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Tina Turner Sues Longtime Impersonator, Ruling Could Potentially Be A “Big Problem” For Industry

Vibe logo Vibe 11/15/2021 Mya Abraham
© Christian Charisius/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

On Oct. 6, it was reported that Tina Turner sold her name, likeness, image, and entire catalog to BMG as her final farewell to the music industry. The acquisition came as a surprise to fans, despite the “Proud Mary” singer announcing that she was done with the music business during promotion for her documentary, TINA. 

However, according to a Nov. 9 report, Turner may have one final say on how her “likeness” is being used. Dorothea “Coco” Fletcher—who’s been impersonating Turner for nearly 20 years—is being sued by the singer over her unofficial tribute show based in Germany, entitled Simply The Best.

Turner’s lawyer argues that Fletcher’s resemblance to the 81-year-old is so uncanny on the promotional flyer that fans may have trouble differentiating the two.

Fletcher spoke with the hosts from This Morning about the lawsuit. She explained, “Personally, I have no ill feelings against the other company or Tina Turner for sure. I think this whole thing is them trying to stuff out the competition; we all want to pay tribute to Tina Tuner […] I never thought our tribute to her would cause such a fuss, but on the other hand, we must be doing something right!”

Last year, the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll initially sued Cofo Entertainment—a German firm that represents Fletcher and other tribute acts that imitate Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Frank Sinatra—over the Simply The Best posters.

She won that case after a court in Cologne, Germany ruled the posters could be misleading as reported by The Times. The posters were redesigned, but Turner lost a follow-up case at the Cologne Court of Appeals, which ruled that the risk of confusion from the public did not outweigh Fletcher’s right of artistic expression.

The new case has reached Germany’s Federal Court of Justice and their ruling could drastically alter the multi-billion dollar tribute act industry. The court held its first hearing last week where Kerstin Schmitt, Turner’s lawyer, stated, “[Turner] would like to decide when her name and image are used for commercial purposes.”

Fletcher revealed on This Morning that the lawsuit came about after Tina: The Tina Turner Musical began production in Germany. The Alabama native feels the lawsuit is about eliminating the competition.

Watch the full interview with Dorothea “Coco” Fletcher below.

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