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Germany

Tom Waits Sues Opel for Imitating Voice

US singer Tom Waits has sued General Motors' German subsidiary Opel for hiring a singer to imitate his distinctive gravelly voice in a commercial he had refused to do, his lawyer said on Thursday. "Apparently the highest compliment our culture grants artists nowadays is to be in an ad -- ideally naked and purring on the hood of a new car," said Waits, 55. "I have adamantly and repeatedly refused this dubious honor. Currently accepting in my absence is my German doppelgänger." Waits' attorney, Andreas Spies, announced the suit against Opel and the advertising company McCann Erickson for undisclosed damages in Frankfurt. The company settled for a smoky-voiced singer from Frankfurt who sounds like Waits to sing the soundtrack for the commercial. Representatives of GM-Opel could not be reached, and a McCann Erickson representative in New York refused comment. Waits is known to staunchly oppose commercialization of his music. "While the court can't make me active in radio, I am asking it to make me radioactive to advertisers," Waits said in a statement.

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