Rick Astley files multimillion-dollar suit against Yung Gravy over Never Gonna Give You Up row

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Rick Astley files multimillion-dollar suit against Yung Gravy over alleged violation in imitating his vocals from 1987 hit Never Gonna Give You Up

Rick Astley has filed a multimillion-dollar suit against Yung Gravy, saying that the rap artist was unauthorized in using an imitation of his vocals from 1987’s Never Gonna Give You Up for the 2022 single Betty (Get Money).

The English singer and songwriter, 56, filed legal docs in Los Angeles that were reviewed by TMZ, saying Yung Gravy and his team had only licensed the instrumentals of the pop classic.

Astley’s legal team told the court that the Rochester, Minnesota-born musical artist, 26, and his production team, including Dillon Francis, and impersonator Nick ‘Popnick’ Seeley were not authorized in reproducing the vocals of his hit, which triggered the online ‘Rick-Rolling’ phenomenon. 

The group ‘conspired to include a deliberate and nearly indistinguishable imitation of Mr. Astley’s voice throughout the song,’ Astley’s legal team told the court.

Astley said that Yung Gravy cost him potentially lucrative future collaboration opportunities in using Never Gonna Give You Up as the basis of his 2022 track.

Astley in his suit cited an interview Yung Gravy, whose real name is Matthew Hauri, gave to Billboard in August in which he explained the process of how and why he ‘basically remade’ Astley’s vocals for Betty (Get Money).

‘I always thought that sample would be sick to do something with. I just never figured it was clearable,’ Yung Money said. ‘Somebody who had part-ownership of the rights to the sample hit me up like, “We f*** with you, you should try it out.”

Astley's legal team told the court that the rapper and his team were not authorized in reproducing the vocals of his hit, which triggered the online 'Rick-Rolling' phenomenon

Astley’s legal team told the court that the rapper and his team were not authorized in reproducing the vocals of his hit, which triggered the online ‘Rick-Rolling’ phenomenon 

Astley told the court that Yung Gravy cost him potentially lucrative future collaboration opportunities in using Never Gonna Give You Up as the basis of his 2022 track

Astley told the court that Yung Gravy cost him potentially lucrative future collaboration opportunities in using Never Gonna Give You Up as the basis of his 2022 track 

He continued: ‘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.’

Never Gonna Give You Up was initially released by Astley in December of 1987 and reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in March of 1988.

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Betty (Get Money) has been a hit single, achieving gold status in the U.S., Australia and Canada.

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