80s Singer Toni Basil Sues Over Unauthorized Use Of 'Mickey' As 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Lip-Sync For Your Life Song

Toni Basil said she felt "physically ill" after learning that her hit 80s song, "Mickey," was commercially used without her permission.

The 73-year-old singer says that she recently discovered that her song had been used in advertisements for Disney, and on TV shows including South Park, and RuPaul's Drag Race.

If you'll recall, the Spanish version of "Mickey" was used as a "lip-sync for your life" song, on RuPaul's Drag Race season three, which aired back in 2011.

Basil's lawyers have stated that their client has "‘experienced sleep deprivation, nightmares and anxiety" since learning of the unauthorized use of the song. 

Their court filling continues:

"Basil’s brand and identity is intertwined with her song Mickey.

"Basil is protective of her brand, and her signature song is known as a cheerleading anthem and an 80s one-hit wonder.

"A reasonable consumer would be lead [sic] to believe Basil had approved and/or endorsed’ the use of her song,"

Basil is seeking $25,000 in damages, plus an additional $750 for each unauthorized use of the song.

The lawsuit which primarily targets publishing company Razor & Tie, also implicates Disney, South Park producers Central Productions, and Viacom, parent company to LOGO and VH1, the networks upon which Drag Race airs.

H/T: Gay Star News

Comments

+1
0
-1
[-]

Mickey was actually a remake of "Kitty" which was written for British band Racey back in the late 70's. Toni Basil reworded it to be about a man named Mickey, so it wasn't even her song to bedin with.

+1
0
-1
[-]

Copyright is not the same as synchronization, which is what applies when you want to use someone's song/ recording to create a new piece of content, such as a TV show. A different set of rules then apply and written permission must be sought in each instance. Crazy, but that's how it works.

+1
0
-1
[-]

Is the music HERS? Is it Copy Write protected ? Is it Trade Mark Protected ?   Did she indeed receive and cash checks for royalties ?  The story is not complete on all the details. 

+1
0
-1
[-]

Plus she would have been paid royalties. Anyone with a basic knowledge of how the entertainment industry works would know that she would have received proper royalties for the use on any tv show, Ad campaign, etc. even though it's one of the greatest one hit wonders of all time, it's not like she didn't know or get paid. She is now just complaining because of the true magnitude of how RPDR has grown in the last few years. 

+1
0
-1
[-]

All I can say to Toni Basil is good luck with that. Very few artists have any control over how their music is used. Only big time artists that have complete control over their catalogs have that type of say so. Even then it may have taken years as a successful musician before that happens. It certainly isn't a situation a one-hit wonder would have. As long as the record label that owns the rights to her recording of the song gave permission that is all that will matter in court. But what is really going to work against her is that her version of Mickey is a cover song and that she did not even write it. 

+1
0
-1
[-]

You would think she would appreciate tge free publicity and someone keeping her song relivant.

+1
0
-1
[-]

Just like I appreciate proper spelling. ;-)

Add new comment