Tory Lanez has been hit with another accusation of illegally sampling an ‘80s musical great – this time, after his initial request to do so was denied.
According to reports, the estate of the late George Michael has taken action to have a song from the rapper’s Alone At Prom album removed from streaming services, which was inspired by music from the 80s and was widely released last year. The estate claims that “Enchanted Waterfall” interpolated the melody and the chorus from the Wham! hit single “Careless Whisper”, which Michael singer wrote with bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and was released in 1984.
In a statement that was sent to Variety, the estate alleges that “requested permission for this use had been declined in June 2021 so we took immediate action on behalf of the writers, in collaboration with our publishers Warner Chappell Music, to prevent further exploitation as we will not tolerate any unauthorized use of any songs within the catalogues of George Michael and/or Andrew Ridgeley.” Spotify has since removed the song from their platform, but it is still available to listen to on YouTube, Apple Music, and Tidal.
Lanez has been down this road before with a song from Alone At Prom. In December 2021, Madonna called the artist out on Instagram for using parts of one of her hits for “Pluto’s Last Comet” from the album. “Read your messages [for] illegal usage of my song get into the groove!”, she wrote. That track is still available on Spotify and other streaming music services. The singer’s situation is one that is now reviving the discussions surrounding what is an homage and what is illegally sampling, as other artists have been accused of doing the same thing – George Michael’s estate also leveled those charges against rapper Yung Gravy for lifting elements from “Careless Whisper” for his track “Flex Season” without their permission.