From Robin Thicke to Kanye West & Rihanna: The 10 Most Famous Song Samples


In the music video for the No. 1 hit “Blurred Lines,” singers Robin Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell shuffle around to a seductively familiar R&B bass line. Do you know it? Alhough Pharrell and Robin denied it during a resulting 2015 copyright infringement trial, a jury agreed that “Blurred Lines” samples Marvin Gaye’s groovy 1977 party anthem “Got to Give It Up.” (UPDATE: On March 10, Robin and Pharrell were ordered to pay the Gaye family $7.3 million, according to Variety news).

Sampling music has been around since the 1960s when DJs used actual turntables to mash-up songs.  But the practice has come a long way since Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith collaborated on the 1986 remix of “Walk This Way.” Hip-hop artists like Jay-Z, Eminen, P.Diddy, and Kanye West have turned sampling into an art form.

In 2005, Kanye famously sampled Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds Are Forever” song for his “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” ballad. A new song called “Blood on the Leaves” from his 2013 Yeezus album now gives the same treatment to Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit.” And who could forget Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love You,” featuring Rick James’ “Give It to Me”?

Now that Yeezus is available for download (as of June 18) and Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail is coming out July 4 (earlier for Samsung phone owners via an exclusive launch), MyMusicCloud is counting down our list of the top 10 most famous song samples.  For music fans, it’s a great way to remember some old favorites and discover new tunes you may not have heard. (Find them in our MyMusicCloud store for as little as 99 cents.)

Here we go …

10. Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” samples Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”

9. Robin Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell’s “Blurred Lines” samples Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”

8. Kanye’s “Gold-Digger” featuring Jamie Foxx samples Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman”

7. The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa” samples the Isley Brothers’ “Between the Sheets”

6. Rihanna’s “SOS” samples Soft Cell’s “Tainted love”

5. Puff Daddy, Faith Evans and 112’s “I’ll Be Missing You” samples The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”

4. Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love You” samples Rick James’ “Give It to Me”

3. Kanye’s “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” samples Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds are Forever”

2. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy, Mase and Kelly Price on “Mo Money Mo Problems” samples Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out …”

1. Eminem’s “Stan” featuring Dido samples Dido’s “Thank You”

Listen to Kanye West’s “Blood on the Leaves”

Play DJ with Our 4th of July Music Playlist

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Here in the U.S., we’ll be celebrating our independence on July 4th with pool parties and heaps of vacuum-sealed, processed foods. Because nothing says freedom like hot dogs and the ability to seamlessly play your favorite tunes across any device – PCs, tablets, mobile phones and more.

Have you decided what your Independence Day soundtrack will be? Will it include some Katy Perry, Black Eyed Peas or Toby Keith? Not to worry because MyMusicCloud has compiled a head-boppin’ list of songs about fireworks, patriotism, and summer fun for your holiday. Mix them together on your kitchen tablet and then stream them to your laptop or listen on any other device outside for an upbeat backyard BBQ mix. You can also use our cloud-based music delivery service to upload and compile your own 4th of July party playlist. Our continuous queue even lets you stop and start it across different devices.

Kick off your bash with summer anthems like Kid Rock’s thumping remix of “Sweet Home Alabama” called “All Summer Long,” or Faith Hill’s joyful ode to convertibles and good times, “Sunshine and Summertime.”

Then show your love for the heroes of the heartland with Toby Keith’s “Made in America” and salute the country where “we all get a chance, everybody gets to dance — Only in America” by superstars Brooks & Dunn. Love classic rock? Blue-jean rebel Bruce Springsteen reminds you what it’s like to be “Born in the U.S.A.” while Neil Young urges you to “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World.”

If you can’t resist a pop dance tune, we’ve got Miley Cyrus, the Black Eyed Peas and Katy Perry’s “Firework” to bring your friends to their feet. We’re global too, so even if you’re reading this in Tuscany, Berlin or somewhere else abroad, you can still celebrate the 4th of July on all your devices.

10. Faith Hill: “Sunshine and Summertime”

9. Neil Diamond: “America”

8. Neil Young: “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World”

7. Miley Cyrus: “Party in the U.S.A.”

6. Bruce Springsteen: “Born in the U.S.A.”

5. Black Eyed Peas: “Boom Boom Pow”

4. Brooks & Dunn: “Only in America”

3. Toby Keith: “Made in America”

2. Kid Rock: “All Summer Long”

1. Katy Perry: “Firework”