Saturday Jan 28, 2023
Rick Astley has sued the rapper Yung Gravy over a song that borrowed heavily from the British singer's signature "Never Gonna Give You Up," claiming that the new song illegally used an impersonator who imitated Astley's distinctive baritone.
The complaint filed on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court said Yung Gravy's 2022 song "Betty (Get Money)" violated Astley's right of publicity by featuring the singer Popnick, who imitated Astley's voice so well that listeners thought Astley was actually singing.
"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," the complaint said. "The public could not tell the difference."
Astley's lawsuit seeks "millions of dollars" in damages, as well as profits from "Betty."
Among the defendants are Yung Gravy, whose real name is Matthew Hauri, and his record label, Universal Music Group's Republic Records.