Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson being sued over 'Uptown Funk' hit

Krystal Johnson

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are being sued over claims their hit "Uptown Funk" song was ripped off from funk group Collage's 1983 single "Young Girls".

Collage are the third band to accuse Ronson and Mars of plagiarism for their 2014 smash hit and are seeking unspecified damages and profits from the duo, TMZ has reported.

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are being sued over claims their hit song

The copyright infringement lawsuit submission, obtained by online music magazine Pitchfork, has claimed Bruno's Billboard No.1 copied the band's rhythm, harmony, melody and structure.

"Many of the main instrumental attributes and themes of 'Uptown Funk' are deliberately and clearly copied from 'Young Girls'," the submission said.

The submission said the material copied included: "the distinct funky specifically noted and timed consistent guitar riffs present throughout the compositions, virtually if not identical bass notes and sequence, rhythm, structure, crescendo of horns and synthesisers rendering the compositions almost indistinguishable if played over each other and strikingly similar if played in consecutively".

Collage, an '80s electro-funk band from Minneapolis, claimed that Mars and Ronson admitted in previous interviews they were inspired by the electro-funk scene.

Collage is an 1980's electro-funk band from Minneapolis. Photo: YouTube

Larry White is the sole surviving member of Collage, but the estates of two deceased group members, Grady Wilkins and Lee Peters, have been listed as complainants in the lawsuit.

Ever since the arrival of the retro-sounding "Uptown Funk" in November 2014, Mars and Ronson have battled accusations of copyright infringement.


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They faced a threat of a lawsuit from funk group the Sequence, who argued Mars and Ronson's single copied their 1979 song "Funk You Up." However, the Sequence never formally sued Mars and Ronson.

The copyright infringement lawsuit submission claims Bruno's Billboard No.1 copied the band's harmony, rhythm, melody and structure. Photo: Getty

In April 2015, while "Uptown Funk" still clung to the top of the Hot 100, the credited songwriters on the track quietly jumped from six (including Mars, Ronson and "All Gold Everything" singer Trinidad James) to 11 after a claim on the track was put forth by publisher Minder Music on behalf of funk group the Gap Band.

The claim, which never went to court, contended that "Uptown Funk" shared overwhelming similarities to the Gap Band's "Oops! Upside Your Head"; the chorus on both singles is nearly identical cadence-wise.

As a result, the Gap Band's Charlie, Ronnie and Robert Wilson as well as two band members were added as "Uptown Funk" songwriters.

The legal action has followed Spirit's unsuccessful attempt to win royalties from Led Zeppelin over their "Stairway to Heaven" riff.