A Tina Turner impersonator is being sued by the icon she performs as because the star thinks her resemblance is a little too uncanny.
The Daily Mail reported that the 81-year-old entertainer filed a lawsuit against Germany-based Dorothea “Coco” Fletcher and the tribute company she works for, Cofo Entertainment. The 30-something Tina Turner impersonator has an unofficial tribute act titled “Simply The Best,” likely named after the “Proud Mary” singer’s 1991 hit album.
The legendary singer initially filed the suit last year after posters for the act were distributed. The case has now made it to Germany’s Federal Court of Justice. A hearing regarding the matter was held in the high court earlier this month.
The case is unprecedented because a ruling in favor of Turner could transform the multi-billion-dollar tribute entertainment industry. In Cologne, Germany, a lower court ruled in Turner’s favor, citing that the promotional posters could deceive fans to see the actual performer. The “Simply The Best” show has toured for years in Europe in countries like– Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
Cofo Entertainment redesigned the posters causing the 81-year-old to lose her follow-up case. The court decided that Turner’s idea that fans may be confused didn’t supersede Fletcher’s right to artistic freedom.
Kerstin Schmitt, the attorney representing Turner, maintained that the posters aren’t art but advertise the company’s entertainment services.
‘[Turner] would like to decide when her name and image are used for commercial purposes,” Schmitt told the court.
Brunhilde Ackermann, the attorney representing Cofo Entertainment, argued that Fletcher doesn’t resemble the icon in any way. So fans wouldn’t be apt to think they were seeing the actual singer perform.
“Only a chronically stupid person who looks at everything superficially would get the two confused,” she said.
Ackermann also advised that setting a precedent against tribute acts could damage the industry she called “legitimate.”
The judge in the case questioned Turner’s motives for coming at the entertainment company, asking if she supported a rival act.
The final ruling will be made in February.
Although Fletcher rocks the house impersonating Turner, the artist is an artist in her own right. The Daily Mail reported that the woman is originally from Alabama but relocated to Berlin in 1997.
Within the United States, Fletcher has sung with the legendary Black acts like Millie Jackson, The Platters and Bobby Womack.
In October, Turner sold her entire catalog to BMG. Although the terms were not disclosed, the catalog is estimated to be valued at $50 million.
“Tina Turner’s musical journey has inspired hundreds of millions of people around the world and continues to reach new audiences. We are honored to take on the job of managing Tina Turner’s musical and commercial interests,” BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said on the company’s website.