50 Fabulous Facts about Great Musical Artists – Part 2

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26Beyonce

Beyonce's hit song "Run the World (Girls)" is a heavily sampled version of a song by 3 men, and was co-written by 2 other men. The only female writer or producer involved in the song was Beyonce herself.


27. For the album cover for “Breakfast Can Wait,” Prince used the photo of Dave Chappelle dressed as Prince and serving pancakes, which was from a 2004 sketch from an episode of Chappelle's Show.


28. ‘Hit Me Baby (One More Time)’ is mistranslated. The Swedish writer for this Britney Spears song thought that “hit me” was American slang for “call me.”


29. Trent Reznor felt his song "A Warm Place" was too good to be his own work. After the song had been released, he was horrified to discover that he had indeed copied the melody from a piece by David Bowie called "Crystal Japan", written for a Japanese gin advertisement. Bowie found this hilarious.


30. After David Bowie released his album "Low", Nick Lowe responded by releasing an Extended play called "Bowi".


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31Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" is about the negative effects of the Vietnam War on Americans but it is often misunderstood to be a patriotic or nationalistic anthem.


32. Bob Dylan missed Woodstock, after being invited, because he didn't like hippies.


33. Kanye West once ordered a curry to be delivered from London, UK to New York City, at a price of $3900.


34. Kanye West commissioned Zach Galifianakis to make an alternate music video of "Can't Tell Me Nothing" on a whim based on a connection through a personal trainer. The video consists of Zach riding farm equipment and lip-synching.


35. On the death of his mother, Jimi Hendrix’s father refused to take him to the funeral, instead giving the then 15-year-old shots of whiskey and informing him that this was how men dealt with loss.


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36Britney Spears

During Britney Spears' infamous downfall in 2007, Craig Ferguson said he would not mock her due to his own alcohol-related issues.


37. "Oops! I Did It Again" and "Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears has been used by the British Navy to scare off Somali pirates.


38. In the 70's, Chuck Berry toured with only a guitar, finding some local bands for each show "confident that he could hire a band that already knew his music" and not even giving them a set list "and just expected the musicians to follow his lead".


39. Rock musician Chuck Berry created Berry Park in Missouri, his own rock n roll themed amusement park with a guitar-shaped swimming pool, in response to the whites-only country clubs from where he was once excluded.


40. Bob Marley, against popular belief, didn't believe in smoking marijuana for recreation. He thought cannabis should be used for religious and medicinal purposes.


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41Rihanna

Rihanna was sued for her use of the sample "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" in her song "Please Don't Stop the Music" because she only got permission for using it via Michael Jackson from his use of the sample in "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin" and not from the original artist Manu Dibango.


42. David Bowie was so messed up on hard drugs, especially cocaine that he does not recall making the album “Station to Station.” When asked about the studio he recorded in, Bowie stated: “I know it was in LA because I’ve read it was.”


43. Neil Young once wired up his house to be the left speaker and the barn as his right speaker so that he could listen to music from a boat in the middle of his lake.


44. Neil Young wrote "Cinnamon Girl", "Down by the River", the title track, and "Cowgirl in the Sand", all on a single day while suffering from a 103°F (39.5°C) fever.


45. Johnny Cash was born with the name J.R. Cash because his parents couldn't think of a name. When he enlisted in the Air Force, they wouldn't let him use his initials, so he began to call himself John.


46Jay Z

When Jay Z was 12, he shot his older brother for stealing his ring for drug money.


47. Jimi Hendrix could play guitar 4 different ways: "Normal" Right-handed (low E on top); "Normal" Left-handed (righty guitar flipped and restrung); Reverse Right-handed (treble E on top); Reverse Left-handed (righty guitar flipped/treble E on top).


48. Frank Sinatra was a big activist in the civil rights movement, refusing to stay at hotels that didn’t allow “blacks.” He even used his mafia ties to help get labor unions behind John F. Kennedy because he knew they shared the same opinions on equal rights.


49. In 1945, Frank Sinatra canceled a $10,000 gig and traveled to Gary, Indiana to convince white high school students striking against integration to return to school. Sinatra called it "the most shameful incident in the history of American education."


50. In 1990, Chuck Berry was sued by several women who claimed that he had installed a video camera in the bathroom. Berry claimed that he had the camera installed to catch a worker who was suspected of stealing from the restaurant. Though his guilt was never proved in court, Berry opted for a class action settlement. One of his biographers, Bruce Pegg, estimated that, with 59 women, it cost Berry over $1.2 million plus legal fees.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The Prince / Batman reference is actually not entirely correct. Prince did NOT do the soundtrack for the “Batman” movie in 1989. That was done by film composer Danny Elfman. Prince did an album of songs used in the soundtrack that were inspired by the movie. This confusion occurred even back in 1989, which angered Elfman who stated in an article with the LA Times he was quite upset with how everyone was crediting Prince for his work.

    On a side note, when Tim Burton stopped doing the Batman movies, Elfman’s iconic theme was replaced by other composers until he was slated to do the soundtrack for “Justice League” in 2017. When Ben Affleck appears on the screen as Batman, you can hear Elfman’s original theme for the character blended into the music during various fight scenes.

  2. The comment that ‘due to Prince’s faith as a Jehovah’s Witnesses could not comment any of his charitable works …’ is not correct.
    I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and we are not discouraged from divulging any of our efforts to help anyone.
    We are encouraged to help anyone we can and to put others ahead of ourselves. That was a personal decision on his part.

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