A jury ruled in favor of The Isley Brothers today (May 9, 2000), and awarded the legendary soul singers a $5.4 million verdict against Michael Bolton.
Michael Bolton had been accused of plagiarizing parts of The Isley Brothers song “Love Is A Wonderful Thing,” which was the title of one of Bolton’s biggest hits as well.
The legal proceedings against Michael Bolton began shortly after the release of his 1991 song, which was featured on his album Time, Love & Tenderness, which sold over 10 million copies at the time.
Sony Music was forced to pay $4.2 million of the verdict, while Michael Bolton shelled out about $932,000.
The rest of the award was paid by various music publishing companies.
Michael Bolton denied that he ever heard “Love Is A Wonderful Thing,” which had never appeared on an Isley Brothers album up until that point.
But the court ruled that Michael Bolton could have heard the song when he was a teenaged fan of the group.
“It is entirely plausible that two Connecticut teenagers obsessed with Rhythm and Blues music could remember an Isley Brothers song that was played on the radio and television for a few weeks and subconsciously copy it 20 years later,” the court ruled.