Toni Basil Claims ‘Mickey’ Has Been Used Without Her Permission for Decades

Toni Basil Mickey
Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

Toni Basil, the one-hit wonder behind “Mickey,” filed suit in L.A. Superior Court on Thursday alleging that the song has been used without her permission for decades.

According to the suit, Basil recently became aware that the song was used in an episode of “South Park,” in a Forever 21 ad, and on an episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She was particularly offended that the Forever 21 campaign was in support of a line of Disney products, associating her song with Mickey Mouse.

“Basil was never consulted and would never consent to the use of her voice, persona, image, or name coupled with Disney products,” the suit states.

Since finding that her song was misused, Basil has become “withdrawn, despondent, and physically ill,” the suit alleges, and has experienced “sleep deprivation, nightmares, and anxiety.”

The suit documents a long history of the rights to the song, which was released in 1981. The original label, Radialchoice Limited, was forced into liquidation in 1985. Basil contends that the numerous transfers of the “Mickey” rights, which began shortly before the liquidation, are invalid because she did not consent to them.

Basil is suing Razor & Tie Entertainment, which currently controls the rights to the song, as well as the Walt Disney Company, Forever 21, VH1, and the producers of “South Park.”

Toni-Basil-Mickey-suit by gmaddaus on Scribd

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  1. The master rights were even sold to way too many companies behind her back. These lead to all sorts of reissues of her music being available for only a short time and then the reissues end up selling on eBay and Amazon for big bucks and now her music has been pulled from download and legal streaming services due to this issue. In some cases, masters being sold to way too many record companies lead to lost masters of classic recordings causing record companies to needle drop original vinyl quickly to meet the deadline. All that is available for “Mickey” on Spotify now is a karaoke recording.

  2. Bill B. says:

    If I recall correctly, this was among the first videos on MTV. It was awful and so is the song, as so many one hit wonders are, but it was popular back then.

    Since finding that her song was misused, Basil has become “withdrawn, despondent, and physically ill,” the suit alleges, and has experienced “sleep deprivation, nightmares, and anxiety.”

    Translation: She needs money.

    She didn’t even write this, so confused as to what legal rights she has to it.

    • Have a Seat says:

      “It was awful and so is the song”

      Your misguided opinion is not the basis for legal decisions. Now hush, grown folks are talking.

  3. Joseph says:

    Your snarky opening line belittles you as an entertainment “reporter”. Your article links to a series of stories in your own paper talking of Toni’s success as a choreographer and show business personality. May I suggest google as a helpful tool to you for your next column. In addition I suggest your editor look up the definition of his job title.

  4. WJM980 says:

    Other than her voice being on the recording, she had nothing to do with creating the song.

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