Pastor John P. Kee's charity efforts being overshadowed by song-stealing controversy
Article By Tyra Wright // EEW Magazine Gospel News // Charity
Gospel music legend, Pastor John P. Kee, is rallying people nationwide to join his shoe drive for the homeless. But his God-honoring charitable efforts are being overshadowed by a song-stealing controversy.
The Internet is buzzing about Capitol Records’ R&B singer, Queen Naija, allegedly lifting the music and melody from the veteran’s massive hit “Life & Favor (You Don't Know My Story),” and using it for her single, “Karma.”
First released in 2012, Kee’s song peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs charts and went on to spend 52 weeks on the charts. The discovery of the songs’ similarities was first made by a YouTube pair that goes by the name “TnK SQUAD.”
While Kee, 56, is encouraging others to go to Walmart to purchase a pair of Athletic Works sneakers and socks to donate to a homeless person as protection from the elements, he is simultaneously hitting back at critics—mostly fans of the 23-year-old music newbie.
“With all due respect, Queen has fans, friends and followers that support her 100% and that’s honorable, however disrespectful I may deem their comments,” wrote Kee on Instagram, acknowledging the numerous unfriendly responses from those that believe he and his team should not pursue legal action against the parties responsible for what may be copyright infringement.
“But on this great Friday, I want to shout out my loving family, kids, fans, followers, friends, and my amazing Kee-team of lawyers, management, pub-trackers administrators, musicians, singers, co-writers, co-publishers and host of supporters. Thank you guys for holding me down for over 38 years,” he added.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based pastor is a prolific songwriter, musician and gifted producer who is hoping his host of supporters will head to the store in droves to be a blessing to a homeless man, woman, boy or girl this year.
“Go to Walmart. Get that shoe and go and bless somebody on the street. It’s cold out there,” said Kee in a video.
Incidentally, the shoe drive isn’t the only act of charity he’s promoting. Kee is also asking supporters to take advantage of a give-back opportunity created by his daughter, Shannon Kee, who is requesting donations of the following: hats, gloves, socks, scarves, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, combs, brushes, baby wipes, ready-to-eat foods, and bottled water.
In regards to the potential infringement case, EEW Magazine reached out to Capitol Records, but did not immediately receive a response.
The label’s artist, Queen, who denies any infringement, found YouTube success with her former husband, Chris Sails, before the couple split due to his infidelity. The scorned ex-wife wrote a song about the heartbreak titled “Medicine” and released it on her YouTube channel to instant success.
“Medicine” debuted at No. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100, has been streamed on Spotify more than 13 million times and the official video has exceeded 40 million views.
Compare the melodies of “Karma” and “Life and Favor” below.