Fresh from the Blurred Lines ripping off Marvin Gaye controversy, Ciara has been accused of copyright infringement. According to record producer Jermaine Dupri, the singer's comeback track I Bet bares a striking resemblance to Usher's iconic hit U Got It Bad. He produced the 2001 ballad.
Speaking to AP, Dupri, who has also worked with the likes of Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men and Lil' Kim, said he had been a victim of plagiarism so understands both side of the ordeal.
"Ciara's new single is a complete rip-off of Usher's U Got It Bad. I'm clear on what I made and I'm clear on how music influences people and I'm clear on chord changes and how people move things," Dupri said. "It might not be as evident as the Blurred Lines situation, but I believe the same thing happened to me."
The 42-year-old went on to say while he had been inspired by other people's work, he was a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due.
"Younger producers like myself and Pharrell, we make records that are influenced by other records that are out there," Dupri said. "That's how hip-hop has always been created — it has some kind of element of something [from] the past. Or sometimes we just take the entire sample and we give the artist the credit for that sample. We've all been in a position where it could go like this or we can give the producer the credit."
Dupri added Ciara's ballad, which serves as the singer's first single following the birth of her first child and widely publicised break-up with American rapper Future, also sounds similar to Tamia's Still, which he worked on, as well.
The star along with Usher and Bryan-Michael Cox, who also worked on the song, has reached out to Ciara and the producers of I Bet after noticing the similarities. It is not known whether the recording stars plan to take legal action.
Although Ciara has not responded to the plagiarism allegations, fans flocked to social media to express their opinions.
Earlier in March, a court awarded Marvin Gaye's estate and his three children nearly $7.4m (£4.9m) in damages after ruling Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke committed copyright infringement with their 2013 hit, Blurred Lines.
The ruling came after months of litigation in which Gaye's heirs claimed parts of the late soul singer's 1977 chart-topper Got To Give It Up were lifted by Williams and Thicke. In 2014, Thicke testified he was not present when the song was written, even though he received credit.