Top 10 Rip-Offs in Music

These are music stars who whose celebrated works were actually stolen. Some even have Grammies for these stolen works.
The Top Ten
1 Madonna Madonna Louise Ciccone, known professionally as Madonna, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She influenced a lot of singers such as: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears. She is known as Queen of Pop and at modern pop culture specifically in 2012 "Madge" or MDNA. She has 14 studio albums (Madonna, Like a Virgin, True Blue, Like a Prayer, Erotica, Bedtime Stories, Ray of Light, Music, American Life, Confessions on a Dance Floor, Hard Candy, MDNA, Rebel Heart, and Madame X), 3 soundtrack albums (Who's That Girl, I'm Breathless, and Evita), 4 compilation albums (The Immaculate Collection, Something to Remember, GHV2, and Celebration), ...read more.

A lot of tears and law suits have followed Madonna's career - by others. Songs like 'Like a virgin', 'Vogue' and many others have had court cases tied to them, some of which have been settled inside or outside court.

2 Jay Z Shawn Corey Carter, known by his stage name JAY-Z, is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur and investor born on December 4, 1969 in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for his albums Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, and The Black Album. He is considered to be one of the best rappers of all time.

So many law suits for copyright infringement have followed Jay Z. Toni Braxton asked for a remake of a song. Next, thing Jay Z and Beyonce were singing 'Me and my girlfriend' (Bonny and Clyde) and smiling to the bank.

3 Beyonce Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, is an American singer and actress, who started out in the popular pop/r&b girl group Destiny's Child. They had multiple top 5 hits such as "No, No, No", "Say My Name", "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Survivor", "Independent Women", "Bootylicious", and "Jumpin', Jumpin" from 1999 to 2004. After they broke up in 2006, Beyonce pursued her solo career, creating smash hits such as "Crazy In Love", "Single Ladies", "Halo", "Partition", "Irreplaceable", "Drunk In Love", "Baby Boy", "Beautiful Liar", "7/11", and "Run The World (Girls)", and has since become one of the most influential performers and biggest celebrities of the 21st century.

Since her 'Destiny's Child' days, her name has been attached to songs she did not write. It continued in her solo days. Then,the law suits started pouring in. Even her ex- band mate, Kelly Rowland said that their names were put on songwriting lists, so they could get royalties and hand them to their manager - Beyonce's father. He is not her manager anymore but the law suits have continued with each new album.

4 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English hard rock band formed in London in 1968 as the New Yardbirds. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums) and was very much the child of Jimmy Page who even financed their first tour. He had tasted some previous success with The [original] Yardbirds and was friendly with some big names in rock... read more

I don't know why did they even rip off other artists. All the ripped of song's lyrics were mediocre. Especially Whole Lotta Love, "You need love, I need love. We all need love" blah blah. Boring. Their original lyrics were far better than that. Kashmir, Stairway to Heaven, Tangerine etc. The only artist I have seen who ripped off to become bad.

Led Zeppelin is no stranger to song theft. Their first song 'Whole lotta love' was admitted by them to have been stolen from ''Willie Dixon". Front-man, Robert Plant said that it was the successful ones that got caught.Dixon got paid and shares song writing credit.

As good as they are, there's no denying they ripped off a LOT of people.

5 Vanilla Ice Robert Matthew Van Winkle, known by his stage name, Vanilla Ice, is an American rapper, actor and television host.

The song 'Ice, Ice Baby' got us singing but it sampled the David Bowie - Queen song 'Under Pressure'. Vanilla got sued though he denied copying anyone.D.J Mario also sued for songwriting credit and a settlement was reached.

6 Sam Smith Samuel Frederick "Sam" Smith is an English singer-songwriter born in London on May 19, 1992. They rose to fame in October 2012 when they were featured on Disclosure's breakthrough single "Latch", which peaked at number eleven on the UK Singles Chart. They are well known for songs like "Stay With Me", "Too Good at Goodbyes", "I'm Not the Only One" and "Dancing with a Stranger" with Normani.

Sam's song 'Stay with me' more than borrows from Tom Petty's 'I won't back down'. Sam and his co-writers claimed not to know Petty's song but with lawyers intervening, Petty and his co-writer now get song writing credit and royalties.

7 Pharrell Williams Pharrell Lanscilo Williams, born April 5, 1973, known professionally as Pharrell, is an American singer, rapper, and record producer. Williams and Chad Hugo make up the record production duo the Neptunes, producing soul, hip hop and R&B music.

The song 'Blurred Lines' got Marvin Gaye's family suing because it sounded like Marvin's 'Got to give it up' and Pharrel and co. had to pay up. Even the video for 'Happy' was a stolen concept. Anne Marsen had a 24hr of fun video 4 years earlier and 'Happy is a rip off of that video; from the choir robes to the hallway dancing and general spontanaiety. Marvin Gaye's family says that 'Happy' sounds like Marvin's 'Ain't it peculiar' and are thinking of suing.

8 The Verve The Verve were an English rock band formed in Wigan in 1990 by lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bass guitarist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. Guitarist and keyboard player Simon Tong became a member at a later date.

The song 'Bittersweet symphony' by The Verve was taken from 'The last time' by the Rolling Stones. It opened up many court cases and the Rolling Stones themselves were to later be sued for a song theft of their own!

9 Coldplay Coldplay are a British pop rock band formed in 1996. The band consists of Chris Martin (lead vocalist and pianist), Jonny Buckland (lead guitarist), Guy Berryman (bassist) and Will Champion (drummer and backing vocalist). Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed themselves "Coldplay" in 1998. Before making their debut album, they recorded and released three EPs: Safety in 1998, Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999, and The Blue Room in the same year. The Blue Room was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone. ...read more.

I agree this band is one of the biggest plagiarizers ever. I get that Led Zeppelin plagiarized a lot as well, but at least they did not steel every single song, like Coldplay does. And at least Led Zeppelin got better with not plagiarizing their music later on in their career. Coldplay's early work was nothing but a rip-off of U2, and Radiohead. While their more recent work is just ripping off all the rest of the modern pop/alt/indie rock bands out there. I will never get the hype behind this band for many reasons, but one of the reasons is defiantly is the fact that they are one of the most unoriginal bands ever.

I'm not going to say Coldplay is the most groundbreaking band out there or anything but the fact that a lot of their songs sound similar to U2 or Radiohead isn't the same as plagiarism.
Plagiarism is taking very specific elements from someone else's work and using them yourself without acknowledging them. To the best of my knowledge Coldplay have never ripped of U2, Radiohead or any other band in this way.

10 Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal band, that was formed 1999 in California. Their longest lineup of members was M. Shadows (Vocals), Synyster Gates (Lead Guitar), Zacky Vengeance (Rhythm Guitar), Johnny Christ (Bass Guitar), and The Rev (Drums).

Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan (Drums), their most notable drummer, passed away in 2009, being temporarily replaced by Mike Portnoy, who was replaced... read more

See the Hail to the King Album an album filled with ripoffs of other songs

Hail to the king was a cool album, but I think it was more of a tribute then a rip off album

The Contenders
11 One Direction One Direction (commonly abbreviated as 1D) were a British-Irish pop boy band based in London, composed of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and previously, Zayn Malik until his departure from the band on 25 March 2015. The group signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after forming and finishing third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to international success by social media, One Direction's four albums, Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home, Midnight Memories and Four topped charts in most major markets, and generated hit singles including "What Makes You Beautiful", "Live While We're Young", and ...read more.

They have ripped of several songs Baba o Riley, We Will Rock You, Pour Some Sugar on Me, Should I Stay or Should I Go and several more I made a list about it.

12 George Harrison George Harrison (1943 - 2001) was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.

Harrison's song 'My sweet Lord was considered a rip-off of the 'Chiffon's song 'He is so fine'. After much argument he had to pay up but in a remarkable show of goodwill, the Chiffon's recorded their own version of 'My sweet lord'.

13 Ray Parker Jr.

His song "Ghostbusters" was considered a plagiarized work of Huey Lewis' "I Want A New Drug." I believe that they settled out of court.

14 Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Dubbed the "King of Rock and Roll", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, led him to both great success and initial controversy. ...read more.

Accused of ripping off from Chuck Berry (The true king of rock), Muddy Waters, Big Momma Thornton and more.

Recorded over 500 songs... none were original.
Why is he the king of rock and roll, someone remind me

15 Olivia Rodrigo Olivia Isabel Rodrigo (born February 20, 2003) is an American singer-songwriter and actress who rose to fame after playing Paige Olvera in Bizaardvark and has also played Nini Salazar-Roberts in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. She gained much more fame after the release of her debut single ...read more.
16 Michael Bolton Michael Bolotin, known professionally as Michael Bolton, is an American singer and songwriter. Bolton originally performed in the hard rock and heavy metal genres from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, both on his early solo albums and those he recorded as the frontman of the band Blackjack.

The Isley Brother's song 'Love is a wonderful thing' was recorded by Michael Bolton who used everything up to the title yet claimed not to know the song. He was sued and gave up the royalties and 28% of album profits.

17 Sean Combs Sean John Combs, also known by his stage names Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy, Love and Brother Love is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur.

Ripped of 'Every Breath You Take' by the Police for that god awful song 'I'll be missing you'

18 Nicki Minaj Onika Tanya Maraj, known professionally as Nicki Minaj (born December 8, 1982) is a Trinidadian/American rapper / pop music artist. Minaj is most known for her songs such as "Anaconda", "Super Bass", "Starships" and her feature on "Bang Bang". Despite her controversial songs, Brent Staples from "The New York Times" claimed her to be 'the most influential female rapper of all time', presumably distinctive for her fast flow and her use of alter egos with Cockney accent. She has endorsed Adidas, MAC Cosmetics and Pepsi. Minaj has received ten Grammy-nominations throughout her career, and has won multiple awards including the Billboard's Women in Music 2011 Rising Star award.

Anaconda ripped off Sir Mix a Lot's Baby Got Back.

19 Imagine Dragons Imagine Dragons is an American pop rock band from Provo, Utah, and are now based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Imagine Dragons' lineup consists of lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman. The band first gained exposure with the release of their single "It's Time", followed by their award-winning debut studio album Night Visions (2012), which resulted... read more
20 Radiohead Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwoood (bass guitar), Phil Selway (drums), and Ed O'Brien (guitar).
21 Nirvana Nirvana was an American grunge band that was formed in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana disbanded after Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. The drummer of the band, David Grohl, went on to start the Foo-Fighters, an alternative rock band.

The band was comprised of Kurt Cobain (Vocals, Guitar), Dave Grohl (Drums) and Krist Novoselic (Bass).

Nirvana is most well-known for their... read more
22 Ed Sheeran Edward Christopher "Ed" Sheeran is an English singer-songwriter and musician. He sang songs such as The A team and Shape of You. He was born in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire and raised in Framlingham, Suffolk.
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