Kelly Clarkson slammed songwriter Ryan Tedder for "ripping off" her tune "Already Gone" because it sounded similar to Beyonce's song, "Halo." Now Tedder -- who co-wrote both tracks -- is firing back.
"'Already Gone' is one of the best songs I've written or produced since 'Bleeding Love,' and stands on its own merits apart from 'Halo,'" Tedder tells Usmagazine.com in a statement.
"They are two entirely different songs conceptually, melodically and lyrically, and I would never try to dupe an artist such as Kelly Clarkson or Beyonce into recording over the same musical track," he continues. "The idea is both hurtful and absurd.
"I think when people hear 'Already Gone,' they will hear what I hear: one of the greatest female vocalists on earth giving her most haunting and heart-breaking performance on a song she helped write," he goes on.
Tedder adds: "I challenge people to listen and form their own opinions."
Over the weekend, an outraged Clarkson told Canada's CBC radio network she "fought and fought" with her record label to stop the release of the song.
"No one's gonna be sittin' at home, thinking 'Man, Ryan Tedder gave Beyonce and Kelly the same track to write to,'" she recalled saying. "No, they're just gonna be saying I ripped someone off.
"In the end, they're releasing it without my consent," said Clarkson, who performed the tune two weeks ago on The Late Show With David Letterman. "It sucks, but it's one of those things I have no control over. I already made my album. At this point, the record company can do whatever they want with it."
This isn't the first time the American Idol champ has clashed with collaborators.
In 2007, she faced off against RCA honcho Clive Davis over the release of her third album My December. He said the album lacked radio hits; she disagreed and aired her frustrations to the press. ("I am not a fan [of Davis]," she icily told USA Weekend.)
In the end, Clarkson apologized to "those whom I have done disservice" after the release of the album (which failed to go platinum). "I would never intentionally hurt anyone," she said on her Web site. "I love music, and I love the people I am blessed to work with."