a successful artist. It is shameful and wrong,” he tells ET. “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.”
Snyder also refutes the claims of Ronsen’s musicologist, adding, “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.”
“Shallow” has won an Oscar, Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Award, two GRAMMYs, a BAFTA and more, making it the most awarded song in the history of music.
No official lawsuit has been filed against Lady Gaga at this time.