EXCLUSIVE: DaBaby has dropped out of the ‘Levitating’ lawsuit, leaving Dua Lipa on the hook

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DaBaby dropped the pending lawsuit

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Photo credit: A-Side Entertainment / CC by 3.0

Collaborator DaBaby was kicked out of a “Levitate”-related copyright infringement lawsuit, leaving Dua Lipa on the hook.

Dua Lipa has filed two separate lawsuits over the hit song “Levitating,” which featured a remixed version of DaBaby. Songwriters Sandy Linzer and L. Russell Brown filed a lawsuit in March 2022, alleging that the song copied the signature melody of their 1979 song: “Wiggling and giggling all night.” Separately, Florida group Artikal Sound System claimed that Dua Lipa copied from her song: “Live your life,” in a case that has now been dropped.

“Levitating” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 77 weeks and peaked at number two in 2021.

In June 2023, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit against Artikal Sound System, questioning whether the London-born artist had accessed the allegedly infringing title. The group claimed to have played the song “Live Your Life” at concerts, distributed it via streaming services, and sold several hundred copies on CD with the song. However, the federal judge said that was not enough to prove the song was widespread enough for the “Levitating” songwriters to hear, while leaving the door open to a revised complaint. However, following that lawsuit, plaintiffs agreed to drop the lawsuit entirely.

Now all that’s left is the March 2022 suit, centered around Cory Daye’s 1979 hit song “Wiggle and Giggle All Night.” That lawsuit remains active, although plaintiffs filed a motion on July 7 to evict only defendant Johnathan Lyndale Kirk (rapper DaBaby).

“Larball Publishing Company Inc. and Sandy Linzer Productions Inc. hereby announce that they dismiss all of their claims in this matter against defendant Jonathan Lyndale Kirk (aka DaBaby). For the avoidance of doubt, the plaintiffs maintain and do not hereby dismiss their claims against other defendants in this matter,” the filing reads.

The plaintiffs also contended that their dismissal of DaBaby from the lawsuit would call into question the rapper’s motion to dismiss the entire lawsuit.

It’s unclear why DaBaby was suddenly dropped, although collaborators can successfully wriggle out of lawsuits like this. That draws attention to Dua Lipa and various co-defendants, who are now aiming for a second major trial win that has fallen by the wayside.