Why does Rick Astley like rapper Yung Gravy? | Art News

He’ll never give up on you, never let you down — but he might sue you if you (allegedly) pass off his distinctive baritone.

Rick Astley A lawsuit has been filed against rapper Yung Gravy over his 2022 song Betty (Get Money).

Here’s what’s happened so far.

Why does Rick Astley suck Yung Gravy?

Yung Gravy’s song Betty (Get Money) borrows heavily from Astley’s 1987 hit, Never Gonna Give You Up. However, that was reportedly authorized, according to Rolling Stone.

The song also features vocalist Popnick, who does an excellent job impersonating Astley’s voice, and to the untrained ear, it sounds indistinguishable from the real deal.

Astley claims that using impersonators is illegal.

What does the lawsuit say?

Astley filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, Jan. 26.

His complaint alleges that the song, which featured Popnick’s impersonation, violated his publicity rights — or his right to control the commercial exploitation of his personal identity and prevent unauthorized commercial misappropriation by others.

“In order to take advantage of Mr. Astley’s enormous popularity and goodwill, defendants … conspired to include a deliberate and nearly indistinguishable imitation of Mr. Astley’s voice,” the lawsuit says. “The public can’t tell the difference.”

Astley’s lawsuit seeks “millions of dollars” in damages, as well as profits from the song.

According to the vocalist team, “the license to use the original underlying musical composition does not entitle the artist’s voice to be stolen in the original recording”.

Yung Gravy and Popnick are among the defendants, as is Yung Gravy’s record label, Universal Music Group’s Republic Records.

The complaint says Astley’s claims are similar to a 1988 case in which bet midler Successfully sued Ford Motor Company for using a similar sound to sell cars, even though Ford had licensed commercials for her song Do You Want To Dance.

Who is the gravy?

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 16: Yung Gravy and BBNO$ perform at MGM Music Hall in Fenway on November 16, 2022. Credit: Katy Rogers/MediaPunch/IPX
Yung Gravy’s real name is Matthew Hauri Photo: AP/Katy Rogers/MediaPunch/IPX

Yung Gravy, whose real name is Matthew Hauri, is a 26-year-old rapper born in Rochester, Minnesota. He rose to fame with the release of his debut single Mr Clean in 2016, which was later certified platinum.

Betty (Get Money) is his most successful song to date, peaking at No. 30 on the US Billboard chart and trending on TikTok.

In an interview with Billboard after the song’s release, he said of Astley’s sample, “I always thought it would be gross to do something with this sample. I just never thought it could be purged.”

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“Someone who owns the rights to the sample part said to me, ‘We fuck you, you should give it a try’… We basically re-made the whole song. Different singers and instruments, but it’s all Pretty close because it’s legally easier.

“We said, ‘Let’s try to clean it up and see what happens’. At first, two of the three writers who had to approve it approved it, and one wanted us to make it a little bit cleaner.”

Sky News has contacted representatives of the rapper and his label for comment on the lawsuit.

Who is Rick Astley?

Rick Astley on 24.03.1988 in Munich / Munich.  | Worldwide use Photo credit: Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up has over a billion views on YouTubeCredit: Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Astley, 56, is a British singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the 1980s on the Stock Aitken Waterman label, home of Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Never Gonna Give You Up was his hit single, topping the charts worldwide.

Some 20 years later, the song was revived as a Rickroll Internet meme, in which the track was accidentally interrupted with irrelevant content.

In 2021, the song surpassed 1 billion views on YouTube.

Other Notable Music Lawsuits

Taylor Swift presents artist of the year, his favorite music videos in the press room "Everything is fine: short film," Favorite Female Pop Artist, Favorite Pop Album "Red (Taylor Edition)," favorite country singer and favorite country album "Red (Taylor Edition)" at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov.  20, 2022, Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Lawsuit against Taylor Swift to be dismissed in 2022 Photo: AP

Astley’s attorney, Richard Busch, is known for representing the family of Marvin Gaye, along with Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams in their alleged copying of the song “Got To Give It Up” from the 2013 hit “Blurred Lines.”

Other disputes over music copyright have abounded in recent years.

In December 2022, a U.S. lawsuit alleges Taylor Swift Stolen lyrics to her hit Shake It Off were thrown out by a judge ahead of a planned trial.

read more:
Ed Sheeran Wins High Court Copyright Trial
Taylor Swift lawsuit dismissed by judge
Katy Perry beats dark horse appeal

As early as 2022, a case claimed Ed Sheeran Copying a hook for his 2017 hit Shape Of You was also fired in the UK.

case against Katy Perry is another long-running dispute in the United States that ends in 2022 when a federal appeals court ruled that the American pop star and her team did not have to pay a rapper $2.8 million who accused her of plagiarizing parts of her work. He wrote the song for her 2013 hit, Dark Horse.

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