Rick Astley Files Multimillion Dollar Lawsuit Against Yung Gravy Over Imitation
Rick Astley is clearly not a fan of Yung Gravy's body of work. The "Never Gonna Give You Up" singer has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the viral rapper for his "unauthorized" use of an imitation of Astley's vocals from the 1987 hit.
Yung Gravy is accused of using the singer's vocals in his 2022 single "Betty (Get Money)," with Astley's team claiming the musician had licensed the instrumentals of the song and not the vocals. According to legal documents filed in Los Angeles obtained by TMZ, Yung Gravy, Dillion Francis, and impersonator Nick "Popnick" Seeley lacked the authorization to reproduce Astley's vocals.
Rick Astley is suing Yung Gravy for copying his voice https://t.co/XH9FxlIoTM— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) January 27, 2023
According to TMZ, the filing alleges Yung Gravy, Francis and Popnick "conspired to include a deliberate and nearly indistinguishable imitation of Mr. Astley's voice throughout the song." Astley is also claiming Yung Gravy's decision also cost potential future "lucrative future collaboration opportunities" by using the hit song as a basis for the 2022 hit.
The suit also reportedly includes a portion of an interview Yung Gravy, real name Matthew Hauri, gave in Billboard that explained how his team "basically remade" Astley's song. "I always thought that sample would be sick to do something with. I just never figured it was clearable," Yung Gravy said to Billboard. "Somebody who had part-ownership of the rights to the sample hit me up like, 'We f- with you, you should try it out.' My boy Nick, who does a lot of sample replays and recreating original samples, we basically remade the whole song. Had a different singer and instruments, but it was all really close because it makes it easier legally."
Astley's original tune landed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1988, while Gravy's hit single has achieved gold status in the U.S., Canada and Australia, according to The Daily Mail.
The lawsuit is a funny wrinkle in Astley's story to this point. The Rick Rolling phenomenon that swept the internet for a while is one of the major reasons he is enjoying a bit of a cultural resurgence in the 21st century. A lawsuit against a Soundcloud rapper using that same tune seems like some sort of cosmic entanglement or absurd irony.0comments