18 Famous Songs That I Bet You Didn’t Know Sampled Other Famous Songs

Wait, Destiny’s Child sampled Stevie Nicks?!


M.I.A’s hit “Paper Planes” samples the melody from “Straight to Hell” by The Clash.

XL / Interscope

Interestingly, both songs lyrics focus on similar topics – “Straight To Hell” references post colonial immigration to Britain, while “Paper Planes” explores stereotypes attached to immigrants.


The guitar riff at the start of Destiny’s Child’s “Bootylicious” is straight from “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks.


If you’ve seen the music video, you might not be surprised, as Stevie herself has a lil cameo in it, and she remembers the experience fondly, noting that without makeup, Kelly, Beyoncé, and Michelle looked like cute teenage girls.


You might not realise that the chorus of “Stan” is a part of a whole song other song – Dido’s “Thank You.”

Aftermath/ Shady /Interscope

Em didn’t go down the traditional collab route when using the British singer’s 1999 hit. Dido got a letter out of the blue which said: “We like your album, we’ve used this track. Hope you don’t mind, and hope you like it.” She played the song, and the rest is history!


Enya’s “Boadicea” has been sampled loads of times, but the most unexpected genre blend is in Mario Winan’s “I Don’t Wanna Know.”

Bad Boy

Mario said he was first inspired by the song at the end of the movie Sleepwalkers and was later a big fan of The Fugees “Ready or Not” which also includes Enya’s hit. Unlike The Fugees, Mario’s team asked Enya for permission to use the track, and she even ended up doing a re-recording with them.


The guitar on DJ Khaled & Rihanna’s “Wild Thoughts” is right from “Maria Maria” by Santana.

We the Best / Epic

“Maria Maria” spent 10 weeks on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1999, and Santana said that he felt honoured that Rihanna et al added a new dimension to the timeless riff.


Quite randomly, Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” uses the melody from “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred.

Big Machine

I don’t think any of us would have had Swifty down as a Right Said Fred stan, which makes the fact that members of the British group are credited as co-songwriters on her 2017 hit even more surprising.


And Eminem obviously loves a good sample because he used elements from Aerosmith’s 19773 hit “Dream On” in “Sing for the Moment.”

Aftermath / Shady / Interscope

While the song got mixed reviews, Aerosmith themselves were into it – when it was released, bassist Tom Hamilton said that they were really excited and pleasantly surprised that Em had been influenced by them, and Joe Perry even plays a guitar solo at the end of the song!


00’s kids will know that the chorus of Jason Derulo’s “Watcha Say” was born from a few lines of “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap.

Beluga Heights / Asylum / Warner Bros.

You can’t blame Jason for being enamoured with Imogen’s harmonies, and it’s safe to say the world thanked him for it – his debut single went 5x Platinum! According to JD, Imogen loves the song, so it was a win-win situation all round.


And Madonna used the synthesized melody from Abba’s “Gimme Gimme Gimme” to spice up her 2004 hit “Hung Up.”

Warner Bros.

This is one of very few Abba samples – the band don’t usually let people borrow from their timeless hits, and Madge had to pretty much beg them for permission. She wrote them a letter and after a lot of thought, they allowed her to use it, but only because they admired her work!


The “oh-a-oh’s” in Nicki Minaj and Will.I.Am’s “Check it Out” are lifted straight from the 1981 history-making hit “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles.


While the Buggles may have been a one-hit wonder, they had the honour of having the first music video shown on MTV, and their legacy clearly lives on. Oh, and if you’re wondering, the Buggles are still going strong, and they’ve even performed “Check It Out” live!


Drake’s “Nice for What” takes inspo from a lot of different places, but his use of “Ex-Factor” by Lauryn Hill is just *chef’s kiss.*

Young Money / Cash Money / Republic


Drake also used Timmy Thomas’ ‘70s hit “Why Can’t We Live Together” for “Hotline Bling.”

Young Money / Cash Money / Republic

What can I say, the man loves a sample. Unlike Lauryn Hill, Timmy seemed glad to have been so heavily sampled, telling Spin that despite the fact that Drake changed the song’s message, he’s very proud of it.


If you’ve heard Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” you know that it’s heavily used in “Hollaback Girl.”


Yep, the song that taught us how to spell bananas uses both the melody and some lyrics from the ’80s hit. Listeners with a sharp ear will notice that it also has elements of songs by Notorious B.I.G, 20th Century Steel Band, and Frankie Smith.


Most artists tend to draw on older songs for samples, but Kendrick Lamar’s 2017 hit “Loyalty” borrowed vocals from a song that was released just a year before – “24k Magic” by Bruno Mars.

Top Dawg / Aftermath /Interscope

Co-creator Terrence Martin revealed that when he heard the sample, he was completely inspired, telling fader that he wanted to, “replay it, reverse it, change the key, add a third harmony” to give it a different edge. It’s been labeled as the standout track from DAMN, so it obviously paid off.


Stevie Wonder fans will know that Ja Rule used the hook of “Do I Do” in his 00’s hit “Livin’ it Up.”

Murder Inc. / Def Jam

When he first asked, Ja Rule was turned down by Stevie, and while we may never know the reason why he changed his mind, Ja’s convinced that Mr. Wonder was swayed after hearing his music.


While Amy Winehouse wrote the lyrics to “Tears Dry On Their Own,” the creators of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” are credited for the melody.


It’s not surprising that the late great Amy was a fan of Motown, so it makes sense that she used this Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell hit to create her own. In the Back to Black documentary, her collaborator Salaam Remi revealed that Amy wasn’t keen on using the sample at first, but she played around with it and it turned great.


And finally: this technically isn’t a sample, because One Direction didn’t give anyone from The Who writing credits for “Best Song Ever,” but parts of it sound incredibly similar to “Baba O’riley.”


When 1D’s song was released, there was many a rumour that The Who were seeking legal action but the band’s guitarist, Pete Townshend, cleared things up. He told The Rolling stone that he likes the song, the band, and he’s happy that the guys may have been influenced by The Who. But please, listen to both songs and tell me they’re not more than a little bit alike.

You can listen to all of the sampled songs and the hits they spawned in the playlist below, and don’t forget to tell us your favourite song samples in the comments!

Nostalgia Trip

Take a trip down memory lane that’ll make you feel nostalgia AF

Source: BuzzFeed – Music, Author:

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Written by Peek Jar


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