Scarlett Johansson took our name, band says

Actress Scarlett Johansson arriving at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, on Feb 22, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Actress Scarlett Johansson arriving at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, on Feb 22, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Scarlett Johansson can expect her name to boost sales, but her new band's decision to call itself the seemingly innocuous The Singles has triggered a firestorm.

A Los Angeles rock duo already called The Singles said on Wednesday it had sent a cease-and-desist order to the Hollywood star's new musical outfit for infringing on its name.

The Singles' singer and guitarist, Vincent Frederick, said Johansson's band could have discovered that the name was taken by doing a simple online search.

"I woke up one morning and learnt from the news that our band name was literally just taken by someone else as their own," Frederick said in a statement.

"It's hard to believe that any musician would do something like that to another band. The Singles has been my life for the past 16 years. We have worked so incredibly hard to make it a success," he said.

The Singles - the one with Frederick and drummer Nicky Veltman - has enjoyed coverage on indie music blogs and has a modest count of some 2,000 likes on Facebook.

Johansson last week announced the formation of an all-women band called The Singles that includes singer-songwriter Holly Miranda and, as a studio player, drummer Este Haim of the rising new band Haim.

Johansson's version of The Singles released a first track called Candy, which true to its name has a bubble-gum dance feel.

There was no immediate reaction from Johansson or her label. A cease-and-desist letter is a formal demand to stop an activity or else face legal action.

Johansson - the star of acclaimed films including Lost In Translation, Her and Match Point - has long been active as a musician and in 2008 released a solo album featuring songs written by rock icon Tom Waits.