Every contribution counts

Chart-topping Sade is heading for a potential £1 million High Court copyright battle with her one-time drummer Paul Cook.

Cook, 34, is taking the singer and members of her group to court claiming he had a hand in writing some of Sade's hits and is therefore entitled to royalties.

Sade is being sued in her full name, Helen Folasade Adu, along with Stuart Matthewman, Paul Denman, Andrew Hale and Sony Music Entertainment (UK).

Cook, whose claim will take place in the Chancery Division of the High Court, is asking for a share of royalties in respect of 11 of Sade's songs. If his claim succeeds he could be in line to receive up to £1 million.

He claims that in March 1982, with Sade, Matthewman and Denman, he formed part of the original Sade band and was involved in jointly composing with the band, among others, 'Smooth Operator', 'Your Love is King', 'Hang On To Your Love' and 'Cherry Pie'.

Cook, who left the band in 1984, will argue the music of each of the songs was the result of "collaboration" between the four and was written in such a way that it was not possible to separate the contributions each had made. He says this entitles him to a share in the copyright.

He says the songs in question have been used on the Epic label albums 'Diamond Life', 'Promise' and 'Best of Sade'.

He accuses Sony of making, releasing, distributing or selling the recordings without his consent. In addition to damages, he wants a declaration that he is legally joint-owner of the copyright of the songs with Sade, Matthewman and Denman, a declaration that he is entitled to a share of the copyright , a court order banning further infringement of the copyrights he is claiming and a court probe into the level of damages he is entitled to.