The estate of the Wham! member and pop icon is calling out the Toronto artist over his song “Enchanted Waterfall,” which it says pulls from the 1985 classic “Careless Whisper” without permission. Lanez’s track, which seemingly includes similar vocal melodies, appeared on his ’80s-inspired album Alone at Prom in 2021. Michael’s team and Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley are looking to have the song removed from streaming services over its “unauthorized sample.”
“It was brought to our attention that the song ‘Enchanted Waterfall’ by the artist Tory Lanez incorporated an unauthorized sample of ‘Careless Whisper’ written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley...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,” reads a statement shared with Variety.
This isn’t the first sampling claim made against Lanez over Alone at Prom, released in December. Another 20th century great called out the MC last year over “Pluto’s Last Comet,” which Madonna claims bit her 1985 song “Into the Groove.” She even left him an Instagram comment, claiming “illegal use,” to get his attention.
“I am tired of being taken advantage of and I mean business,” Madonna later told Rolling Stone.
At the time of publication and in the wake of Dua Lipa being hit with copyright lawsuits of her own, all but one song on Lanez’s album remain on Spotify. The 11-track LP, including both songs that Michael’s estate and Madonna claim were using unauthorized sampling, remains in its entirety on Apple Music.