Miley Cyrus is being sued for $408 million by reggae singer Flourgon over her 2013 hit We Can't Stop.

The Kingston-based dancehall artist said the 25-year-old borrowed heavily from his 1988 track We Run Things, the Daily Mail reports.

He claimed his song has been "a favorite for lovers of reggae music worldwide" since reaching No. 1 in his home country, and that about 50 per cent of We Can't Stop comes from him.

While the songs sound dramatically different, Flourgon — real name Michael May — is instead accusing her of stealing his "unique and creative lyrical phraseology in order to establish an overarching and pervasive theme ... in the realm of self-discovery and self-governings."


The only tangible similarity between the songs is the line "We run things, things no run we," which shares a spot in both choruses, although Miley's is slightly different: "We run things. Things don't run we".

He is suing Miley and Sony to block further distribution, sales, and performances of the song, as well as seeking the massive payout.

He said Cyrus' song "owes the basis of its chart-topping popularity to and its highly-lucrative success to plaintiff May's protected, unique, creative and original content."

Flourgon's track never charted in the US, and was released four years before Miley was born.

It was kept from the top by Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines itself the subject of a high-profile copyright case over its resemblance to a 1977 Marvin Gaye song.

May is not the first artist to try claim ownership of lyrics; Taylor Swift frequently files to trademark lines from her songs.

She has attempted to claim the likes of "this sick beat"; "party like it's 1989"; "cause we never go out of style"; and even "The old Taylor can't come to the phone right now.. because she's dead" for use on merchandise.