George Michael's estate accuses singer of using unauthorised 'Careless Whisper' sample

15 March 2022, 11:08 | Updated: 15 March 2022, 11:34

The Story of Wham! told by George Michael

By Mayer Nissim

George Michael's 1984 hit 'Careless Whisper' was an absolutely massive hit.

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George Michael's estate has claimed that Tory Lanez has sampled one of the late singer's songs without permission.

It says Lanez's 'Enchanted Waterfall' borrows from 'Careless Whisper', George's 1984 single that topped the charts in the UK and US on release.

"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 released to Variety on behalf of the George Michael estate and Ridgeley read.

"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."

Tory's representatives didn't respond to the magazine for comment.

George Michael - Careless Whisper (Official Video)

Tory Lanez - Enchanted Waterfall [Official Music Video]

While 'Enchanted Waterfall' has been taken off Spotify, its video – inspired by 1985 Michael J Fox movie Teen Wolf – is still available on YouTube.

It first appeared as the opening track on Lanez's sixth studio album Alone at Prom, before being released as the third single from the record.

Written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgley, 'Careless Whisper' was released as a solo George single in the UK and by Wham! featuring George Michael in the US.

It also appeared on Wham's second and final album Make it Big.

Madonna - Into The Groove (Official Video)

Tory Lanez - Pluto's Last Comet [Official Audio]

The controversy over 'Careless Whisper' isn't the first time Lanez has been accused of an authorised use of a massive 1980s hit.

In 2021, Madonna claimed that the Canadian singer had used parts of her 1985 number one single 'Into the Groove' in his 'Pluto's Last Comet', another track from Alone at Prom.

She responded to one of Tory's posts on Instagram urging him to "read your messages" because of the "illegal usage" of her song.

Madonna later added to Rolling Stone: "I am tired of being taken advantage of and I mean business."