Viral fake Drake and The Weeknd single taken down from streaming platforms

Drake and The Weeknd. Picture: Instagram

Drake and The Weeknd. Picture: Instagram

Published Apr 18, 2023


Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and Tidal and other streaming platforms seem to have removed an AI (Artificial Intelligence) generated song that features unauthorised Drake and The Weeknd vocals, which has been going viral on social media over the past few days.

The song in question is titled “Heart on My Sleeve” and the “artist” (who goes by the name ghostwriter) used AI to clone the two artist’s voices in a song that sees the two Canadian stars singing about Selena Gomez.

While there’s been several AI songs cloning the voices of popular artists over the past few weeks, this is by far the most successful one yet. Since its release on Friday, it has garnered millions of streams across various streaming platforms.

According to Music Business Worldwide, on Monday, Universal Music Group (which facilitates both Drake and The Weeknd’s recordings through its subsidiary label Republic Records), shared a statement in which they called for platforms to take strong action.

“UMG’s success has been, in part, due to embracing new technology and putting it to work for our artists– as we have been doing with our own innovation around AI for some time already,” the label said, adding that the training of generative AI using their artists’ music represents both a breach of their agreements and a violation of copyright law.

They added: “The availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of artists, fans and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud and denying artists their due compensation.”

The label also said that these instances demonstrate why platforms have a “fundamental legal and ethical responsibility” to prevent the use of their services in ways that harm artists.

It concluded: “We’re encouraged by the engagement of our platform partners on these issues –as they recognise the need to be part of the solution.”