The Weeknd denies stealing a Yeasayer sample for Kendrick Lamar collaboration ‘Pray For Me’

Yeasayer are taking legal action against the stars

The Weeknd has denied claims that he and Kendrick Lamar unlawfully used a sample from defunct indie band Yeasayer for their 2018 track ‘Pray For Me’.

As reported in February, the rappers and their creative teams were accused lifting a “distinctive choral performance” from Yeasayer’s 2007 track ‘Sunrise’, tweaking it and then made it a “material and substantial portion” of their hit 2018 single.

A lawsuit filed by Yeasayer claims that Lamar and The Weeknd modified the recording with “intent to conceal the infringement” and used it at least eight times in ‘Pray for Me’.


Now, The Weeknd has responded, saying in court documents: “Each and every allegation contained in the complaint not specifically admitted herein is denied. The sound recording of ‘Pray for Me’ does not capture any actual sounds from the sound record, ‘Sunrise’.”

Yeasayer, who broke up at the end of 2019, are asking for an undisclosed amount in damages and profits from ‘Pray For Me’. They also want an injunction to stop all sales and licensing of the song over the alleged copyright infringement.

In March, The Weeknd shared three brand new songs for a deluxe edition of his latest album ‘After Hours’.  ‘Nothing Compares,’ ‘Missed You,’ and ‘Final Lullaby’ appeared just a week after the LP.


Last month, meanwhile, he joined Drake and J Cole for a video call with a terminally ill young fan before he died of cancer.

Speaking of the gesture the fan’s brother explained: “[I’m] incredibly grateful for these 3 super-humans being so caring for my family during this time. We’ll hold onto these moments forever.”