The members of legendary hip-hop group the Sugar Hill Gang last week were awarded almost $3 million in a suit they brought against Snapple Beverage Corp. and Turner Broadcasting System over the wrongful use of their images and voices in advertising, Billboard Bulletin reports.
The suit — filed Jan. 19, 1999, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York — involved a Snapple commercial that aired on television in 1998. The spot showed the Sugar Hill Gang performing their hit “Rapper’s Delight” as part of a vignette to advertise the Goodwill Games, of which the beverage company was a sponsor.
The members of the rap act maintain that they were told the segment would air only on closed-circuit monitors during a party at New York’s Studio 54. A District Court judge granted a summary judgment on behalf of the Sugar Hill Gang in June. On Friday, a jury awarded the group $165,000 in compensatory damages and $2.8 million in punitive damages.
An attorney for the defendants could not be reached for comment.