Rick Astley is suing Yung Gravy for millions of dollars for 'imitating Never Gonna Give You Up'
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Ricky Astley is suing Yung Gravy for allegedly mimicking his voice on his track 'Betty'.
The song was released last summer and became a huge hit, and is built upon Astley's famous 1987 track 'Never Gonna Give You Up'.
However, while Gravy's team had licensed the instrumentals of the classic tune, they were apparently not authorised to reproduce his vocals.
The lawsuit states that by employing Nick 'Popnick' Seeley to imitate his voice they had in effect committed 'theft'.
According to Billboard, the lawsuit states: "In an effort to capitalise 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.
"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."
It continues: "A license to use the original underlying musical composition does not authorise the stealing of the artist’s voice in the original recording.
"So, instead, they resorted to theft of Mr. Astley's voice without a license and without agreement."
It is also alleged that Yung Gravy - real name Matthew Hauri - gave 'false statements' implying that Astley had endorsed 'Betty'.
Speaking to Billboard about the track in an August interview, the 26-year-old said: "I always thought that sample would be sick to do something with. I just never figured it was clearable.
"Somebody who had part-ownership of the rights to the sample hit me up like, 'We f**k 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."
He continued: "We said, 'Let's try to clear it and see what happens.'
"At first, two of the three writers that had to approve it, approved it and one guy wanted us to make it a little bit cleaner.
"So then I had to go back and change lyrics, so there is an earlier version.
"Overall, it's kinda the same thing, but there's a dirty version that sounds like a Gravy song with more cuss words. I love how it turned out."
UNILAD has contacted reps for both Rick Astley and Yung Gravy for comment.