Kanye West thought that he got permission to use a clip of a 4-year-old girl named Natalie praying in his song “Ultralight Beam,” but it turns out he asked the wrong parent.
Andrew and Shirley Green say that they are the parents of the young girl whose voice can be heard in the song; audio which was taken from a viral video of Natalie excitedly reciting a prayer. The Greens adopted Natalie in December 2012, but West’s team reached out to Natalie’s biological mom, Alice Johnson. The Greens are alleging that Johnson has no legal right to consent to the use of Natalie’s voice. They also say that Kanye’s team was supposed to send a written license agreement and payment to Johnson, but never followed through.
The Greens are suing West for profits on the song and other damages.