Yung Gravy Sued by Rick Astley Over ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ Soundalike Voice
The up-and-coming rapper is hit with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit by the English musician for copying his voice from his 1987 hit on Gravy’s song ‘Betty (Get Money)’.
AceShowbiz –Rick Astley is taking Yung Gravy to court for allegedly ripping off the former’s voice from his most popular hit. The English musician is suing the rapper for featuring a soundalike singer on the young star’s song “Betty (Get Money)”.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday, January 26 in Los Angeles court, Astley claims that Gravy’s “Betty (Get Money)”, which reached No. 30 on the Hot 100 in 2022, violated his so-called right of publicity because it closely mimicked his distinctive voice used on his chart-stopping 1987 song.
“In an effort to capitalize off of the immense popularity and goodwill of Mr. Astley, defendants … conspired to include a deliberate and nearly indistinguishable imitation of Mr. Astley’s voice throughout the song,” Astley’s lawyers write. “The public could not tell the difference. The imitation of Mr. Astley’s voice was so successful the public believed it was actually Mr. Astley singing.”
The lawyers further state that Astley was “extremely protective over his name, image, and likeness,” meaning that the unauthorized use of the soundalike voice had caused him “immense damage.” Astley claims that he never Gravy or anyone involved in “Betty (Get Money)” permission to use or impersonate his voice, and because the rapper did so, he’s spoiled any future chance for Astley to collaborate with another artist in the future.
The lawsuit points out that Popnick (real name Nick Seeley), who was hired to impersonate Astley’s voice, said in an Instagram video that he wanted the song to “sound identical” to Astley’s voice. It also quotes Gravy as saying in an interview with Billboard that he “basically remade” Astley’s voice, “because it makes it easier legally.”
“A license to use the original underlying musical composition does not authorize the stealing of the artist’s voice in the original recording,” Astley’s lawyers write. “So, instead, they resorted to theft of Mr. Astley’s voice without a license and without agreement.”
Astley is also suing Popnick, the vocal impersonator. He additionally denies Gravy’s claim that he had spoken with Astley and that the 56-year-old singer had approved of the new song. “These statements were all false,” Astley says in his lawsuit.
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