D-Nice’s popularity soared during the pandemic, thanks to his Club Quarantine on Instagram live.
Club Quarantine shattered viewership records early on in the pandemic, drawing millions of viewers including Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Drake, and even President Joe Biden, came to party with D-Nice to escape the stress of the pandemic.
So it only made sense when Ford tapped D-Nice for an advertising campaign promoting the new Ford F-150, which is the best-selling vehicle in the United States.
The campaign features D-Nice, and the sonic backdrop to the commercial utilizes his best-known, #1 hit song “Call Me D-Nice.”
But members of the 1960’s rock group The Turtles are putting the brakes on Ford’s commercial, claiming they are being ripped off.
Turtles group members Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan own a company called Flo & Eddie Inc. (FEI), which controls the rights to the pop song’s the group created, including “Happy Together,” “”She’d Rather Be With Me,” and other well-known tunes.
The rockers claim “Call Me D-Nice” samples large portions of their song “Buzzsaw,” and that they have been completely cut out of the money Ford splashed around for the commercial.
Back in 1990, FEI cleared the sample so D-Nice could use it to make “Call Me D-Nice.” That agreement specified that if “Call Me D-Nice” was re-used and commercially exploited, a fee was to be negotiated in good faith, to re-use “Buzzsaw.”
But Sony never even bothered to reach out to The Turtles, who were totally surprised to hear their music prominently featured in the commercial for the Ford F-150.
“Sony failed to negotiate with FEI in any manner whatsoever as to the fee for the Commercial, as specified in the Agreement, and failed to even inform FEI that a major commercial involving Ford’s F-150 truck was “in the works.” Sony has never contacted FEI about the Commercial whatsoever,” according to the complaint.
The Turtles also claim they haven’t received any royalty reports on “Call Me D-Nice” since 2010, and they are demanding an accounting of earnings from streams of the song now too.
The Turtles are seeking a full accounting of the earnings Sony has received from “Call Me D-Nice,” and they want at least $100,000 in damages.