Miley Cyrus sued for allegedly stealing 'We Can’t Stop' lyrics

Songwriter Michael May filed paperwork in New York federal court.

March 14, 2018, 9:40 PM

Miley Cyrus has been accused of stealing the lyrics to her 2013 hit “We Can’t Stop.”

According to legal documents obtained by ABC News, Caribbean songwriter Michael May, who performs under the name Flourgon, has sued the singer in New York federal court.

The suit claims Cyrus' lyrics “We run things / Things don’t run we” were adapted from May’s 1988 song "We Run Things" which contains the line “We run things / Things no run we.”

Additionally, he claimed in the lawsuit that the song “substantially incorporated” his “vocal melody/rhythm/cadence/inflection" and alleged both songs have the theme of “defiant audaciousness in the realm of self-discovery and self-governance.”

May, who is from Jamaica, is suing for an injunction prohibiting Cyrus from continuing to sell the track and for unspecified damages, according to the documents. His attorney, Stephen Drummond, told CNNMoney that $300 million would be "a reasonable compensation."

The credits for "We Can't Stop" list seven people, including Cyrus, her producer Mike WiLL Made-It and the two brothers who comprise the duo R. City. It was the lead single from her 2013 album "Bangerz."

Representatives for the singer and Sony did not respond to requests for comment.

ABC News' Lesley Messer contributed to this report.