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Drake Sued by Ex-Girlfriend Over 'Marvin's Room'

Ericka Lee claims she co-wrote hit from 'Take Care'

February 3, 2012 2:50 PM ET
drake
Drake performs at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Steven Lawton/FilmMagic

Drake is being sued by a woman who says she is the voice on the other end of the phone call in his hit song "Marvin's Room." Ericka Lee, who says that she is the rapper's ex-girlfriend, has filed a suit claiming she was excluded from sharing co-writer royalties for the song, which is featured on his best-selling album Take Care.

According to papers filed by Lee in Los Angeles, she and Drake had a romantic and business relationship between early 2010 and mid-2011. Lee claims the two traded poems and lyrics over the course of their relationship and discussed collaborative projects. Drake allegedly agree to work with her on "Marvin's Room" and split the earnings. She was originally intended to record a hook for the track and perform a monologue that would frame the lyrics. The rapper supposedly acknowledged her contributions to the piece in several texts, including one that apparently reads "U basically made that song."

Lee and Drake's relationship ended completely after the song was released. The rapper reportedly offered her 2 percent of the publishing royalties for the song, and later raising the offer to 4-5 percent along with a $50,000 settlement. Lee is now seeking a co-writing credit for the song as well as undisclosed damages.

Watch a video for the finished version of "Marvin's Room" below.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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