Right Said Fred seemed fired up that Beyoncé allegedly didn’t hit them up beforehand to see how the buff, bald dance-pop duo felt about her sampling their iconic 1992 hit “I’m Too Sexy” for her Renaissance album rack “Alien Superstar.” The British brother duo of Richard and Fred Fairbrass told U.K. tabloid The Sun this week that “normally the artist approaches us but Beyoncé didn’t because she’s such an arrogant person.”
The comments seemed like revisionist history, though, to Bey, anyway, who adamantly denied their claims that she did an end-around when securing the clearance and called their allegations “erroneous and incredibly disparaging.” “Permission was not only granted for its use, but they publicly spoke of their gratitude for being on the album,” Beyoncé told Billboard in a statement. “For their song, there was no sound recording use, only the composition was utilized. Permission was asked of their publisher on May 11, 2022, and the publisher approved the use on June 15, 2022. They were paid for the usage in August 2022.”
Queen Bey also noted that the brothers have a “co-writer credit” on the song from the album released in July. For further context, days before the album dropped, Right Said Fred tweeted that “it’s nice to get a writing credit on the new ‘Beyonce’ album. ‘Renaissance’ Credits: Drake, A.G. Cook, Syd, Right Said Fred, & More.”
The Fairbrasses made it sound like they are not considering legal action — which would seem unlikely, since they were given proper credit — and even if they were, they realize it would be against an immovable object. “We can’t stop it. There is nothing we can do. It is s–t,” they told the U.K. tabloid. “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.”
For the record, the brothers said when other artists such as Drake and Taylor Swift “came to us” about using “I’m Too Sexy” on, respectively, “Way 2 Sexy” and “Look What You Made Me Do,” it was no problem. “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,” they said. “With this Beyoncé thing, there are 22 writers. It’s ridiculous, so we would get about 40 [pounds].”
At press time a spokesperson for RSF had not returned requests for comment.