George Michael's estate takes action against Tory Lanez over Careless Whisper sample
George Michael’s estate and Andrew Ridgeley have taken action against Tory Lanez for allegedly sampling their song Careless Whisper without permission.
The rapper allegedly used a sample of Michael’s 1985 hit single in his track Enchanted Waterfall, taken from his 2021 album Alone at Prom, even after permission was denied.
“It was brought to our attention that the song Enchanted Waterfall by the artist Tory Lanez incorporated an unauthorised sample of Careless Whisper written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley,” a statement issued to Variety on behalf of the George Michael estate and Ridgeley reads. “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 unauthorised use of any songs within the catalogues of George Michael and/or Andrew Ridgeley.”
Careless Whisper was written by Michael and his Wham! bandmate Ridgeley and appeared on the duo’s album Make It Big.
According to Variety, the estate took action to get Enchanted Waterfall removed from Spotify and it was taken down from the service earlier this year. However, it still remains on Apple Music and YouTube.
The George Michael estate and Warner Chappell Music executives similarly moved to strike Yung Gravy’s song Flex Season, which also sampled Careless Whisper, in 2020.
Enchanted Waterfall isn’t the first song off Alone at Prom to encounter sampling issues. Madonna previously called Lanez out on social media for sampling her song Into The Groove on his track Pluto’s Last Comet. It is unclear if this matter has been resolved.