Speaking to the Sun at the 2022 Broadcast Music Inc Awards in London, Fred and Richard Fairbrass said that Beyoncé used elements of their song without seeking permission first.
“Normally the artist approaches us,” they said, “but Beyoncé didn’t because she is such an arrogant person she just had probably thought ‘come and get me’ so we heard about it after the fact when you did. But everyone else, Drake and Taylor Swift, they came to us.”
They continued: “To use our melody they need our permission so they send us the demo and we approve it and if so we get a co-write credit. With this Beyoncé thing there are 22 writers it’s ridiculous so we would get about 40p.
“The reason that is happening we think is because there is so little money now in the actual sales people like friends, golfing partners, engineers, bookers and the guy who brings the coke, they all want a cut.”
The pair added that they believed there was nothing they could do: “You are going to get into a conversation with someone who has a lot more presence and power and money than we do. And that won’t go well. It’s best to let it go. If you’re not careful you spend your life looking back. We keep looking forward the whole time.”
We’re delighted Beyoncé is using our melody, a simple ‘please’ or ‘may I’ would have been nice.
— Right Said Fred (@TheFreds) October 5, 2022
In a statement (via the Guardian), Beyoncé’s representatives described Right Said Fred’s claims as “erroneous and incredibly disparaging”.
“Permission was not only granted for its use, but they publicly spoke of their gratitude for being on the album,” they noted. “For their song, there was no sound recording use, only the composition was utilised … this accusation is fake.”
After the release of ‘Renaissance’, Kelis took to social media to claim that Beyoncé used elements of ‘Milkshake’ without her express permission.
The song was later updated on streaming platforms to remove the interpolation. This was the second major change that was made to ‘Renaissance’ – on August 1, it was confirmed that an ableist slur would be removed from the song ‘Heated’.
In a four-star review of ‘Renaissance’ – which officially arrived on July 29 – NME’s Kyann-Sian Williams said Beyoncé’s latest album “continue[s] leading the charge to bring Black culture back to the forefront of house and dance scenes”. Among other fans of the album were Lil Nas X, who declared that ‘Renaissance’ is “kinda changing my life somehow”.