Toni Basil Sues Everyone Over Use Of Her Song That’s Not Her Song (VIDEO)

September 4, 2017 | celebrity | Lex Jurgen | 0 Comments


One hit-wonder Tony Basil is suing the ever living shit out of Forever 21, Disney, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and even South Park for using her song ‘Mickey’ without her authorization. These outlets clearly have used her song. Though it’s clearly not her song.

Music artists continue to fail to understand, or intentionally misrepresent in public discussions on the matter, that none of them own the rights to their songs. Even if band members themselves wrote the songs, they may retain royalties on the authorship, but the rights to record, or re-record, or exhibit the song are in the hands of the label or its publishing arm affiliate. That’s how Trump gets to play Rolling Stones songs at his rallies despite protestation letter from the geriatric Stones demanding he stop. 

In the case of Basil and ‘Mickey’, she clearly doesn’t own the song. For those not deep into the music scene of the late 70’s and early 80’s, ‘Mickey’ was a sheer cover of a song called ‘Kitty’ by some British dudes in blouses a couple or three years earlier that went nowhere. The song owners re-recorded with Basil as a cheerleader singing about a boy and changed it to ‘Mickey’. It was a massive early MTV hit for Basil who would know no others.


Thirty five years later and presumably a broke-ass Toni Basil is suing everybody for unauthorized use of ‘Mickey’. Basil’s lawsuit not only claims copyright infringement but also related massive emotional distress including “sleep deprivation, nightmares, and anxiety”. That sounds intense. Or every musician ever, even the ones doing well.

Each of the media outlets named in the lawsuit paid for usage rights of the song from label Razor & Tie’s publishing outlet, Basil’s lawsuit contends R&T doesn’t lawfully hold the copyright on the song. Though Basil clearly doesn’t either. Further, she claims the song is so iconic as to her “cheerleader anthem” persona, that use of the song implies Tony Basil herself is endorsing the products. Understand a Hail Mary when you see it. That one doesn’t have a legal prayer.


Robin Williams had a tiff with Disney in the early 90’s when they kept using his Aladdin voice to not only market Aladdin, but promote tie-in consumer products in their marketing campaigns. Williams took scale of $75K to voice the Genie in Aladdin when they seduced him to be part of a grand animation tradition. He claims Disney gave him a handshake that they wouldn’t use his voice to sell burgers and toys. He later begrudged he couldn’t sue them over the broken promise, but he refused to work with them again. Disney made a billion. They seemed super concerned.

There are no artists in the entertainment business. Everybody is work-for-hire. The minute you pen your beautiful movie or show or song and it’s purchased, you sign a document saying it was never your idea in the first place and the buyer becomes the new author. You don’t have to sell it. Streets corners need destitute musicians. Paul McCartney took 48 years and millions in legal fees to retrieve the Beatles catalog of songs. It’s a long and winding road to recover your own work.

Basil will need to figure out how to deal with the psychosomatic ailments of being used. Bennington, Cornell, and Prince had tons of hits and now they’re dead. Consider yourself ahead of the game and look into a barista gig where occasionally somebody will recognize you and you might smile once more.

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