Singer Heidi Merrill says she wrote Game On, with the help of three other songwriters, in 2016 and took it to Carrie Underwood's producer. He wasn't interested. Two years later, Merrill says in a new lawsuit, a similar song of the same title played during the opening of Sunday Night Football on NBC. "This is a blatant attempt by a celebrity singer to rip off other artists' work, and it won't be tolerated," Merrill's attorney told CNN. "It's indefensible to steal music created by hard-working songwriters and then broadcast that theft on national television." Listen for yourself: Merrill's version is here. Underwood's is here.
Merrill's complaint, filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court, says the two songs are similar, "if not identical," per Billboard. The suit cites similar tempo, meter, time signature, hooks, and chord progression. The songwriter says that she took the song to Mark Bright, Underwood's producer, at a conference and suggested it as the Sunday night theme song, but an assistant later emailed her that he'd "have to pass." The suit names Underwood, Bright, the NFL, NBC, EMI Entertainment and Warner Chappell Music. None of the sued parties have commented. (Read more copyright law stories.)