Shirley Caesar Denies Launching $5M Lawsuit Over #UNameItChallenge
Grammy-winning gospel singer Shirley Caesar has come forward to address allegations that she filed a $5 million lawsuit over the instantly viral #UNameItChallenge.
The hoopla began earlier this week when CBS 46 reported that a lawsuit was filed on Caesar’s behalf in Georgia’s Gwinett County. The alleged lawsuit claimed Atlanta-based producer Suede was profiting off the challenge by selling his remixed version of the track and his second video (hailed as the original) features people twerking and consuming alcohol, a few things the singer has condemned in interviews. Taking to Facebook on Friday, (Dec. 9) the singer says a lawsuit was never filed, but an injunction to stop the sales of the track and an image that contradicts her brand.
“When they refused to remove the commercial song from the Internet and the video, to protect Pastor’s legacy and what Shirley Caesar stands for, we had to take legal action, secure a temporary injunction and order DJ Suede to remove the video, as well as cease and desist sales,” her statement reads. “We want to make it clear Pastor Caesar does not endorse the imagery or abuse of alcohol endorsed in the video by having her voice everywhere on the track. Please also note, we have not filed any lawsuits or sued anyone even though it is my right. But, it is our hope and prayer that DJ Suede and Empire will do the right thing, and respect Pastor Caesar’s legacy, image and name and follow the Court injunction ordering them to remove this video and the I-Tunes song, a clear violation of copyright and trademark laws.”
The remix remains on platforms like iTunes and Google Play with the video on YouTube.
The #UNameItChallenge stems from a 2010 clip of a performance of “Hold My Mule,” where Caesar adlibs blessings of food by the big homie. An authorized remix by Snoop Dogg has received her blessing. Soon after the video went viral, the singer released merchandise with profits going to efforts to feed and provide other goods to the less fortunate.
Check out the authorized video below.