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Lawsuit Filed For $1M Against Songwriter of “Nobody Greater”

Songwriter Darius Paulk, acclaimed as the writer of VaShawn Mitchell’s runaway gospel hit “Nobody Greater,” along with EMI Christian Music Group and Sony Music Vintage Tea Cups Entertainment, has been named in a lawsuit filed in New York City by songwriter Travis Malloy, who claims to have had a part in writing the tune.

In court papers filed yesterday, Travis Malloy claims that he was not given proper co-writing credit and, as a result, cannot collect royalties earned from “Nobody Greater.”  Malloy’s attorney, Christopher Brown, seems to be alleging that Darius Paulk cannot play or write music, and that Malloy put music to Paulk’s song.

VaShawn Mitchell, who recorded the tune and has received career-launching acclaim for it, is not named as a party to this lawsuit.

This one is just unfortunate, folks. The statute of limitations clearly hasn’t run, but my knee-jerk reaction is that if you noticed your name wasn’t in the liner notes when the album dropped in August of 2010, and you were okay then, be okay now.

But that’s not the legal answer. Legally, this has standing and is a meritorious claim.

One thing I do know– and as an attorney, I’m ALWAYS baffled when people don’t do this– if you leave a writing session without writing down writer percentages, you are asking for trouble. It’s like choosing not to have insurance– if nothing happens, you’ll probably be fine. But if something were to happen, you’ll never be able to go back and cover yourself. Once there’s a dispute, it’s too late.

Let’s pray that this gets resolved quickly and amicably. For our industry, the song is too powerful, too effective and too big to be tainted by impropriety.

  • Brenden

    to be honest, in some strange way I felt this was going to happen with this song. I don't know why, but I thought it might bring up some issues. The first time I heard it was on YouTube (with the video of Chrystal Rucker), and I figured that it was a song that some indie artist wrote. When it came onto the mainstream market, I was like "oh, that's that song."

    • Sarah

      huh? Why would you think it was by an Indie artist? (Just curious)

  • So unfortunate! Knowing all parties, it’s sad because I know for a fact these issues could have been resolved out of court! Prayin while rockin the song on tour!!! Jpkee

  • Honestly

    *the blankest stare ever*

  • I'm speechless

    • SMH

      im not!

  • If these allegations are true, it's pretty sad! Greed and lack of preparation always causes issues. I hope this gets resolved, but if it doesn't, I hope Travis really sees the lesson in this. Kingdom business can get messy too!

  • Ron Barrett

    Praying! I know them all personally!

  • I REALLY WISH MATTER’S OF SUCH COME STAY OUT OF COURT. The song is too powerful for this mess. When the cd dropped something should’ve been said I’m just saying.. I love the both of the writter’s

  • *Singing to the Dollar* "Nobody greeeeaaaaater, nobody greeeaaaater, nobody greater than youuuuuuu"

    • gnp22

      😀 LOL! LOL! 😀 I hear the tune in my head and see the greenbacks in my mind–funny! 😀

      I really like the song, though; it's one of my "new favorite" songs to come along in a very long time, and that doesn't happen too often these days! :- I was just web searching to find out who wrote it and stumbled into the lawsuit articles; I was NOT expecting to find that out! I wonder if the song had not been so lucrative, successful, or popular would there even be a lawsuit! Back in the day, such things were never heard of in Gospel music; but I guess there's a lot more at stake now than back then, too. I hope they can settle fairly and amicably.

  • Shawn J.

    Wow! Travis is An Amazing Singer/Songwriter….I just pray that God’s will be done! #SMH

  • Well said Sir…. I pray the same… God bless

  • Avery Brown


  • EJ, you said two things that popped right into my head when I read this: 1) Why are you waiting until now? (Which is mostly a rhetorical question, because the success of the song is more evident now than it was back when it was written. I get that. It's not right, but I get it). 2) If you write a song, you would be foolish to leave no trace of your contribution and your expected compensation.

    I seems like these scenarios are more likely when the people doing the writing are close friends, and people are not thinking with a business perspective, but are thinking from the friends and family perspective. Business is business; and gospel music is a business–it should be treated as such. Playing the, "the Lord will take care of the details" game is not smart business. If the Lord gave you the talent to write and the common sense to protect your writing, then by all means, use what the Lord has given you. Hopefully this will be taken care of quickly, those involved will learn from this mistake, and others will learn and not continue to make this same mistake.