back to top

8 Songs Taken From Black Artists

#StayWoke

Posted on

1. "Tutti Frutti" - Little Richard (1955)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

Famed Black singer, Little Richard, released his catchy tune "Tutti Frutti" in 1955.

"Tutti Frutti" - Elvis Presley (1956)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

And in 1956 Elvis Presley came along and ripped the song right off--title and everything. Just take a listen!

Advertisement

2. "Hound Dog" - Big Mama Thornton (1952)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

In 1952, Big Mama Thornton released "Hound Dog".

"Hound Dog" - Elvis Presley (1956)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

And in 1956, Elvis released a song under the same name. Sound familiar?

3. "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" - Lloyd Price (1952)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

In 1952, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" was written and recorded by African-American singer/songwriter Lloyd Price alongside fellow black musicians, Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew.

"Lawdy Miss Clawdy" - Elvis Presley (1956)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

And guess who came along and stole it 4 years later...c'mon take a wild guess!

However, Elvis was not the only white musician to have appropriated music from black artists. In fact, he was just one of many.

Advertisement

4. "Ain't That A Shame" - Fats Domino (1955)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

In 1955, Fats Domino wrote "Ain't That A Shame" alongside black musician, Dave Bartholomew.

"Ain't That A Shame" - Pat Boone (1955)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

Shortly after Domino released the tune, white artist, Pat Boone, swooped in and stole the song thus recieving his first number-one single on Billboard. The song title is quite fitting for this one...

5. "Sweet Little Sixteen" - Chuck Barry (1958)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

Black singer/songwriter Chuck Barry released "Sweet Little Sixteen" as his single in 1958.

"Surfin' U.S.A." - The Beach Boys (1963)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

5 years later, The Beach Boys released "Surfin' U.S.A." which went on to become a massive Rock n Roll hit. Do YOU hear any similarities between the two songs? *Blankly stares at the screen like Dora The Explorer and Boots*

6. "Uptight" - Stevie Wonder (1966) vs. "Step Out" - Oasis (1995)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

In 1966, music legend Stevie Wonder released "Uptight". Nearly 30 years later, all-white band, Oasis, released "Step Out". If you watch this video comparing the two songs you'll see how Oasis tried to rob my boy Stevie blind SMH (c'mon, I couldn't pass up this unique opportunity).

7. Security of the First World - Public Enemy (1988)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

In 1988, rap group, Public Enemy released their album 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back'. The album featured a track called "Security of the First World".

"Justify My Love" - Madonna (1990)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

Two years later, in 1990, Madonna released "Justify My Love". The two songs sound nearly identical.

8. "Got To Give It Up" - Marvin Gaye (1977) vs. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke (2012)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via reuters.com

Robin Thicke's rather recent hit, "Blurred Lines" (2012) is oddly similar to Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up" (1977). So similar that Thicke recently had to pay the Marvin Gaye estate $7.4 million for ripping the song off.

Hopefully this post sheds some light on the importance of giving credit where credit is due, accolades where accolades are due, and compensation where compensation is due. Black artists have been deprived and robbed of credit, accolades, and compensation for far too long. While it is undeniable that music is iterative, it is also important to note the distinction between paying tribute/homage to someone and wrongly claiming someone else's work as your own. This is just one important lesson we should recognize during Black History Month and beyond. Hope you enjoyed the tunes!

Promoted

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss