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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Peony Hirwani

Rick Astley sues rapper Yung Gravy over voice imitation


Rick Astley is suing rapper Yung Gravy for impersonating his voice.

In a lawsuit filed on Thursday (26 January) in a Los Angeles court, Astley, 56, claimed that Gravy’s track “Betty (Get Money)” violated his right to publicity by mimicking the distinctive voice he used in his 1987 song “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

“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,” Astley’s lawyers said, per Deadline.

“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.”

The lawyers also added that Astley is “extremely protective over his name, image, and likeness,” meaning the unauthorised use of the soundalike voice had caused him “immense damage”.

“A license to use the original underlying musical composition does not authorise the stealing of the artist’s voice in the original recording,” Astley’s lawyers wrote. “So, instead, they resorted to theft of Mr Astley’s voice without a license and without agreement.”

The Independent has contacted Gravy’s representatives for comment.

“Never Gonna Give You Up” was a worldwide No 1 hit at the time of its release and “Betty (Get Money)” has been Gravy’s most successful song, reaching gold status in the US.

According to TMZ, Astley is suing Gravy for “millions of dollars”.


The lawsuit was filed by Richard Nusch, who is best known for winning the copyright case over “Blurred Lines”.

In a statement to Billboard, Busch said: “Mr Astley owns his voice. California law is clear since the Bette Midler case more than 30 years ago that nobody has the right to imitate or use it without his permission.”

In a 2022 interview with the outlet, Gravy revealed that he had spoken with Astley and that the singer had approved of the new song and that he “f***s with the song.”

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