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Rick Astley Files A Copying Lawsuit Against A Rapper

Rick Astley

Rick Astley has filed a lawsuit against Yung Gravy for allegedly imitating his voice on a recent hit. The 1987 international smash Never Gonna Give You Up is sampled in Yung Gravy’s song Betty (Get Money).

The song allegedly incorporates an approximation of Astley’s vocals, which the singer stated was not agreed upon.

The complaint asserts that Astley’s distinctive voice is a valuable resource that must be managed wisely. Yung Gravy has not reacted as of yet.

The rapper and his team reportedly cleared the usage of the Stock Aitken Waterman-composed musical piece underlying Never Gonna Give You Up.

This allowed them to replicate the original song’s music and lyrics for their own track, a process known as interpolating.

However, Astley’s attorneys stated, “A license to exploit the original musical composition does not authorize the theft of the artist’s voice from the original recording.”

“Almost indistinguishable”

Astley’s attorneys claim that the claimed mimicry infringed his right to publicity by imitating the distinctive voice he employed in the song.

The legal documents allege that Yung Gravy and his producers, including Dillon Francis, “conspired to imitate Mr. Astley’s voice throughout the entire song.”

This was done, the lawsuit claims, “in an attempt to capitalize on Mr. Astley’s great reputation and goodwill.”

Nick Seeley (also known as Popnick), the purported vocal mimic, is also being sued by Astley.

The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles on Thursday, and Deadline was the first to report on it.

Rick Astley’s representatives in the United Kingdom confirmed to the BBC that a lawsuit was launched on Thursday by a firm representing Astley.

The attorneys said that Astley is “very protective of his name, image, and likeness,” therefore the unauthorized use of the voice with a similar sound has caused him “immense injury.”

According to the legal docs, Astley had been searching for a means to include his voice in a future collaborative project with another artist, a project he claims is now wrecked.

It has not been known how much Astley is suing for, although Deadline has described the lawsuit as “multi-million dollar.”

In an interview with Billboard in August, Yung Gravy, whose true name is Matthew Raymond Hauri, appeared to accept the usage of the impersonator.

The 26-year-old individual stated:

“We essentially recreated the entire song. Had a different vocalist and instrumentation, but everything was extremely similar for legal convenience.”

Never Gonna Give You Up was the number-one song in the world upon its release and has subsequently had a tremendous cultural impact.

It was written and produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, who was also responsible for a number of other iconic successes from the same era by performers such as Kylie Minogue and Dead or Alive.

Never Gonna Give You Up is the subject of an online fad known as “rickrolling,” in which users who click on deceptive links are routed to the song’s music video.

The song has been covered by numerous artists throughout the years, including the rock group Smash Mouth, the American singer Barry Manilow, and the British boyband 911.

The song has also been interpolated numerous times; Danish dance singer Calvin’s 2016 rendition of the song, titled Give U Up, garnered more than 23 million Spotify streams.

Betty (Get Money) is Yung Gravy’s most popular song to date, achieving gold status in the United States, which corresponds to 500,000 sales. In June 2022, the song and its accompanying video were published.

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