Songwriter Steve Ronsen Accuses Lady Gaga Of Stealing 'Shallow' From Him — And She's Fighting Back In Court

Lady Gaga stands up for her songs!

Who Is Steve Ronsen? New Details On The Man Accusing Lady Gaga Of Stealing Shallow Getty

Pretty much everyone went out and saw the 2018 hit film A Star is Born. Bradley Cooper has gotten a lot of praise for both penning the newest screenplay adaptation of the classic story, as well as directing, producing and starring in the film. Lady Gaga also starred in the fil, and wrote a lot of the music for it. In tandem, the two have created a movie that made us all laugh and cry. It is movie that broke our hearts and made us believe in love. At least we think they created it. A small time singer songwriter named Steve Ronsen has just come out claiming that Lady Gaga stole the film's hit song "Shallowfrom him. She denies these claims. This brings about a lot of questions. Who is the real writer of "Shallow?" Who is Steve Ronsen? 


1. Steve Ronsen musical style and songs

Steve Ronsen is a singer/songwriter whose music is featured on SoundCloud. His musical style is listed as guitar driven pop/rock. He has uploaded eight tracks and has 42 followers. All eight songs are part of the album Everything, which is named after a song on his album. And while "Everything" is the title song, his song "Almost" is the one that everyone seems to be talking about. Let's hope for Gaga's sake that Ronsen is wrong about almost everything.


2. A streamingly large difference

Before accusing Lady Gaga of stealing his song, Ronsen wasn't very well known. In fact he was barely known at all. The day before his story was released on Page Six, Ronsen only had 300 streams for his song, "Almost." The song now has over 27,000 streams. I wonder what the odds would be that a song only streamed 300 times by an unknown songwriter would have made it's way to the ears of Lady Gaga. Maybe she was one of the original 300 streams. 

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3. Same Chord Progression

The case is being made on the fact that both of the songs have the same chord progression in the chorus. For those that are not quite so musical, lets break that down a bit. What is a chord? A chord in music is three or more notes played at the same time.  A chord progression is a series of chords that are played in a sequence. Ronsen is arguing that the same sequence of chords in the chorus of the song "Shallow" is the same chord progression that appears in his song "Almost." 

This is true in the fact that both songs repeat the chord progression. But it is hard to argue that Ronsen is the only one to have thought of it. There are a lot of songs that have the same chord progressions, as there are only a finite number of chords that can be used and only slightly larger number of sequences they can be put into. For further example of how common repeating chord progressions are, please check on comedian Rob Paravonian's video Pachelbel's Rant.

4. Legal Precedent

In 2013, the popular song "Blurred Lines" was under fire. People thought the song performed by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. was similar to a Marvin Gaye song, "Gotta Give it Up." The late Marvin Gaye's estate sued the trio claiming that the musical elements were so similar in the two songs that it should be considered a violation of the song's copyright. While originally the claims seemed far fetched, Marvin Gaye's estate ended up winning over five million dollars! However, Thicke, Williams, and T.I. filed an appeal saying that "the only material entitled to copyright protection was the actual written sheet music, not the sound recordings." The trio ended up winning the appeal but not before it became clear that while you cannot copyright a chord progression, there is now a legal precedent that it can be stolen.

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5. Katy Perry Case

Katy Perry and her songwriting team were recently sued by a Christian rapper named Flame (Marcus Gray). He claimed that most of the song "Dark Horse" was stolen from his 2008 recording "Joyful Noise." He sued her for $20 million dollars and ended up being awarded $2.78 million in compensation. What is confusing is that this song doesn't share the same melody, beat or chord progression. In both songs there is a repetition of four quickly played notes in a minor descending scale. Essentially, the song Flame owns the rights to this musical idea. If you are not musically inclined, this is a big problem. There are only a certain number of musical ideas, and eventually they will all be used up. If this is the way things keep going, it will eventually be impossible to create any new music whatsoever. We will be stuck recycling the same songs over and over again.

6. Lady Gaga is not backing down

With the popularity of people trying to take advantage of successful musicians, many people are applauding Gaga for not backing down. She could have easily tried to settle out of court to avoid the bad publicity but she is facing her accuser head on. Her attorney said: “Mr. Ronsen and his lawyer are trying to make easy money off the back of a successful artist. It is shameful and wrong. I applaud Lady Gaga for having the courage and integrity to stand up on behalf of successful artists who find themselves on the receiving end of opportunistic claims such as this. Should Mr. Shirian proceed with this case, Lady Gaga will fight it vigorously and will prevail.” Lets hope the truth comes out and the best man wins.


Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who writes about love, relationships, self-care, spirituality and astrology.