Home / Music & Arts / Ariana Grande settles with ’70s funk star’s estate over song

Ariana Grande settles with ’70s funk star’s estate over song

Ariana Grande at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8. She settled with the estate of a late ’70s funk star over claims she filched elements for her 2013 hit 'The Way.'LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS Ariana Grande at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8. She settled with the estate of a late ’70s funk star over claims she filched elements for her 2013 hit ‘The Way.’

Did Ariana Grande rip-off a classic funk song from the ’70s?

Due to a settlement on Monday, we may never know.

The company, which owns the rights to the music written and recorded by the act the Jimmy Castor Bunch, filed a lawsuit against the pigtailed singer, alleging that her first hit, 2013’s “The Way,” stole elements of “Troglodyte (Cave Man),” a huge hit for the late Castor in 1972.

On Monday, the two sides announced a confidential settlement, meaning no court will decide the matter and no details of the discussions between the two parties will be revealed.

The company for Castor’s estate, Minder Music, centered its allegations on a key line that kicks off “Troglodyte”: “What we’re going to do right here is go back, way back, back in time.”

“The Way” begins with the spoken line, “What we gotta do right here is go back, back to the top.”

From there the songs differ dramatically. Castor’s anchors on a drivingly hard funk rhythm. Grande’s song meanders through an easy R&B groove.

“The record begins with a spoken narrative,” Minder Music co-founder John Fogarty told ABC News. “The minute you hear it, everyone knows it’s from ‘Troglodyte.’”

Jimmy Castor, who died in 2012, was a pop/funk star best known for his fiery sax work. The “Cave Man” song sold over one million copies in the early ‘70s and cracked the Billboard Top Ten. Many Castor songs have been sampled in hip hop records over the years. “Cave Man” alone has been sampled by stars from Kool Moe Dee to N.W.A. to Christina Aguilera to Madonna.

The Grande-Castor suit follows a recent legal row between Sam Smith and Tom Petty.

The rocker’s lawyers alleged that Smith’s hit “Stay With Me” recycled key parts of Petty’s ’80s smash “Won’t Back Down.”

The two sides settled outside of court, though in that case, Smith awarded a co-writing credit to Petty and his original collaborator Jeff Lynne.

jfarber@nydailynews.com

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