‘Make sure Flourgon is safe’ - … Lawyers ask community, Gov’t to secure deejay, family after lawsuit settlement

January 08, 2020
performing at 
Reggae Sumfest in 2006.
Flourgon performing at Reggae Sumfest in 2006.
A young Flourgon
A young Flourgon
Joann Squillace
Joann Squillace
Stephen Drummond
Stephen Drummond

Attorneys for deejay Flourgon have expressed concern for the safety of the dancehall artiste and his family, following what they say are "highly exaggerated and speculative reports" in the media about a financial windfall, following the settlement of a lawsuit with international pop star, Miley Cyrus.

"We are calling upon the community and the Government to make sure that Mr May is safe," Joann Squillace of the New York-based law firm Drummond and Squillace, told THE STAR during a telephone interview.

"We are suggesting, respectfully, for the Government to recognise the larger impact if Mr May or his family should come to some harm," attorney Stephen Drummond interjected.

Flourgon, whose real name is Michael May, made international headlines last Friday when reports of a US$300-million payout did the rounds. 'Miley Cyrus settles $300m lawsuit with Jamaican dancehall artiste Flourgon over claims she stole the 2013 track We Can't Stop and several variations of this headline appeared on Reuters, in Rollingstone, Variety, Teen Vogue, Paper Mag, Daily Mail, MSN, and numerous other outlets.

Twenty-seven-year-old Cyrus was sued in March 2018 over the rights to the song, We Can't Stop, which Flourgon claimed closely resembles the lyrics to a song he released more than 25 years ago called We Run Things.

Flourgon's lyrics said: 'We run things, things no run we', while Cyrus' song said: 'We run things, things don't run we.'

The lawyers, while stating that they were unable to comment on the specifics which have led them to believe that their client and his family are in danger, disclosed that they have a "good-faith basis to believe this" and are, therefore, "very concerned".

"Just take a look at the online comments," Squillace offered as an example.

Mutual satisfaction

She added: "The matter was settled to the parties' mutual satisfaction. To the extent that Mr May received a monetary windfall, those reports are highly exaggerated and speculative."

Drummond noted, on the flip side, that Flourgon and the team are happy that the outcome of the case "has encouraged a lot of other artistes to protect their work".

Flourgon released a number of hit singles in the late 1980s and 1990s, recording for producers including Winston Riley, Steely & Clevie and Philip 'Fatis' Burrell. He recorded solo efforts and collaborations with other deejays and singers such as his brother Red Dragon (now deceased), Freddie McGregor, Sanchez, Ninjaman and Thriller U. He is scheduled to appear on roots reggae festival, Rebel Salute, on Friday, January 17, in Priory, St Ann.

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