Chubby Checker's lawsuit over a smartphone app that claims to measures penis size is the latest in a checkered record at attempting to maintain relevancy through the twists and turns of pop culture.
The app is is called the "Chubby Checker" referring to a slang term for an erection.
The 71-year-old Checker, whose real name is Ernest Evans, is suing Hewlett Packard and its subsidiary Palm, Inc. for $500 million, claiming the app associates his name with obscene, sexual connotation and images, without giving him "compensation for the unauthorized use of the Chubby Checker name and trademark," Webosnation.com reported.
The lawsuit comes as Checker tries to reinvigorate his career by promoting "Changes," a new single.
"With all of this activity surrounding the excitement and the legend, we're more interested in airplay than litigation," Checker said in a statement to The Huffington Post. "As they say in the legal community, 'Let the lawyers handle it.'"
Checker's suit was filed recently in a Florida court by his lawyer, personal injury attorney Willie Gary, even though the app has only been downloaded 84 times since 2010, TCPalm reported.
"This lawsuit is about preserving the integrity and legacy of a man who has spent years working hard at his musical craft and has earned the position of one of the greatest musical entertainers of all time," Gary said in a press release.
"We cannot sit idly and watch as technology giants or anyone else exploits the name or likeness of an innocent person with the goal of making millions of dollars. The defendants have marketed Chubby Checker's name on their product to gain a profit and this just isn't right."
HP said it removed the application in September, the same month that Checker's attorney sent a cease and desist letter asking the company to take it down.
It's the latest twist Checker has used to keep alive a career that began in earnest in 1960 when his cover of the Hank Ballard song, "The Twist," became a No. 1. The song rocketed to the top again in January, 1962, becoming the only tuen to hit No. 1 twice in separate years.
In 2008, Billboard declared that Checker's smash was the biggest song of the last 50 years. Checker boastfully believes it revolutionized the world, because people didn't "dance apart to the beat" before his cover became a hit.
PHOTOS: (Story Continues Below)
"This means we get a chance to see the goods while it's moving in front of us," he said in the statement. "We know that exercising to music did not emerge until someone decided that the Twist was great exercise and that industry began and is still with us."
Checker starred in numerous "twist-themed movies" and, at one point, he had five albums in the top 12, but he had a top 40 drought starting in 1965 until he hit No. 16 in 1988 with "Yo' Twist," a rap version featuring the Fat Boys.
Since then, he's tried other twisted ways to capitalize on his fame, including a 2009 video for the Social Security Adminstration promoting how "a new 'twist' in the law makes it easier than ever to save on your prescription drug plan costs."
In 2001, he introduced a self-titled brand line of beef jerky that initially included flavors like "Hot Twist Hickory," "Sugar Twist Teriyaki" and something called "Invisible Strength Hickory Flavor of the Forces."
The jerky got low marks from Entertainment Weekly, but Checker's entreprenuerial spirit gets kudos from rock critic Legs McNeil.
"He's milking every last drop from 'The Twist,'" McNeil told The Huffington Post.
Checker may have a point when he promotes himself as a 20th Century changemaker, since "The Twist" was the first time that rock music -- which was considered just for teenagers -- crossed over to adults, McNeil says.
"You had all these Jackie O. socialites doing it," he said. "I learned the Twist when I was four from my middle class neighbors who were in their forties. They explained that it was like rubbing your behind with a towel."
Despite his efforts to allow humankind to see the goods while it's moving in front of them," the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has yet to induct him. Perhaps it's because he told reporters in 2001 that, if inducted, he would request that a 30-foot statue with the Twist logo be erected in the Hall's courtyard to commemorate his impact on the music industry, according to Wireless Flash.
"I want my flowers when I'm alive," he told reporters. "I can't smell them when I'm dead."