Daniel Merriweather isn’t pleased that his song was sung by another singer without giving him credit. The Australian artist has taken offence at Canadian superstar Celine Dion for allegedly taking credit for his single “Water and a Flame.”
The disputed song was written by Merriweather himself, and was released as a duet with UK singer Adele in 2009 as part of his “Love & War” studio album.
Dion, meanwhile, has also recorded her version of the song for her upcoming album, which she also named “Water and a Flame.”
But that’s not what ruffled Merriweather’s feathers.
Dion was on the U.S. programme “Katie Couric Show” in April, in which she gave the titular host of the show a preview of her new song “Water and a Flame.” She appeared excited about the album and the song, but didn’t mention that it was already a cover.
DJ Samantha Ronson posted the clip on her Web site with the text: “Dear Celine Dion, when you COVER someone else’s song – you might want to give them credit.”
The topic on “Water and a Flame” starts @5:10 mark:
Merriweather got word of the interview from Ronson (the sister of his album’s producer, Mark Ronson), and he was “astounded” that Dion tried to pass off the lyrics of the song as hers. He was especially incensed that Dion mentioned his one-time collaborator Adele when she didn’t contribute anything to the song.
He also gave credit to Eg White for writing the chords, arranging and producing the song.
“Why would an artist of Celine Dion’s calibre and prowess need to steel credit like this?” he wrote. “As i said, it is absolutely astounding!”
He followed up his tirade with another lengthy explanation of why the issue bothered him so much.
“Look, don’t get me wrong, i am genuinely flattered that anyone would want to cover one of my songs, but there is an age old etiquette amongst artists that one gives credit where credit is due... I don’t do this for the fame, i make music because i love it and because i didn’t have a Plan B ... I dropped out of school ... all i knew how to do was sing and write songs ...,” he posted on Facebook.
“So, thank you Celine Dion for singing my song, but if you had seen even half of what i have seen in my life you wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning let alone sing, so just be mindful of the fact that songs are a connection to the ether, and an insight to our inner most thoughts and feelings and for SOME of us it may be all we will ever have.” [all sic]
For her part, Dion didn’t specifically mention writing the song, only that she was passionate about it. Her management also released a statement to clear the issue.
“Despite The headlines that emerged from Daniel’s publicity, Celine certainly doesn’t claim in any way whatsoever that she wrote the song. While we can understand Daniel’s disappointment by not having his name mentioned during Katie Couric’s interview, it’s rather unfair to Celine to be on the receiving end of the many disparaging comments that have now become public,” a statement on her Web site reads on Tuesday.
“Throughout Celine’s 32 year career she has always been very vocal about sharing the credit for her successes. She has been very vocal about the fact that she does not write her own songs... and that she is fortunate to have wonderful and talented writers to provide these gifts to her. For her to be accused of ‘stealing’ a song is not only grossly inaccurate, but also very hurtful.
“She loves Daniel Merriweather and Eg White’s song so much, and would never want to do any harm to them... nor take away anything from them... in fact, the opposite would be true.”
Merriweather hasn’t responded yet to Dion’s management’s statement. It isn’t also known if the two artists talked about the issue since then.