Country star Jake Owen is faces copyright infringement lawsuit over "Made For You," a single from his latest album, Greetings from... Jake. Songwriters Alexander Cardinale and Morgan Reid claim the song is too similar to a track Cardinale released in 2014 that has the same title. Owen's version of the song credits writers Benjy Davis, Joey Hyde, and Neil Medley.
Cardinale and Reid claim that Owen's "Made For You" shares lyrics and the melody with their own song, according to documents obtained by TMZ. They claim the "notes, structure, harmony, vocal style and rhythm are clear indicators" that Owen's song is a copy of their track. The two writers also point out that their song had some success after it was released on Cardinale's Digital Youth album. In fact, Coca-Cola used the track for a commercial. In 2016, the company released bottles with lyrics from Cardinale's song as part of its "Share a Coke and a Song" ad campaign. The lyrics appeared on over 250 million bottles of Coke, and the company included a QR code so consumers could listen to Cardinale's "Made For You."
In the lawsuit, filed in Nashville, Cardinale and Reid noted that their "Made For You" was re-released around the world and earned critical acclaim. When they first heard Owen's version in 2019, they "instantly" realized there were similarities between the two songs. Owen, who performed his song on The Bachelorette in 2019, has not commented on the allegations.
Owen told Billboard in May 2020 he first heard about his version of "Made For You" when he received an email from Mojo Music song plugger Courtney Crist. She thought "Made For You," as written by Davis, Hyde, and Medley would be the perfect song for him. Davis said the song began as a descending guitar melody he was working on for several months. In 2017, he attached words to it. "I was just thinking like, 'This was made for that, and I was made for you,'" he told Billboard.
"When you read the title, 'Made for You,' the first way it could be written that pops in your head is the way we wrote it," Hyde added of the writing process. "There's no smoke and mirrors, there's no surprise in the hook. We put the surprises in the lines leading up to it." Owen's song topped the Billboard U.S. Country Airplay chart and peaked at number 3 on the U.S. Hot Country Songs chart. It also hit number 32 on the U.S. Hot 100.
"It kind of is coming at a very timely moment, with everything going on in the world and people really realizing how important it is to be there for people," Owen told Billboard of the song's release. He later said the track can "stand up as a song-of-the-year type song," adding, "We're all really excited about it, and we'll see where it goes."