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The famous singer is suing an American rapper for ‘stealing’ his voice, but can a voice really be protected by IP law? Sarah Speight investigates.
English pop singer Rick Astley, who found fame during the 1980s, is suing a young American rapper for ripping off his (much-parodied) voice in the chart topper “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
The song was a massive success globally after its release in 1987 and enjoyed a resurgence in the 2000s with the ‘Rickroll’ internet meme.
Perhaps in a similar vein, “Betty (Get Money)”, written by Yung Gravy (Matthew Hauri), appears to parody Astley’s hit and features a soundalike vocalist who emulates Astley’s distinctive baritone tone.
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Rick Astley, US, UK copyright