Beyoncé Slams An “Incredibly Disparaging” Claim About Her Use Of “I’m Too Sexy”

The band Right Said Fred accused her of using their track in “Alien Superstar” without permission.

US singer/songwriter Beyonce arrives for the world premiere of Disney's "The Lion King" at the Dolby...

Nineties duo Right Said Fred has some beef with Beyoncé, and now the 28-time Grammy winner has something to say about it. The drama began when brothers Fred and Richard Fairbrass accused Beyoncé of using their 1992 single “I’m Too Sexy” in Renaissance’s “Alien Superstar” track without asking permission. They’d been given co-writing credits.

“Normally the artist approaches us but Beyoncé didn’t because she is such an arrogant person she just had probably thought ‘come and get me’ so we heard about it after the fact when you did,” they told The Sun at the 2022 BMI London Awards on Oct. 3, adding, “But everyone else, Drake and Taylor Swift, they came to us.” (Drake used the song in 2021’s “Way 2 Sexy,” as did Swift on 2017’s “Look What You Made Me Do.”)

Several days later, Beyoncé responded to Right Said Fred’s claims in a statement. “The comments made by Right Said Fred stating that Beyoncé used ‘I’m too Sexy’ in ‘Alien Superstar’ without permission are erroneous and incredibly disparaging,” her rep told outlets, including Entertainment Tonight and E!, on Oct. 7. “Permission was not only granted for its use, but they publicly spoke of their gratitude for being on the album. For their song, there was no sound recording use, only the composition was utilized.”

Indeed, as of publication, a July 22 tweet remained on the duo’s official account that read, “It’s nice to get a writing credit on the new ‘Beyonce’ album.” Then, on July 28, they tweeted an article about their “surprise collaboration with Beyoncé,” posting, “Writing credits with Taylor Swift, Drake and now Beyoncé, not bad for 2 blokes that haven’t been play-listed in the UK for over 25 years.” When one Twitter user called them out, the brothers responded by calling the person “[sh*t] for brains.”

Beyoncé’s rep also came with the receipts, adding, “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.” (Bustle reached out to Right Said Fred for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.)

Elsewhere in the duo’s recent interview with The Sun, they said that they are now powerless in the matter, however. “We can’t stop it. There is nothing we can do. It is sh*t,” they added. “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.”

Since then, they’re nonetheless continuing the conversation on Twitter. In addition to the aforementioned tweet, they also clapped back at a UK journalist using a clown emoji; Right Said Fred also replied to a fan who pointed out that Swift “sampled” one of their songs. “Taylor Swift didn’t sample us, it was a co-write,” they replied, adding a face with sunglasses and thumbs-up emojis.

This isn’t the first “Alien Superstar” criticism that has made headlines. In early August, prolific songwriter Diane Warren tweeted, “How can there be 24 writers on a song?” along with an eye-roll emoji, referencing the track’s credits. Following backlash, she added in a subsequent tweet that her comment “wasn’t meant as shade” and that she was “just curious.” After rapper The-Dream called her out and explained why her comment was an attack on Black culture, Warren responded, “I didn’t mean that as an attack or as disrespect. I didn’t know this, thank U for making me aware of it. No need to be mean about it.”

Just prior to that, Kelis accused Beyoncé, as well as production duo The Neptunes, comprised of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, of “theft” for including an interpolation of 2003’s “Milkshake” on her Renaissance track “Energy” without permission. In response, Beyoncé eventually removed that portion of the song on streaming services.

When it came to Right Said Fred’s accusations, however, Queen Bey had to defend her empire.