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Rihanna’s Company Is Being Sued For $10M After Playing The Wrong Version Of A Song Containing Islamic Sayings At A Fenty Fashion Show, Which Allegedly Led To The Singer Being "Bombarded With Death Threats"

The anonymous artist of the song claimed in a new lawsuit that she had cautioned Rihanna's team against using it during the show and has since received death threats.

Posted on August 16, 2021, at 11:19 a.m. ET

Rihanna's company, Fenty, is being sued for $10 million after a song choice at its fashion show last year caused backlash.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video

For those who aren't aware, Rihanna's Savage X Fenty 2020 fall show attracted criticism back in October when a song that sampled Islamic sayings was played for the runway.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video

The song in question, titled “Doom” and produced by Coucou Chloe, included a remixed verse that relayed Islamic proverbs known as hadiths, which are “narrative records of the sayings or customs of the prophet Muhammad and his companions,” according to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. The sayings are considered sacred to Muslims.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

As the song was played, the show’s models danced along while dressed in lingerie, causing further offense to followers of Islam.

After the show, which was livestreamed to millions of people, fans were quick to call Rihanna out for her inclusion of the song, labeling her “disrespectful” and accusing her of appropriating the sacred Islamic sayings.


@wilbursooT_T / Via Twitter: @wilbursooT_T

i can’t let Rihanna have a pass w appropriating Islam like for her first show the models wore a scarf around their heads and it looked like HIJAB and her second show she used a track that remixed a HADITH....why is no one talking about this, my religion is not y’all’s aesthetic

Twitter: @reversecocunut / Via Twitter: @reversecocunut

it's the way if we speak hadiths or phrases from the quran out loud muslims would literally be arrested bc of folk thinking we're terrorists but here you have rihanna and her team using precious words of prayer and guidance as an aesthetic. i expected better from you @rihanna

Twitter: @TanniesOwnMe / Via Twitter: @TanniesOwnMe

Coucou Chloe responded to the backlash immediately, issuing a series of tweets explaining that she hadn't done research on the samples used in the song, which she said was found online.

“I want to deeply apologize for the offence caused by the vocal samples used in my song ‘DOOM’,” Chloe tweeted. “The song was created using samples from Baile Funk tracks I found online. At the time, I was not aware that these samples used text from an Islamic Hadith.”

I take full responsibility for the fact I did not research these words properly and want to thank those of you who have taken the time to explain this to me. We have been in the process of having the song urgently removed from all streaming platforms. 2/2

@coucou_chloe / Via

“I take full responsibility for the fact I did not research these words properly and want to thank those of you who have taken the time to explain this to me,” she went on. “We have been in the process of having the song urgently removed from all streaming platforms.”

Rihanna — who was recently declared a billionaire — apologized days later in a statement issued to her Instagram story, calling the incident an “honest, yet careless mistake.”

James Devaney / GC Images

“We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I'm incredibly disheartened by this!” she wrote. “I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible!”

@badgalriri / Via Instagram: @badgalriri

“Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” she went on. “Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding, Rih.”

But while Rihanna's statement was largely positively received, the fashion show is now drawing attention again, after the artist of the song decided to sue Rihanna's team for the emotional damage she allegedly endured after their "mistake."

Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

According to a new lawsuit filed anonymously over the weekend and quoted by TMZ, Rihanna’s team reportedly reached out to the artist in question — who used the pseudonym Jane Doe to protect her identity — asking to use one of her songs.

Roy Rochlin / Getty Images

The artist allegedly sent Rihanna’s team two different versions of the song — one including the Islamic proverbs being chanted, and one without — and allegedly requested that the team behind the show didn't play the version with the proverbs.

Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

However, the lawsuit states that the version with the sacred proverbs was mistakenly played, despite the prior warning.

Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

The artist claimed that she’d been afraid for her safety following the incident, alleging that she’d been sent abusive death threats that were so extreme that she’d had to “go into hiding.”

James Devaney / GC Images

What’s more, the artist also claimed that she’s been suffering from depression and anxiety following the incident and the abuse she's received since. She is seeking $10 million in damages as a result.

Steven Ferdman / Getty Images

BuzzFeed News has reached out to spokespersons for Rihanna for comment.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.