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Aretha Franklin Criticizes Songwriter Over Lawsuit

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Aretha Franklin says she’s “extremely disappointed” over a lawsuit filed by her longtime songwriting partner over song royalties from her latest CD and copyright infringement.

Norman West of Lansing filed the suit July 15 against the Queen of Soul’s publishing company in Detroit federal court.

The suit claims Springtime Publishing Inc. failed to sign a royalty agreement for “Put It Back Together Again.” The song is on Franklin’s “Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love” CD, released in May.

The suit also claims copyright infringement over an earlier song, “Watch My Back.”

Franklin didn’t immediately respond when news of the suit broke. But she issued a statement Tuesday saying West has “unmitigated gall” considering how she’s “personally assisted and advised him over the past 15 years.”

Franklin adds what disappointed her most was “the fact that Norman West could’ve very easily gotten a message to me through one of my two sons, whom he knows well and occasionally sings with. But, instead he chose to get his name in the paper by publicizing issues that were grossly inaccurate as far as my publishing company is concerned.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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