Astley alleged that Gravy’s 2022 breakout hit, “Betty (Get Money),” imitated his voice
Astley, known for his 1987 hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up” sued the rapper for impersonating his voice and claimed Gravy’s 2022 breakout hit, “Betty (Get Money),” imitated his distinct vocals in his Eighties classic.
“In an effort to capitalize 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 attorney had previously alleged. “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.”
“Never Gonna Give You Up” reached Number One in 25 countries, while “Betty” reached gold status in the U.S. with the New York Times heralding it as “a real-life rickroll that functioned as a comedy song, a TikTok trend and a nostalgia trip all at once.”
Gravy and his team allegedly got the green light to use the instrumentals to “Give You Up” for the making of “Betty,” but not Astley’s voice.
“A license to use the original underlying musical composition does not authorize the stealing of the artist’s voice in the original recording,” Astley’s legal team had stated. “So, instead, they resorted to theft of Mr. Astley’s voice without a license and without agreement.”
Astley hired lawyer Richard S. Busch to represent him in the suit, the same attorney who represented Marvin Gaye’s family in the “Blurred Lines” trial and has sued Ed Sheeran, Juice WRLD, and Travis Scott.