Yung Gravy sued by Rick Astley over ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ imitation

Yung Gravy and Rick AstleyTwitter: yunggravy/YouTube: Rick Astley

Yung Gravy is being sued by Rick Astley over an alleged impersonation of his voice in the rapper’s viral 2022 song.

Rick Astley filed a lawsuit against Yung Gravy for allegedly using an imitation of his vocals from ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ for the rapper’s 2022 single ‘Betty (Get Money.)’

The multimillion-dollar suit claims that the English singer’s distinctive voice is a resource that needs to be carefully managed. Gravy has not yet commented.

Astley’s song was released in 1987, and topped the charts in 25 countries all over the world. It gained new popularity in the 2000s, when it became the subject of an internet meme known as “rickrolling” – whereby users would be unwittingly directed to the song as an online prank.

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Rick Astley’s lawyers claim Yung Gravy ‘stole’ singer’s voice

Although the rap artist’s use of the melody and lyrics was authorized by Astley, his lawsuit claims that he never authorized Gravy and his collaborator to use his “signature voice” on the song. 

Betty (Get Money) music video screenshotYOUTUBE: Yung Gravy

“A license to use the original underlying musical composition does not authorize the stealing of the artist’s voice in the original recording,” his lawyers said.

The lawsuit suggests that Gravy “conspired to include a deliberate and nearly indistinguishable imitation of Mr. Astley’s voice,” with the intent to “capitalize off of the immense popularity and goodwill” of Astley.

His lawyers claim that the 26-year-old’s song caused “immense damage,” as Astley is “extremely protective” over his image and likeness.

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Gravy has openly said that his intention was to make the interpolation in ‘Betty (Get Money)’ sound as close to the original as possible. In a 2022 interview with Billboard, he said that he and Seeley “basically remade the whole song.”

In that interview, Gravy also claimed that Astley “digs the song.” However, in Astley’s lawsuit, he says “those statements were all false.”

The legal action was filed in Los Angeles on 26 January and first reported by Deadline. It has not been confirmed how much money Astley is suing for, but the outlet has described it as a “multi-million dollar” lawsuit.

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