Heard It All Before
We all know that most of the things that we were taught in school don't end up applying to real life but if you're a music artist, the lesson about not plagiarizing others' work might be a good one to remember. Musicians being accused of stealing other artists' work isn't new. Even some of the classics that we all know and love have actually faced accusations of copying someone else. The Beatles, James Brown, and many other artists had dealt with lawsuits about copyright infringement.
To this day, lawsuits and public accusations are commonplace for artists, especially the ones at the top of the industry. Don’t believe us? Check out these 10 artists who have been accused of stealing someone else's work.
Miley Cyrus vs. Flourgon
It wasn't long after Miley Cyrus came out with her hit single "We Can't Stop" that she was hit with a lawsuit from artist Flourgon aka Michael Kay. He claimed that Miley's song copied the lyrics from his song "We Run Things." Specifically, she allegedly copied the line, "We run things, things don't run we" which is exactly like a line from Flourgon's song. He sued her $300 million in damages. Welp. Did she even make that much on the song?
The Weeknd vs. Yasmina
The Weeknd faced a lawsuit after coming out with "Starboy" from Somali-American artist Yasmina. She claimed that Starboy sounded way too similar to her song "Hooyo" and wanted $5 million to settle the matter. What do you think?
Ariana Grande vs. Soulja Boy vs. A$AP Rocky
Ariana drew the attention of millions when she came out with "7 Rings" and everyone agreed that the song sounded very similar to another song out there and it wasn't "My Favorite Things" from the Sound of Music. Many commented on the similar flow to that of "Praise The Lord" by A$AP Rocky but people also pointed out that both A$AP and Ariana's songs sound a lot like Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag" which came out years before either of theirs.
Ed Sheeran vs. Marvin Gaye
Ed Sheeran has actually faced a fair share of lawsuits of ripping of other songs. One of the more notable ones has to do with his 2014 single "Thinking Out Loud" which was accused of copyright infringement by the co-writer of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On." Even Ed acknowledged the similarities between the songs at a concert one time by mashing both songs during the performance. He probably regrets that now that he's being sued for it though.
Migos vs. M.O.S.
The trio's song "Walk It Talk It" featuring Drake faced legal issues shortly after they dropped it last year. The person taking issue with the song is rapper M.O.S. who claims that they copy too much of his own song called "Walk It Like I Talk It." The titles are almost the same but do you think the songs themselves are too?
Katy Perry vs. Sara Bareilles
When Katy Perry dropped "Roar" fans immediately compared it to Sara Bareilles' "Brave." Fans accused Katy of stealing the song and those accusations only grew stronger when they noticed that Katy had tweeted about how much she liked "Brave" a few weeks before releasing her own. But Katy and Sara put the matter to rest by publicly praising each others' songs.
Jonas Brothers vs. Portugal. The Man
Everyone lost their heads when the Jonas Brothers revealed that they had reunited and dropped their song "Sucker." They didn't file a lawsuit but Portugal The Man did slyly compare it to their own song "Feel It Still" through this tweet. That not so subtle tea.
Childish Gambino vs. Jase Harley
Childish Gambino broke the internet last year when he released "This Is America" for its politically and racially charged lyrics and music video. But all that press also drew the attention of people who noticed the similarities in the message, sound, and flow to Jase Harley's "American Pharaoh." While people debated the songs, Jase Harley decided to redirect people's attention to the message of the songs which was more important.
Little Mix vs. GRL
Back in 2016, Little Mix performed their newest single "Shout Out to My Ex" for the first time on X Factor UK. Fans started comparing the song to "Ugly Heart" by American girl group GRL. The group must have picked up on the comparisons because a few hours after the performance, they tweeted out #ShoutOutUglyHeart. Initially Little Mix said they were friends with Emmalyn from GRL and that she loved the song but a week later said they just wanted free publicity and told the American girl group to "stop trying to hop on the bandwagon." Yikes. So much for being friends.
Iggy Azalea vs. Cardi B vs. Kendrick Lamar
This three-for-one special involves all three rappers and one similar piano riff. After Cardi B released "Money" in 2018 people began comparing the piano riff to the one in Kendrick Lamar's "Humble" which came out a year earlier. But then this year Iggy Azalea released her own song "Sally Walker" and the Internet was in shambles with fans arguing about who ripped off who. The truth is that the two ladies' songs were actually produced by the same guy, JWhiteDidIt which explains why they had similar elements. As far as whether JWhiteDidIt got some inspo from Kendrick, that has never been addressed.
So which artists do you think definitely ripped off someone else's songs and which ones are just coincidence? Join the conversation @boxbeautyco