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African singer sues Michael Jackson and Rihanna
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Cameroonian singer Manu Dibango, seen here in 2007, has lodged a lawsuit against pop star Michael Jackson. [File photo]

Cameroonian singer Manu Dibango lodged a lawsuit against king of pop Michael Jackson and R'n'B diva Rihanna at a Paris court on Tuesday, claiming they stole a hook from one of his songs.

French judges will decide on February 17 whether to allow the 75-year-old African's case against the artists to be heard. He is reportedly seeking 500,000 euros in damages.

Jackson had already accepted that parts of Dibango's 1972 "Soul Makossa" were used on the track "Wanna be Startin' Something" on the 1983 album "Thriller," and the singers had reached a financial settlement.

But in 2007, Rihanna -- apparently in good faith -- obtained Jackson's permission to use the same section of melody on her hit single "Please don't stop the music," without also contacting the original artist Dibango.

Separately, Paris-based Dibango's lawyers have asked the French courts to block record labels Sony BMG, EMI and Warner from receiving any income from the records until the matter is settled.

There was no immediate comment from either Jackson or Rihanna.

Jackson was sued just last week by "Thriller" video director John Landis for failing to pay royalties from his the 14-minute clip and then trying to launch a stage version of the video without Landis' input.

(AFP February 4, 2009)

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