Katy Perry, Collaborators Must Pay $2.78M In 'Dark Horse' Case


Canadian songwriter and producer Henry Walter must pay part of a $2.78 million penalty after a jury ruled that a song he co-wrote for Katy Perry copied a Christian rap track.

The Nova Scotia native, who’s known professionally as Cirkut, created the instrumental part of “Dark Horse” with Lukas Gottwald (aka Dr. Luke). The song became a hit for Perry in 2013 and was named Single of the Year at the American Music Awards.

MORE: Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" Copied Christian Song, Jury Finds

On Monday, a jury in Los Angeles decided “Dark Horse” took elements of “Joyful Noise,” a 2007 track by Flame (aka Marcus Gray).

He and co-writers Emanuel Lambert and Chike Ojukwu filed suit in 2014 against Walter and Gottwald as well as Perry and her co-lyricists Sarah Hudson and Karl Sandberg (aka Max Martin). The lawsuit also named Jordan Houston (aka Juicy J) – who wrote a rap for “Dark Horse” – and Capitol Records as defendants.

The plaintiffs were seeking at least $20 million.

Perry’s portion of the $2.78 penalty was determined to be $550,000. Walter and the others were ordered to pay amounts between $60,000 and $250,000. The balance will be paid by Capitol Records.

The defendants are appealing the verdict.

During the trial, Perry and her co-defendants testified they had never heard the Flame song and did not listen to Christian music. (Perry launched her music career as a Christian singer under her real name, Katy Hudson, and released a Christian rock album in 2001.) 

“Joyful Noise” appears on Our World: Redeemed, which was nominated as Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album.