Aussie singer continues war of words with Celine Dion

Celine Dion, pictured in May 2013. Getty Images

TORONTO — The songwriter who accused Celine Dion of ripping off his work is now changing his tune — but only a bit.

Australian R&B artist Daniel Merriweather posted a statement Thursday on his Facebook page acknowledging that he may have been unfair to the Canadian chanteuse.

“In hindsight, I was wrong to say that Celine ‘stole’ my song,” Merriweather wrote. “From a songwriting point of view this is not the case at all.”

Merriweather said he believes Dion didn’t realize he penned the title track of her forthcoming new album, Water and a Flame.

The song appears on his 2009 album Love & War as a duet with British singer Adele.

“She should’ve just done her homework before she decided to cover my song… name her album after it… and then publicly imply credit to the featured act on the song (Adele),” he added. “I get that Adele is a major artist and that the association helps [Dion] sell albums, but Adele is my friend; and she guested on my song, simple and plain, and that should’ve been acknowledged before Celine decided to rewrite history.”
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Merriweather first challenged Dion on June 30 when he took to Facebook to accuse her of trying to “pass off lyrics that I wrote as her own.”

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He was referring to an episode of Katie Couric’s talk show that aired in April, in which Dion raved about Adele’s songwriting skills before playing a preview of “Water and a Flame.”

Merriweather was not impressed. “You can’t give credit to the artist that wrote the song you named your album after?,” he wrote on Facebook. “There is an age-old etiquette amongst artists that one gives credit where credit is due.”

Dion’s management responded with a statement posted Tuesday on the Quebec singer’s official website, pointing out that Dion did not say anything about who wrote the song when she previewed it on Katie.

“Celine certainly doesn’t claim in any way whatsoever that she wrote the song,” the statement read. “While we can understand Daniel’s disappointment by not having his name mentioned during Katie Couric’s interview, it’s rather unfair to Celine to be on the receiving end of the many disparaging comments that have now become public.”

Dion’s management said she has never made a secret of the fact that she does not write her songs.

“For her to be accused of ‘stealing’ a song is not only grossly inaccurate, but also very hurtful.”


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