Grammy Award-winning singer Tom Waits has settled a lawsuit in which he claimed an automaker and an ad agency violated his rights by imitating him in TV commercials, his lawyer said Friday.
The lawsuit was resolved "recently" in a state court in Frankfurt, Germany, but the settlement required other details be kept confidential, attorney Kevin Marks said. Waits will donate the "net settlement proceeds" to charity, Marks said.
"I'm glad to be out of the car sales business once and for all," Waits said in a statement issued on Thursday.
The gravel-voiced singer sued Adam Opel AG, which is part of General Motors Corp., and the advertising firm McCann Erickson in 2005 on grounds that his personality rights had been violated.
Waits, who has a policy of not doing commercials, claimed that a singer imitating his voice and style appeared on the soundtrack for Opel ads that aired in Scandinavia after he turned down several offers to do the commercials.
Opel said the music was a Brahms composition and wasn't intended to mimic Waits. The ad music was later changed.
Calls to Opel's corporate office in Germany and McCann Erickson in London were not immediately returned.