- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Rapper Bad Bunny is being sued by his ex-girlfriend for $40 million for sampling her voice without permission.

Bad Bunny’s ex, Carliz De La Cruz Hernández, accused him of using a recording she made on his phone in 2015 in two of his songs, one from 2017 and another from 2022. She filed the lawsuit last month in the rappers’ home country of Puerto Rico.

The recorded phrase “Bad Bunny baby” is sampled in “Pat Ti” and “Dos Mil 16,” both of which have over 200 million streams on Spotify.

Court documents claim that Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio, violated Puerto Rico’s “law of the right to own image” by using her “distinguishable voice” without De La Cruz‘s permission.

She says that Bad Bunny offered to buy the recording in 2022, after the couple had broken up, for $2,000, but she declined. A deal was never reached and Bad Bunny used the recording anyway, according to the lawsuit.

“Thousands of people have commented directly on Carliz’s social media networks, as well as every time she goes to a public place about ‘Bad Bunny baby.’ This has caused, and currently causes, De La Cruz to feel worried, anguished, intimidated, overwhelmed and anxious,” the lawsuit said.

Bad Bunny has not publicly commented on the lawsuit, which names him, his label and his manager as defendants.

The rapper has been a powerful force in popular music ever since he broke into the mainstream in 2018 when he was featured on Cari B’s “I Like It.” He has gone on to have several chart-topping singles and his most recent album was the first Spanish language album ever nominated for the Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

• Vaughn Cockayne can be reached at vcockayne@washingtontimes.com.

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