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A screenshot of Carrie Underwood's "Game On" music video
A screenshot of Carrie Underwood's "Game On" music video

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Carrie Underwood sued for stealing song

Country singer Carrie Underwood has been sued for allegedly stealing the song "Game On" that she recorded as the 2018 season theme song for NBC Sunday Night Football.

Singer Heidi Merrill claims she had written the song, "Game On", and uploaded it to YouTube in 2017. She and her co-writers Alex Wong, Jeff Cohen, and Niclas Lundin, shopped the song around, hoping to get it licensed for use in television broadcasts of sporting events.

In the same year, Merrill pitched her song to Underwood's producer, Mark Bright, at an event in Nashville. She received an email two months later from the producer’s assistant stating that Bright and Underwood had decided to not use her song.

Underwood later wrote her version of "Game On" with co-writers Chris DeStefano and Brett James. In the lawsuit, Merrill and her song co-writers said the two songs share the same song title and have similar musical elements such as the tempo, meter, time signature, rhythmic and melodic contours and patterns, note and chord progressions, and the main hook.

You can listen to Merrill's song here, and Underwood's song here.

Sam P. Israel, Merrill's attorney, said in a statement to CNN: "This is a blatant attempt by a celebrity singer to rip off other artists' work, and it won't be tolerated. It's indefensible to steal music created by hard-working songwriters and then broadcast that theft on national television."

According to an interview by website SongLink, Underwood's producer Mark Bright has previously said he receives pitches from other artists who are hoping to get exposure to Underwood. He plays the songs for Underwood and her team, who then select the songs they want to record.

Underwood has been singing the opening theme for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, a weekly television broadcast of National Football League (NFL) games, every year since 2013.

Underwood, the NFL, the football league, and NBC, the broadcaster, have been named in the lawsuit. The three parties have not commented on the matter.

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Mark Laudi

Mark Laudi

Press contact Managing Partner (+65) 6223 2249

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