Bad Bunny‘s ex-girlfriend is suing the singer for at least $40 million over a well-known voice recording she provided him before he became famous.
Carliz De La Cruz Hernández, whose breathy “Bad Bunny, baby” audio was utilized in two of the artist’s tracks, said in a case filed earlier this month in a Puerto Rican court that her voice and the phrase she coined are being exploited without her permission.
According to the lawsuit, initially published by the online Puerto Rican news site NotiCel, the word was used in the song Pa Ti, which has over 355 million views on YouTube and over 235 million reproductions on Spotify. It was also utilized in the song Dos Mil 16, which has over 60 million views on YouTube and 280 million copies on Spotify.
According to the lawsuit, De La Cruz’s “distinguished voice” has also been exploited for songs, recordings, promotions, and worldwide concerts and on television, radio, social media, and musical platforms without permission.
“Since then, thousands of people have commented directly on Carliz’s social media networks, as well as every time she goes to a public place, about the ‘Bad Bunny, baby.’ This has caused, and currently causes, that De La Cruz feels worried, anguished, intimidated, overwhelmed and anxious,” the lawsuit states.
Noah Kamil Assad Byrne, manager for Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Martnez Ocasio, is also being sued. Assad and Bad Bunny spokespeople did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
De La Cruz and Martnez began dating in 2011. They started studying at the University of Puerto Rico in the northern coastal town of Arecibo a year later while working at a neighboring grocery store. According to the lawsuit, Martnez continuously produced tunes and rhythms and would seek feedback from De La Cruz, who was also in charge of scheduling his parties and processing payments and contracts.
In 2015, the term “Bad Bunny, baby” was born, and Martnez urged De La Cruz to record herself saying it. According to the lawsuit, she did so in a bathroom one day while visiting with a friend because it was the least noisy place and then emailed it to him.
Martnez proposed to De La Cruz on January 1, 2016, and they planned to marry in July 2016. Nonetheless, Martnez was signed by Rimas Music in April 2016. De La Cruz was accepted to the University of Puerto Rico’s law school that same year, and her relationship with Martnez terminated in May 2016.
They reconciled in 2017, but their paths diverged once more.
Later, in May 2022, a Bad Bunny representative contacted De La Cruz and said he needed to speak with her.
“In that call, [the representative] said, ‘I know you don’t like to talk about Voldemort [referring to Martínez], but I need to ask you something,” the lawsuit stated.
He offered her $2,000 to purchase her voice recording. According to the lawsuit, De La Cruz declined and then spoke with someone at Rimas Music who also contributed to buying it, saying the recording would be featured in the upcoming album Un Verano Without Ti.
According to the lawsuit, a settlement was never completed, and the music was published without De La Cruz’s permission.
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