With billions of songs produced, it’s no surprise that there some that do sound alike, especially since many artists are influenced by others. They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. However, imitation can go too far and there are some songs that many have accused of blatantly ripping off other songs. Check out these 9 songs accused of ripping off other songs – are they blatant copies or is it just a coincidence they sound alike?
‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell Williams and T.I. was accused by Marvin Gaye’s family of copying his 1977 single ‘Got To Give It Up’. This matter was even taken to court, with the court ruling in favour of Gaye’s family, with Thicke and Williams ordered to pay the family $4 million in damages and $3.4 million in profits.
2. ‘Born This Way’
When Lady Gaga released ‘Born This Way’ as the lead single from her second studio album Born This Way, many accused her of copying Madonna’s single ‘Express Yourself’. No lawsuits have been brought to court, though Madge did call Gaga ‘reductive’ and even performed a mash-up of ‘Express Yourself’ and ‘Born This Way’ on her MDNA. To rub salt in the wound, Madonna performed the song ‘She’s Not Me’ after the mash-up…
3. ‘Stay With Me’
Sam Smith’s breakout hit ‘Stay With Me’ was accused of sounding far too similar to Tom Petty’s 1989 song ‘I Won’t Back Down’. Even though Smith claimed he had never heard Petty’s song, he reached an amicable deal with Petty’s publishing company, which saw Petty and Jeff Lynne added to the song’s credits as co-writers.
4. ‘Viva La Vida’
Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’ was accused of copying Joe Satriani’s ‘If I Could Fly’, however the case was ultimately dismissed by a court. The song was also accused of copying American alternative band Creaky Boards’ ‘The Songs I Didn’t Write’; Creaky Boards claimed Chris Martin had attended one of their gigs in 2007 where they performed the song, though he proved he had been elsewhere and produced a demo of ‘Viva La Vida’ produced in March 2007, long before Creaky Boards had come out with ‘The Songs I Didn’t Write’.
5. ‘Uptown Funk’
Soon after ‘Uptown Funk’ became a worldwide smash, producer and artist Mark Ronson admitted the song had been influenced by a few others and adjusted the song’s credits to acknowledge its influences. The three main members of The Gap Band were credited as songwriters because of the song’s similarities to their own ‘Oops! Upside Your Head’ – they reached a mutual agreement with Ronson. Viktorija, a Serbian pop artist, has accused the song of being too similar to her own song ‘Ulice Mracne Nisu Za Devojke’.
Katy Perry’s huge hit ‘Roar’ was accused of having an identical backing to Sara Bareilles’ single ‘Brave’, which was released a few months earlier. Perry and Bareilles are good friends and there was no lawsuit. ‘Roar’ co-writer Dr. Luke went on to claim that ‘Roar’ had been recorded before ‘Brave’ came out.
7. ‘Yeah 3X’
Chris Brown’s hit ‘Yeah 3X’ was accused by Calvin Harris of ripping off ‘I’m Not Alone’, one of his earlier singles. He complained that Brown shouldn’t be able to do that and that him being a world-famous celebrity shouldn’t give him the right to copy music off little-known producers.
8. ‘Steal My Girl’
One Directions’ ‘Steal My Girl’ has been accused of sounding too similar to ‘It’s Not Your Fault’ by Newfound Glory, though there have been no lawsuits filed against the writers behind ‘Steal My Girl’. Another 1D song, ‘Live While We’re Young’, was claimed to be too similar to the song ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash.
9. ‘Already Gone’
Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Already Gone’ was written and produced by Ryan Tedder, who also wrote Beyonce’s ‘Halo’. When Clarkson first heard ‘Halo’, she noticed a lot of similarities between it and her own song ‘Already Gone’ and didn’t want the song to feature on her album because she thought people would accuse her of copying Beyonce. Tedder insisted he wouldn’t be stupid enough to give two huge artists identical-sounding songs and he maintained that ‘Already Gone’ would stand on its own merits.