The band filed the lawsuit in February 2020, claiming the song in question had lifted a “distinctive choral performance” from their 2007 song ‘Sunrise’.
They described the alleged copied snippet as “comprised of male voices singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato” and said The Weeknd had modified the recording with “intent to conceal the infringement”.
Now, however, court documents filed in a New York federal court show Yeasayer have dismissed the lawsuit. As Pitchfork reports, the band have “confirmed to their satisfaction that no copyright infringement occurred”.
The lawsuit named The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, producers Doc McKinney and Frank Dukes, and the artists’ labels UMG, Interscope, Aftermath and Top Dawg Entertainment as defendants. Only The Weeknd, Frank Dukes and UMG responded to the suit.
In court documents, The Weeknd denied Yeasayer’s claims, saying: “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 split up at the end of 2019, telling fans in a social media statement they had “decided [the band had] reached its end”. “It is a decision that has not been made lightly or swiftly, but the three of us agree that it is the right one at the right time,” they said.
Meanwhile, The Weeknd recently donated $1million (£792k) to coronavirus relief artists. His donation was split between two groups – MusiCares and frontline hospital workers at Scarborough Health Network in the star’s hometown of Toronto.