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Conversation starters for couples, make GF and enjoye the steps

Every relationship is different but there is one thing that every relationship needs. Communication. These conversation starters for couples will get the both of you talking and hopefully you’ll learn some new things about your partner.

Some of you that are reading this have been in your relationship for a very short time and some of you have been in your relationship for quite a long time. But either way, you are probably tired of asking the same old questions or you are at loss for new questions. With that in mind, I tried to choose questions that are a little out of the ordinary for this list of conversation starters for couples.

I hope that some of the questions from this list will shed new light on who you partner is and facilitate some deep meaningful conversations. And hopefully you’ll find the questions fun and entertaining to answer. So without further delay here is my list of conversation starters for couples. Enjoy!

Conversation starters for couples list

What is something that you are dreading?

Tell me about a time you almost died.

What’s the biggest betrayal you have ever experienced?

What’s most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while having sex?

What are you battling that you don’t tell anyone about?

What are you into, but haven’t told me about?

What’s better than great sex?

What small seemingly insignificant thing did your parents or someone else say when you were a child that has stuck with you all this time?

What is the best or worst thing you inherited from your parents?

What was the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?

What’s the most disheartening and heartening realization you have come to?

What is something you wish you could say to people but can’t?

What have you struggled with your entire life?

What would be the coolest hobby to have?

If you received a salary to follow whatever passion you wanted to, what would you do?

What was the most productive time in your life? How about the least productive?

What made you realize that your parents were just human like everyone else?

What questions should partners ask each other before getting married?

What toy played the biggest part in your childhood?

What were the three most important turning points in your life?

What’s the worst thing that people are proud of?

What job do you think you were born to do?

What are you most sentimental about?

What has taken up too much of your life?

What do I do that makes you the happiest?

How important is it for individuals in a relationship to maintain their own separate identity?

What makes our relationship better than other relationships?

What question do you most want an answer to?

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List of Interesting Conversation Topics that every one need to know

As time goes by we’ll probably add more topics and conversation questions but this is what we’ve got so far. Take a look and see if there is a topic you are interested in. If you can’t find anything you might try our that also has some questions listed by topic.

Beauty Conversation Starters

Beauty is all around us, and strangely we probably couldn’t live without it. But can beauty be defined? Maybe or maybe not, but at least you can explore the idea of beauty by having a discussion with these conversation questions about beauty.

How have standards of beauty changed over the years?

What makes a person beautiful to you?

Can products be beautiful? What makes a product beautiful? What is the most beautiful product you own?

Where is the most beautiful place you have been?

Why do humans find things other than humans beautiful? How does it help us?

What is the most beautiful song you have heard?

What features make a natural area beautiful?

What makes a piece of art beautiful to you?

Are there any striking examples of beauty in art?

How does the absence of beauty affect people?

What is the most beautiful thing in your life?

Is beauty only in the eye of the beholder, or can we say some things are universally beautiful?

Challenges Conversation Starters

Time to talk about some of the challenges you have faced and that others have faced. We all face challenges, some more than others. Find out more about the challenges that friends and family have faced with these conversation questions.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced?

Do you enjoy overcoming challenges or do you prefer things to be easy? Why?

What is a challenge you would never want to face?

Do you think living in the present is more or less challenging than living in the past? Why?

What is the most challenging job you can think of?

Do you think that challenges improve a person’s character?

What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now?

What was the most challenging thing about your childhood?

What are some big challenges that people have overcome that you have heard of?

What are the biggest challenges your country is facing right now?

Do you think that the challenges you have faced over your life have made you a better or worse person?

Dieting Conversation Starters

Dieting is a pain. But even though it’s a pain, it’s incredibly common and fuels a multi-billion dollar industry. If you haven’t tried dieting, most of your friends probably have. So here are some questions about dieting, enjoy!

What is the craziest diet you’ve heard of?

What diets have you tried?

Is dieting healthy or unhealthy?

What diets are popular now?

Is dieting an effective way to lose weight and keep it off?

Why do you think there are so many diet trends?

For most of history dieting to lose weight would have seemed insane. Is it a victory or a failure for our society that we have progressed to the point were we have so much food that dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry?

Do you know anyone who has lost a lot of weight on a diet? Have they keep the weight off?

Should businesses be allowed to make losing weight mandatory for employees who are costing the business money in missed days due to weight related health issues?

Will there ever be a miracle weight loss solution?

Conversation Starters about Family

You can pick your friends but for better or for worse you can’t pick your family. Take a look at some questions about your family and families in society. Just be sure to keep it civil, I don’t want to be blamed for any family arguments.

Who in your family are you most like?

Who is the most generous person in your family?

Do you like going to family gatherings? Why or why not?

How often do you see your parents? How about your extended family?

Have you ever been to any large family reunions? How did it go?

How important are strong family ties to you? Are strong family ties more or less important that close friendships?

How have family roles changed from the past?

Who is the most interesting person in your extended family?

What would growing up in an ideal family environment look like? Do you think that anyone grew up in an ideal family environment?

How has your family shaped your personality and who you turned out to be?

What is the best and worst thing about your family or extended family?

Friendship Conversation Starters

Friendship one of the most important things to have for a fulfilling life. It’s definitely hard to put a price on a good friend. Have a conversation about friendship using these questions about your friends and friendship in general.

What quality do you value most in your friends?

Are any of your friends completely opposite to you or are most of them similar to you?

Do you make friends easily or do you find it difficult to make new friends?

What are the most common reasons for friendships to fall apart?

Who is your strangest friend? What makes them strange?

Are you a good friend? Why or why not?

What is the best way to meet new friends?

What separates true friends from acquaintances?

Who is your oldest friend? How did you meet them?

What’s a big favor you have done for a friend? How about a big favor that a friend has done for you?

What is the most annoying type of friend?

Gift Conversation Starters

Everyone loves giving and receiving gifts. It’s one of those things that is common across all cultures. So here is my gift to you, I hope you enjoy these conversation questions about gifts!

Have you ever received a strange gift? What was it?

Who in your family gives good gifts? How about bad gifts?

What is a creative gift you have given or received?

Does it matter how a gift is wrapped or is it only the gift that matters?

Is gift giving common among all human cultures? Why?

Can you think of any examples of animals giving gifts?

Do you enjoy shopping for gifts? Why or why not?

Do you prefer to receive money or a gift? Why?

What do you think of homemade gifts?

Is it really only the thought that counts?

Journalism Conversation Starters

Journalism helps shape how people view the world and can make or break the careers of those in the public eye. Here are some great questions delving into journalism, journalists, and the future of journalism. Enjoy!

Is journalism dying or becoming more important?

How do journalists serve society? Are they doing a good job of serving society now?

Is being a journalist a respectable job?

What platform will the next generation of journalists use?

How much legal protection should journalists have?

What kinds of corruption are found in journalism?

Now anyone can be a journalist. Is this a good or bad thing? Why?

What characteristics are important for a journalist to have?

How can journalism be improved?

How accountable should journalists be to making sure the news they are reporting is accurate? Should they be jailed for falsifying the news or reporting misleading news?

Personality Conversation Starters

Our personalities are what the outside world uses to judge us and they greatly influence our interactions with others. So isn’t it worthwhile to have a conversation about something that holds so much sway over our lives?

How would you describe your personality? How would other people describe your personality, the same or different?

What is the best aspect of your personality? How about the worst aspect?

What personality traits in other people do you hate?

What personality traits make a good leader?

What personality trait do you wish you had?

Can a person change their personality?

Where do our personalities come from? How much of personality is genetic and how much is from the environment?

Which of your personality traits has been the most useful?

How about the personalities of some of your friends and family? What are the good, bad, and strange aspects of their personalities?

What is the most annoying personality trait someone can have?

Space Conversation Starters

Now here is a big topic to get into! Space, the final frontier. The sheer vastness of space boggles the mind but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an interesting conversation about it! Here are some questions to get you started…

Where would you most like to travel in space? Assuming you could go there instantly and survive the harsh conditions.

Do you think space tourism will be big in the near future? Why or why not?

What is the most interesting thing you know about space?

What is the most important thing for astronomers to be researching?

Would you ever join a mission to colonize another planet if it meant never returning to earth?

What are some fun things you could do in zero-g?

You can use these  to start a good conversation about space as well!

Success and Failure Conversation Starters

We all have our successes and failures. They make us who we are and are often the lens through which people view us. Use these conversation starters to have a great conversation about success and failure.

What is the best criteria to measure success by?

Are there any failures in your life you are proud of?

What is your biggest success? How about your biggest failure?

What are some successes you’ve had in your personal life?

What are some failures you’ve had in your professional life?

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a failure?

Have you ever turned a failure into a win?

Do you usually learn from your failures or do you keep repeating them?

Who is the most successful person you know of? How about the most successful person you know personally?

What is the most recent success you’ve had?

What is the next big success you are working towards?

Need even more questions?! Well I suppose I’ve got a few…

  • – Need some more topics to discuss? Well here they are!
  • – How about some more general questions? These are some of the best questions on our site. Feel free to pick and choose from either page, some are questions are gender specific but many aren’t.
  •  – Ready to get serious and have a deep conversation? These questions are for you. Definitely not for casual conversation!
  • – Or if you aren’t in the mood for serious questions, how about kicking it up a notch with a game of truth or dare?
  • – Lots of fun questions to ask anyone!
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benefits of Online Advertising similar to other adds agencies

he reach and depth of how the internet has impacted marketing in business are seen and felt everywhere. There are few business owners who don’t know that they should be looking at online advertising solutions. However, sometimes it’s easy to miss why exactly you should be doing it. Instead of leaving you to assume why we’re going to look at some of the real benefits on offer.

 

Adaptable
Words and designs on a screen are a lot easier to change than something that’s been printed out and put on a billboard or sent in the mail. We can adapt online advertising on the fly, whether it’s to change any details or to try a different tactic.

Advanced Tracking
When we want to try a different tactic, it’s not a shot in the dark, either. Online advertising methods come with a variety of analytic tools helping you measure the exact parameters of their success. You can easily see how many leads or sales you are getting directly from your online advertising. Other metrics can be tracked as well, such as – clicks, impressions, which website pages were visited, and more.

This helps us discover what works and what doesn’t work, leading to the revisions mentioned earlier. It also helps you see where your target market is and where you should prioritize more advertising efforts in future. If you can see where people stopped paying attention to an ad or left the site, then you know what needs to be fixed to result in more conversions, too.

Cost Flexibility
Online advertising can be effective from budgets as low as $1,000. If you don’t have the biggest budget, but you need to grow awareness of a launch or a product, you can use the insights provided by the analytics tools to find the methods with the most return-on-investment and focus your budget there. As your business grows, you can continue to scale the reach of your advertising, too.

A Diversity of Tactics
Not all online advertising follows the same formats, either. When you want to scale your advertising efforts, placing them in different places isn’t the only way to reach more of the market. Changing up the format can help your message to appeal to a much broader range of people, as well.

High Intent Search Engine Ads
For instance, Google, Bing, and Yahoo pay-per-click ads are effective because they respond specifically to those people who are using specific search terms highly relevant to your business. This increases the cost-effectiveness because you’re not spending money putting your brand before people who aren’t interested at that moment.

Banner Display Advertising
On the other hand, with the insights we gather, we can strategically place banners like online billboards on the sites your target market visits. This creates an ongoing brand awareness that turns web users into leads that are much more likely to convert and turn into more sales.

Video Advertisements
The internet is a multimedia tool, and video is one of the most powerful tools available. Visuals and sound together have been proven to be significantly more engaging than written content or just pictures alone. People are more likely to pay attention to a well-placed video.

Online advertising isn’t just about getting your brand online and getting website traffic alone. It’s about targeting specific audiences with precisely the kind of content that appeals to them the most, where they’re most likely to become customers. With the right targeting and optimization, online advertising can be highly effective in generating new business and growing profits.

 

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How To Submit Music To Blogs (And Start Making Money)
Enjoying music. Handsome young man in headphones working on laptop and smiling while acoustic guitar laying in the background

It’s a great time to be alive for music lovers everywhere. We have access to an infinite library of different artists and genres to choose from thanks to the internet.

However, for those independent artists who are trying to get their name and music out into the world, the competition can be fierce. So, how do developing artists stand out and keep themselves from being drowned in a sea of emails and mixtapes?

Well, it takes hard work and strategic planning, but it’s possible to get the attention you’re seeking through a simple and organized approach. If you are choosing to submit music to blogs with a high traffic rate, below are a few things to keep in mind when you decide to reach out.

Solidify Your Brand

Before you decide to put yourself out there, it’s important to have a full understanding of who you are as an artist. Branding is a crucial piece in making yourself memorable.

Branding yourself is a lot like putting together a puzzle that represents your artistic identity. Putting together certain pieces such as a certain font, color scheme, symbol, sound, style, or personality can cohesively create a theme in your music and artistry.

A solidified brand will show music blogs that you’re serious about making music your career. The confidence you have in knowing who you are and how to professionally represent yourself will help you stay clear of the dreaded email trash bin. And hopefully, you’ll get a positive response.

Research Before You Submit

After you’re confident in how you represent yourself to your audience, it is important to put in some extensive research before you submit music to blogs.

Reaching out to a website that promotes only rappers when you are a wedding band, such as David Rothstein Music, is completely irrational, right? Well, it happens all the time. That’s why it is important to make sure you’re not wasting your time and energy on a website or blog that doesn’t reach out to the same demographic as you.

Before committing to sending your art to someone, you should look for certain things they promote, the most important being genre. Once you’ve decided that the music blog you’re interested in is right for you, then you can move forward with trying to get their undivided attention.

Create a Sales Pitch

After you have decided to submit music to blogs that feel like a right fit for you, it is then time to work on a simple, yet professional email that will help you sell yourself to the reader/listener.

The first thing you will want to focus on is the music, of course. You will want to give a brief introduction to the song(s) with the title, an educated comparison on who/what it sounds like based on your musical inspirations, and the story behind the song(s).

Once the music has been presented, it is a good idea to give a story of yourself as an artist. For instance, you may want to include a little bit about where you came from, your musical background, any amazing opportunities you have had, who inspires you the most, and why you were drawn to music as a career path.

Giving insight into your creative background allows the blog to personify the artist behind the email address and put a personality to the music they’re listening to. The artistry of music is all about the heart, soul, and story. If you have a captivating sales pitch that includes all of those, then you’re sure to stand out from the crowd.

However, when you are writing your sales pitch, be careful to not write a novel. Yes, the reader/listener is interested in who you are as an artist, but they also have a lot of submissions to sift through. Telling them about how you wrote your first song when you were five because your dog died will be completely irrelevant to who you are as an artist today.

Keep it short. Keep it simple. Keep it unique. Keep it relevant to who you are today.

Sending the Right Format

When you submit music to blogs that may have an interest in promoting you, it’s extremely important to know what kind of format they will accept your music in. You will look pretty foolish and get a first class ticket to the trash bin if you send music in a format that they can’t play or don’t accept.

Depending on the type of website or blog you are reaching out to, there are many different formats that could be accepted. They may have it listed on their website, but if you’re unsure, it would probably be a smart decision to shoot them a quick email asking to clarify the types of formats they accept just to be on the safe side.

Here are some different formats different outlets will accept:

Radio

  • Hardcopy CDs
  • MP3s
  • EPKs with download links

Blogs

  • Embedded music player
  • Videos
  • CDs
  • Digital Press Kits

Festivals

  • Digital press kits
  • CDs
  • Hardcopy press kits

Record Labels/Producers

  • CDs
  • Press kits
  • Videos
  • Streaming links

Taking the Risk

Making the decision to submit music to blogs is a huge step for any aspiring artist. Once you have a solid confidence in your artistry and branding, then the only thing left to do is take the plunge in getting your name out there.

Even if you don’t receive any feedback from the first few times you make a submission, don’t give up! Take each refusal as a chance to improve your approach. Any famous musician you know of today had been turned down many times before the right person found them.

The music industry is all about hard work, making connections, and taking risks. The story you submit in your sales pitch could be the beginning of a much longer fairytale if you play your cards right.

Consider this article as an outline for your success. Take suggestions, take risks, and always stay true to your music. And if you have a music blog yourself, be sure to check out our tips on how to promote it to your fans.

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You Too Can Start an Independent Record Label

It’s no big secret, the trick of how to start a record label definitely involves some cash and most definitely involves some talent. If you want to know the secret to how to start and run your own label then here it is, talent. You have to have something to sell your business pitch with. It doesn’t matter what your particular genre is, you need to get out there and discover your first million. Yep, I am talking about dollars.

If you are just sitting around trying to figure out how to start you own independent record label then you are wasting your time. Get out there and try to find “the” band or “the” person that is worthy of a record deal. Go to clubs, rummage through MySpace, hang out at bars with live music, there is talent all around you so find it.

Do you have friends or a band already in mind? If you do then you are one step ahead of the “how to start a record label” game. Two or three bands would really be optimal when beginning your own record label. For those of you who don’t have someone in mind, then you have some work to do.

A good way to search for talent is to have an idea of what you are looking for. If you are going to learn how to start and run your own record label then you must be able to find the gap. There is a gap somewhere and you need to find it. Keep in mind, you are searching for someone who is marketable, a true money maker.

If you can’t quite pinpoint a gap, then identify a target market you think you can penetrate and go for it. Who would have thought that the Backstreet Boys or 98 Degrees would have made it big? Well, the guys from their record label were definitely on to something. Teenage girls were where it was at and boy did those guys stumble on to something big and man did they make a profit! Believe me, that is your first step in how to start a record label.

Just like with any other business, you are going to have to sell your product. And you can’t sell your product until you have your product. So, this is your first lesson in how to start your own independent record label. In this business, you are going to have to think outside the box and when you do that, you will be ready to start your own record label.

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Top 10 Hottest Kenyan DJs of 2018

It’s no doubt that DJs are the highest paid entertainers in Kenya. These are the people who bring life into parties. You really can’t do an event without a DJ can you? 

In a country where every young person wants to be a DJ, there’s great competition to make it out there. We’ve seen young DJs who are taking over from the oldies in the industry and are actually doing quite well.

Below is a list of top 10 Kenyan DJs based on the number of events they host, awards nominations and popularity. Check it out below and let us know what you think.

10. DJ Kaytrixx – In 2013, he was ranked as the best Kenyan DJ and even won several awards. Even in 2015, Kaytrixx is still among the most sought after Kenyan entertainers. Why did he stop singing though?

9. DJ Sadic – 2014 was a big year for the Kenyan gospel industry, however, something seems to have changed in 2015. According to the team, DJ Sadic is currently the most popular Kenyan DJ, judging from his TV/Radio shows and events.

8. DJ Bash – The Homeboyz Radio DJ has gained so much popularity in 2015 and he’s currently giving some of these big cats in the industry a run for their money.

7. DJ Kym – From your TV screens to the streets and Matatus, he’s one of the most popular DJs on the streets and he’s also doing big on mainstream media. He also has a couple of shows outside the country.

6. DJ Bonez – He’s unquestionably the most popular Mombasa-based Kenyan DJ. If you visit coast’s hottest clubs you’ll definitely find DJ Bonez mixing.

5. DJ Xclusive – Just like other top Kenyan DJs, Xclusive also bagged himself a popular brand endorsement deal this year. He’s arguably one of the fastest rising entertainers in the country. He has a radio show and also hosts a number of gigs.

4. DJ Hypnotiq – If you’ve been to some of the biggest events in 2015, then you’ve definitely been entertained by the Live On Blast DJ who also appeared on the popular Coke Studio Africa show.

3. Kriss Darlin – He’s undoubtedly the ultimate Reggae DJ in Kenya. Those who go to K1 on Thursdays and other places where he mixes can attest to that. He’s the brain behind the mighty ‘Dohty Family’.

2. DJ Joe Mfalme – Apart from making most of his parties the top trend in Kenya every day, the Pilsner Mfalme winner is without doubt one of the most sought after Kenyan DJs. This guy plays at almost all events!

1. Crème De La Crème – Despite the scandals, DJ Crème has become one of the most popular Kenyan entertainers more so in the last quarter of 2015.

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The untold truth of Bill Cosb

Phil Archbold
The first time that Bill Cosby was accused of sexual misconduct, the news barely made a ripple. At the time, nobody wanted to accept that America’s most famous dad was a sexual predator capable of such horrific behavior, but times have changed. After becoming a near-constant in our homes with
The Bill Cosby Show (1969-1971), The Cosby Show (1984-1992), and Cosby (1996-2000), the man known for his wholesome family values and colorful sweaters was found guilty on three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault, making him the first celebrity to fall in court since the MeToo movement took off. What started as a social media hashtag turned into a genuine movement, and as more and more victims came forward, ripples turned into waves and left men such as Cosby with nowhere to hide.
The disgraced comic will be remembered as a sex offender rather than an award winning entertainer, with his contribution to American pop culture forever tarnished. Cosby’s guilty verdict only raises more questions about the man’s past, which may have included some clues about his true nature. This is the untold truth of Bill Cosby.
He served in the military
The son of a maid and a Navy sailor, Bill Cosby was born in Philadelphia in 1937. After dropping out of high school at age 19, Cosby followed in his father’s footsteps and signed up for a life on the seas, though he never went too far. He was part of the medical unit at the Marine base at Quantico, Va. and also served at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he cared for Korean War casualties. He earned his GED through the Navy and planned to become a gym teacher after he was discharged so he could help kids who struggled academically, just like he did.
“I saw this as an opportunity to save, not the world, but save those boys and I pinpointed the seventh and eighth grade boys who might be thinking the way I thought about life,” Cosby told M Live in 2013. “I was going to bring it to their attention the same way they were doing in the Navy. No, I wasn’t going to their house and ripping up their bed and throwing the mattress out. But in school, as a physical education teacher, I knew the combination of sports, academics and behavior and thinking and getting one’s self-esteem up through threats, not of violence, just anger, that I would get them and make them realize what they were messing up.”
He became a star athlete
Cosby became a decorated member of the Navy track team during his service. He toured the country to compete in events, though it wasn’t always the happiest of times for him — when the team visited cafes on the road, he was sometimes forced to eat in the kitchen because of the color of his skin. After Cosby left the Navy in 1960, Temple University in Philadelphia offered him a place, so long as he could pass his SATs.
“I went into that room and I was the dying man,” he told M Live . “I knew I was dying. My whole life was going to go. This SAT exam is to prove how much I know and I really don’t know anything. A dying man sees what? His whole life pass before him … After a while, I just gave up. I said while I’m taking the exam, ‘I don’t know anything so guessing is better than sitting there.'” The future star had heard a rumor that every third answer was C, and that apparently was enough to get him admitted on “remedial everything.”
Cosby excelled athletically. According to Fox Sports , he became a football hall of famer at Temple University, where he played fullback. He was also a member of the track team, competing in the high jump, shot put, low hurdles, javelin, and discus.
In 2014, when sexual misconduct allegations against Cosby gained traction, Temple announced that it was standing by its famous alumni, but the university changed course and stripped Cosby’s honorary degree after his guilty verdict in 2018.
Did he ask a security guard to ‘tuck him in’ at night?
While his plan to become the world’s most motivational gym teacher never came to fruition, Cosby would instead go on to pedal his stay-in-school message through his work in the entertainment industry. He set out to make it in the world of stand-up comedy and was soon noticed by TV producers, impressing execs with his show at the
Hungry I in San Francisco. Over the years, Cosby carved out a reputation as one of TV’s good guys, but those who worked in and around the stand-up scene remembered a man very different than the one preaching family values in his sitcoms.
Comic and former UFC commentator Joe Rogan has never been shy about speaking his mind when it comes to his peers in the stand-up game (in 2005 he got himself
banned from The Comedy Store in Los Angeles after getting onstage during Carlos Mencia’s set to accuse him of stealing jokes,) and he has one story about Cosby that will send a shudder down your spine.
In 2015, Rogan said he did a show at a New York casino where Cosby had once stayed, and the staff told him all about Cosby’s alleged bedtime request. “He asked the security guard to tuck him in at night, and everybody was really weirded out by it,” Rogan said (via the Las Vegas Review-Journal). “Obviously this is second hand, or third hand, but it’s pretty obvious there is something seriously wrong with that dude.”
He allegedly ratted out his own daughter
Bill Cosby is known to have been unfaithful to his wife of more than 50 years, Camille Cosby , on several occasions — his legal team was forced to admit as much in front of the court, claiming that Bill’s alleged sexual offences against Andrea Constand and the rest of his accusers were consensual affairs. What isn’t common knowledge is the lengths that the superstar allegedly went to in order to keep his reputation in tact — including perhaps throwing his own daughter under the bus.
Writing for Page Six , journalist Richard Johnson revealed that a colleague who once worked for the National Enquirer had some solid dirt on the comic back in 1989. Apparently, Bill and late Rat Pack star Sammy Davis Jr. had been caught “swinging with some showgirls in Las Vegas” that summer and the supermarket tabloid was preparing to run the story. Panicked at the thought of his name getting dragged through the mud, Bill allegedly offered up an exclusive about his daughter Erinn’s drinking and drug problems in exchange for killing the story about his behavior. “My editor told me that daddy Cosby was the source,” the reporter (who asked to remain unnamed) told Johnson. “He ratted out his flesh and blood.”
His son was gunned down
One of Cosby’s five children was murdered in January 1997. According to a report in The New York Times, son Ennis was visiting friends in Los Angeles when his car (a dark green Mercedes-Benz sports convertible) got a flat in the wrong part of town. The 27-year-old Columbia University graduate was found “sprawled on the ground in a pool of blood on the passenger side of the car, the door there ajar.” He had been shot in the head.
The Los Angeles Police Department opened a murder investigation, but it was reportedly going nowhere until a tip received by the
National Enquirer (one of several tabloids that offered cash rewards for information) eventually led authorities to the North Hollywood home of Mikhail Markhasev (pictured left). A jury found that the 18-year-old Russian immigrant happened across Ennis changing his car tire and killed him during a robbery gone wrong. Markhasev protested his innocence for many years, but eventually came clean in a letter to Radar .
“Ennis’ only fault was in being in the path of a wicked idiot like myself,” Markhasev wrote from his California prison cell. “The senseless tragedy of his untimely death and the sacred sorrow experienced by his family is something that I hope you will never have to experience, and yet it happens daily in the world.”
Sadly, this wouldn’t be the last time the Cosby family would experience the sorrow of losing a child. Their daughter, Ensa, died at age 44 after a battle with renal disease.
Does he have an illegitimate daughter?
After Ennis was killed in cold blood, the conspiracy theorists got to work. That same year, rumors that Cosby had fathered an illegitimate child began to circulate, and some claimed The Cosby Show star had his own son killed to stop him from blabbing about his half-sister to the press. The man who committed the murder denied these claims, but Cosby himself would have some denying to do when a woman named Autumn Jackson came forward claiming to be the entertainer’s lovechild.
According to CNN, Cosby admitted to an affair with Jackson’s mother, Shawn Thompson Upshaw, but he said he was 100 percent certain he was not the girl’s father. He asked Jackson to take a DNA test, but she refused. Cosby claimed Jackson was trying to blackmail him for millions of dollars to keep the fake story out of the press, and he had the tapes to prove it.
“OK, what I can do is, I can cut it down the middle … take off another five, and bring that to 25 [million],” Jackson could reportedly be heard telling Cosby’s attorney in a secret recording. It was enough to convince a jury of her guilt and (still maintaining that Cosby was her biological father) she was sentenced to 26 months in prison for extortion.
That time he shamed the black working class
Cosby may have spent a good chunk of his life advocating for change in black communities, but his approach to the problems facing African Americans hasn’t always gone down well with the people he was supposedly trying to help.
In 2004, he took to the stage at an NAACP event and delivered what would become known as the “pound cake speech,” shocking many of his fans by suggesting that black communities weren’t working hard enough and needed to stop blaming white people for their problems.
“Looking at the incarcerated, these are not political criminals,” Cosby said (via The Root ). “These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake. Then we all run out and are outraged, ‘The cops shouldn’t have shot him!’ What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?”
His words cost him a lot of support among African Americans at a time when people were fighting for greater police accountability.
He was first accused of sexual misconduct in 2005
The woman Bill Cosby was eventually found guilty of assaulting in his 2018 retrial is former Temple University basketball employee Andrea Constand, who first came forward about the incident back in 2005. She told authorities she met Cosby at a game in 2002. Then, in 2004, he reportedly invited her to his home to discuss her career. He allegedly offered her what he said were some herbal pills to “take the edge off” after a long day. Constand claimed that after taking the pills she lost control of her body but remained conscious enough to remember Cosby’s assault.
According to the Independent, Constand went to her mother first. After confronting Cosby, the pair contacted police but were left crestfallen when then Pennsylvania District Attorney Bruce Castor announced he would not bring any criminal charges against the entertainer because of “insufficient evidence,” despite the fact that Cosby had reportedly admitted to buying the sedative Quaalude to give to women he wanted to have sex with in the 1970s.
“When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?” Cosby was asked, according to Time . Even though his answer was, “Yes,” his attorney argued that everybody was taking the “love drug” at the time and that Cosby never gave it without consent. Cosby wound up paying Constand $3.38 million to confidentially settle the matter after she filed a civil suit against him.
A viral video led to his downfall
While other women came forward alleging sexual abuse at the hands of Cosby in the years after Constand accused him, none were taken seriously until 2014, when a video of a comedian calling the veteran a rapist during a show went viral.
“Bill Cosby has the f***ing smuggest old black man public persona that I hate,” Hannibal Buress said during a gig at The Trocadero, a venue in Cosby’s home city of Philadelphia, no less. “He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the ’80s! I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom!’ Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.”
Buress went on to joke that he just wanted to ruin reruns of The Cosby Show for the audience, but he also made sure the audience knew that he was 100 percent serious about his allegations. “I’ve done this bit on stage and people … think I’m making it up,” Buress said. “…That s**t is upsetting. If you didn’t know about it, trust me. When you leave here, Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’ That shit has more results than ‘Hannibal Buress.'”
People did just that, and before long, the media had latched on to the renewed interest in Cosby’s shady past. The actor soon found himself under investigation as a result.
He’s been accused by at least 60 women
In December 2015, new district attorney Kevin Steele set the tone of his tenure when he announced that Cosby has been arrested and charged with felony indecent assault.
According to the Independent, Cosby actually attempted to sue Constand for speaking to the police after he’d paid her off, but later dropped the case.
The first trial didn’t go as planned as far as Cosby’s opponents were concerned — jurors remained deadlocked after five days of deliberation and a mistrial was declared. The entertainer wasn’t as lucky the second time around. Cosby was found guilty at his 2018 retrial and faces up to 30 years behind bars — and that’s before all of the potential civil suits from the 60 women who have come forward with harrowing accounts of abuse even begin.
One of Cosby’s many alleged victims was Barbara Bowman, who was a 17-year-old model and an aspiring actress when her agent introduced her to Cosby in 1985. “He convinced me that he was going to take care of me like a father, that he loved me like a daughter,” she said (via USA Today). “To wake up half-dressed and raped by the man that said he was going to love me like a father? That’s pretty sick.”
Did he try to ‘Cosby’ Chelsea Handler?
Stand-up comic Chelsea Handler claims to have had a close call with Cosby around the same time that he sexually assaulted Andrea Constand. When fellow comedian Nick Offerman interviewed her for Esquire magazine in 2015, Handler said that she once received an ominous invite from the disgraced comedian.
“He tried to Cosby me,” Handler said. “I was in Atlantic City playing, doing stand-up, and he was doing stand-up in Atlantic City in the same hotel, and at like three o’clock in the afternoon, someone from the hotel came down and said, ‘Oh, you know, Mr. Cosby would really like to meet you up in his hotel suite.'”
Alarm bells started ringing right away for Handler, but she still wanted to meet the man, so she went to his room with three of her male colleagues as company. “I said, ‘That’s really weird. I don’t want to go alone.’ I go, ‘I don’t know him.’ So the three guys I was with — thank God these guys were with me, one was filming and one was like a producer; we were filming something — I brought them up with me to his room and thank God I did, because now I know what would’ve happened if I went up there alone.”
Handler has been an avid supporter of the
MeToo movement since it took root, and she was quick to comment after Cosby’s guilty verdict. “I wonder how long it’s going to take Trump to announce he’s going to pardon Bill Cosby,” she tweeted.
The verdict brings some closure to sufferers
How and where Cosby will serve his time is yet to be decided at the time of this writing, but those that fought for his conviction are taking comfort in the fact that he may spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Former bartender Janice Baker-Kinney was one of five accusers allowed to testify at the retrial; she alleged that the comedian drugged and raped her in 1982 when she was at a house party in Reno, Nev. “I am overwhelmed with joy, relief and gratitude,” she said in a
statement after the guilty verdict. “This may be the end for Mr. Cosby, but this victory is just the beginning for many of us, to fight for justice, to do the right thing and support every person who has ever been shamed and humiliated and blamed.”
Celebrities have also joined the post-verdict chorus of praise. Actress Rose McGowan, who became one of the early catalysts for the MeToo movement after she openly accused movie executive Harvey Weinstein of rape, expressed gratitude about Cosby’s status as a convicted man. “I’m sorry if you loved a lie,” she tweeted. “His victims can now exhale. Thank you judge and jury. Thank you society for waking up.”
Fellow actress Amber Tamblyn chimed in with a similarly themed tweet , telling Cosby that his date with justice was long overdue: “Time’s up, Bill. Time’s BEEN up for you, for years. And now justice. Justice for women I know who you’ve hurt and those I’ve never met. Good riddance.”

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Whatever happened to the kid from Role Models?

In a movie with comedy heavy-hitters such as Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott , there probably should not have been room for a standout performance. Apparently, nobody explained that to Bobb’e J. Thompson, the kid who played Ronnie in 2008’s Role Models, because that young man stole the show so hard that even Roger Ebert noted in his review of the film that “Thompson will have his own show on Comedy Central before he’s 25.”
As of this writing, Thompson hasn’t reached that age — He celebrated his 22nd birthday in 2018 — or that particular accomplishment, but that’s not to say that he won’t. Since Role Models, he’s gone on to star alongside Will Ferrell in Land of the Lost , play Tracy Morgan’s son on 30 Rock , and land recurring roles on two Tyler Perry TV series. And acting isn’t even his primary career goal.
Since 2014, Thompson has focused his creative energy on rapping, but he still takes the occasional TV gig. Though this multi-talented star may not be a household name, we guarantee most people would know you’re not talking about McLovin when you say “the kid from Role Models .” Let’s take a look at whatever happened to him.
Trading the film set for the recording studio
Long before he was the kid from Role Models, one of Bobb’e J. Thompson’s first forays into show business was an appearance on
Showtime at the Apollo when he was just 5 years old. Thompson crushed his version of Bow Wow’s “That’s My Name,” then went on to steady work on TV series such as The Tracy Morgan Show, That’s So Raven, and
Human Giant.
He finally circled back to his true passion,
music, around 2013, when he released “Fade 2 Rap ,” his debut album under the rapper handle King Bobb’e J . From there it was a mixtape in 2014, and more recently, as of this writing, lots of freestyle recordings on his Soundcloud page.
Though he hasn’t reached the kind of mainstream recognition in the rap game as he has in the film and TV world, Thompson says that music is his first love. When asked by
Bossip in 2014 if acting is his biggest passion, Thompson said, “Absolutely not. I still to this day have a divine love for music.” He also promised, “I got a lot of music in the can that I’m gonna hit the people over the head with here soon, but everything is about timing. At this time, acting is where it’s at for me and when it’s time for me to release the music, ya’ll hear it, ya’ll know.”
Pint-sized Pitchman
In addition to film and television, Thompson also had a few big gigs in commercial acting. According to The Skanner , it was hot off of his parts in Role Models, Land of the Lost , and Imagine That when Thompson landed a major Nike basketball campaign in 2009. In it, he voices the puppet Lil Dez (above), the hyperactive thorn in the sides of puppet Kobe and puppet LeBron.
One year later, Thompson took his talents to the gaming world, where he landed the role of Marcus Rivers in an ad campaign that attempted to market Playstations’ PSP handheld device to adolescent gamers. Again, the role seemed tailor-made for the kinetic comic abilities of Thompson, who embodies the campaign’s tagline, “Step your game up,” in a way that perhaps no other pitchman could.
In fact, prior to transforming into Marcus Rivers, Thompson seemed to harness his fictional spirit during a 2009 interview with at The Guy’s Choice Awards when he threw out his personal gamertag, iPurpleRangerX, and claimed he would “whoop” anyone who challenged him in a laundry list of titles. His preferred battleground at the time was XBox Live, but we have a feeling that changed significantly with the receipt of a big fat check from Sony.
His first lead role fizzled
As successful as Thompson was early on in his acting career, he didn’t land a starring role until 2014 in School Dance . He gives all the credit for his leading man status in the raunchy coming-of-age comedy to Nick Cannon, whom he frequently cites as a friend and mentor in the entertainment business.
Speaking with KTLA , Thompson shed light on what it was like to be directed by Cannon, who made his directorial debut with School Dance. “Nick Cannon is an awesome director,” Thompson said. “He knows the business … He studies hard and he’s more of a perfectionist. He don’t like mediocre … He’s gonna make sure it’s the best of the best that he can give.”
Unfortunately, three out of the just four critics who bothered to review the film for Rotten Tomatoes gave it a “rotten” rating, with Brian Orndorff at Blu-Ray.com going so far as to describe it as “awful,” calling Cannon “a network talent show host and Disney personality who’s desperately trying to shed his squeaky clean image.” Oof.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Thompson has yet to book another starring to date.
Bobb’e Says got silenced pretty quickly
During promotion for Role Models , Thompson told KTLA about his next project, a live-action “clip show on Cartoon Network” called Bobb’e Says. “It’s kinda like America’s Funniest Home Videos, but … more for kids” was how Thompson described it. The show was part of Cartoon Network’s CN Real block of programming, which was a shift away from its traditional animated fare. Unfortunately, that change wasn’t particularly well-received by the networks general audience.
The ratings for Bobb’e Says weren’t the best, and neither were the critical reviews. Common Sense Media said the show “will rub parents the wrong way in light of issues like peer pressure and bullying.” Though Thompson teased a second season with the possibility of some “Bobb’e Bloopers” to KTLA , the series was cancelled before round two saw the light of day.
Turning tragedy into activism
In 2010, Thompson became the youth ambassador for The Black AIDS Institute, a think tank dedicated to stopping “the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in unapologetically Black efforts to confront HIV.”
As part of his efforts with the organization, a then-14-year-old Thompson recorded the above PSA in which he reveals the sobering statistic that in 2006, “the majority of youth aged 13 – 24 with AIDS who died were black.”
Thompson also has a personal connection to the AIDS epidemic, as he outlined to No More Down Low in 2010. “I recently just lost my aunt to HIV/AIDS,” he said at the time. “So that’s what made it very important to me. It made me really, really take action, because it affected me and my loved ones, so I’m not only here doing this just for me, I’m doing it for family.”
‘I could have lost my life’
Thompson doesn’t make the news , or even the celebrity tabloids, very often. In fact, he told Bossip that he actively avoids “giving people much to say about [him] that is negative” by trying to only “focus on the positive.” That’s probably why the only tabloid mention we even came across about him was a story from TMZ reported that Thompson and a friend were in a seriously scary car accident in February 2017.
“I could have lost my life,” Thompson said in a video statement to the tab. He was describing how he and Lincoln Heights actor Zachary Williams had to jump out of Williams’ mom’s minivan as it suddenly fell into a 20-foot sinkhole. They even sprang into action to help another motorist whose car had also plunged into the supersized pothole.
“Now that I know that, like, literally the ground will just open up whenever it feel like it … I don’t want to go to sleep,” Thompson joked. “Like I don’t want me and my bed to fall in the middle of the ground.”
We’d be lying if we said we weren’t interested in the audio from the moment that car went into the sinkhole. Obviously, we’re thankful that nobody was injured in the terrifying incident, but we just know a little bit of Thompson’s inner-Ronnie had to have come out on that one.
Big things come in small packages
Though he’s already accomplished much, Thompson shows no signs of slowing. In 2014, interviewer Kam Williams’ asked, “When you look in the mirror, what do you see?” Thompson replied, “I see an ambitious young man who will one day have it all.”
And if “have it all” seemed a bit ambiguous, Thompson clarified by saying, “I think when it’s all said and done, I need 5 Grammys, 6 Oscars, a few Emmys and a couple of NAACP Awards. The whole 9 yards. My dream is to be one of the winningest entertainers ever. I just want my work to be recognized as well as the effort I put in.”
Thompson even compared himself to an artist of similar stature, Will Smith , telling BlackFilm that Smith’s character, Mike Lowrey, in Bad Boys is his “dream role.” At 4’11,” Thompson may not fit the typical mold for such a role, but that never stopped Tom Cruise from becoming one of the most bankable action stars in the world, and it certainly didn’t hold back Kevin Hart , who rose above his peers with bold self-deprecation. So keep dreaming, kid, because we can’t wait to see what you do next!

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What has happened to Music

  

Many people will remember the ‘good old days’ of Jazz, Rock’n’Roll and Pop music of the late 20th century. The large majority of the younger generation listen to the music being created today, mainly electronic dance music (EDM), and of course, Pop music. After talking to a wide range of people from various demographics, I have gathered opinions to assess the direction that music has taken and the direction it is going. 

Pop music is simply popular music at the current time. It is constantly changing, always reflecting and depicting the times in which it is created. For example, during World War 2, all sides, the Allies and the Nazis used music as a propaganda tool. These songs spread all over the world and inspired troops worldwide. Nowadays, music reflects the electronic element that so many people seem to love. EDM is one of the most listened to genres at the moment, and that is why current artists that focus on Electronic music are also being labelled as Pop artists.

After an interview with Mark Scott, Head of Music at Newington College, I understand the effect that Pop music really has on society. Pop music, now more than ever, has been created to be easy to listen to. For non-musically minded people, most music is simply music, no matter whether the chord progression ends in a satisfying cadence or whether or the song has a pleasant counter-melody. Pop music at its core is music that is popular. So, for one to say that Pop music is bad, good or neither good nor bad is an entirely subjective perspective, but the general consensus is that Pop music is just music that people like to listen to. Once an artist releases a hit, the people listening to them become curious. They start to explore their music, and eventually all the music that artist makes are considered popular whether or not they are good songs. 

Chris Paton, Head of Contemporary Music at Newington College, discusses the nostalgic feeling that the older generations feel when they listen to older music. The feeling they experience often causes their opinion lean to the ‘anti-pop’ perspective. Mr. Paton states that ‘What I hate about the large majority of Pop music and EDM these days is that it lacks much of the spirit and sophistication of yesteryear.’ This is a very important point about Pop music. Due to the massive use of electronics to create music, the soul of music is gone, or at least withered so much from where it was in the 20th century that it is almost unrecognisable. 

Furthermore, Pop music is not by far the only music being created today. Besides EDM music, which often crosses over into the Pop category, there are music genres such as Alternative Rock and people are still writing and publishing Jazz songs, Classical pieces, Blues, Soul, Classic Rock etc.. From my point of view, a lot of this music is good music. There are some fantastic Alternative Rock bands, such as Queens of the Stone Age, Violent Soho, Arctic Monkeys, Sticky Fingers, the list goes on. In my opinion, these bands are so good because they are able to mix older Classic Rock with elements of modern electronic music when composing/making songs. 

There are a multitude of reasons that make up music. The raw elements of songs from all time periods are timbre, pitch and dynamics, or volume. These three elements change as the typical characteristics of the music change. For example, dynamics are a lot more straightforward than they were in the past. Nowadays, there isn’t as much of a range, and the range of the dynamics is typically louder. There are also straightforward ‘terraced dynamics’, which are just levels of volume, with no in between. On the contrary, the pitch of songs has increased. With the introduction of machines and software into the creation of music, we have been able to use pitches that weren’t available to artists previously. In regards to timbre, ‘Scientific American’ a renowned article website published a University’s work on timbre. The University collected a database of 50 million songs, and statistically proved that the overall variety in timbre was shrinking. This means a more and more homogenous sound over all songs. This is most likely due to the common structure of songs now and the software that people use. 

Money is another contributing factor to the worsening state of music. During the age of Rock, Jazz and Classical music, many artists were getting paid barely enough to live off. For example, when the classic Australian band AC/DC started they were just getting by with their income from their shows. Other bands often have to have other jobs to support them on their music careers. However, they persisted because they loved what they did, no matter the income they got. Today, on the other hand, many artists are in it for the money. They seem to not care about the art of music, but they just manufacture songs that will make them money, not convey their opinions and views or their feelings on a certain topic. This is a very big factor in the declining quality of music: passion. 

In conclusion, I believe that music has gotten worse with regards to today’s music. This is due to the more and more homogenous sound that has been described from the large database of songs collected by a university in the U.S. However, I think that music will loop back around or at least change in the future, and hopefully be something worth listening to.

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Musicians who stole their biggest hits

When you’re a musician, inspiration can strike at any moment. You can be brushing your teeth, sitting on the john, eating a burrito, or doing all those things at once somehow, when suddenly, BAM! Inspiration jumps out and punches you in the face, forcing you to cut your awesome display of multitasking short to go sit at the keyboard and squeeze out a song. It can come from a half-forgotten dream, an incident on the bus the day before, or even the fact that you’re a thieving thief of the type that thieves.
Depending upon whom you ask, this isn’t even necessarily bad — it’s been said that virtually all
musicians indulge in a little light plagiarism from time to time, as the world’s supply of truly original melodies and lyrics are swiftly dwindling. But these are particularly egregious cases, with strangely different outcomes; some of the original artists were awarded songwriting credit, some settled out of court, and yet others sarcastically remarked “nice tune you’ve got there” while flipping the bird, unable to do much else.
Snap!
The story of how worldwide dance smash “The Power” came to be is as convoluted as it gets, but here are the main beats. In 1989, a pair of German dance music producers known as Snap! put out a “Mega Mix” (a common practice at the time) consisting of the rhythm track from “King of the Beats” by Mantronix, a vocal hook from “Love’s Gonna Get You” by Jocelyn Brown, and two elements (a killer saxophone riff and the entire acapella vocal track) from the single “Let the Words Flow” by Queens rapper Chill Rob G. When Rob and his producer expressed irritation over this, Snap! pulled the vocal and recruited soundalike rapper Durron Butler (Turbo B) to record new verses, and this new version became an international smash hit.
Figuring that turnabout was fair play, Rob proceeded to swipe the entire instrumental track and release his own version of the song on tiny label Wild Pitch. Unfortunately, Snap! had signed a U.S. distribution deal with Arista, so their Frankenstein monster of a track effectively buried Rob’s version. So, just how hard did Rob get screwed? Setting aside the fact that you’ve never heard of him before now, consider that he reaped none of that sweet “The Power” cash, and also this: that instantly recognizable “it’s gettin’ kinda hectic” sample? That’s Rob’s voice, from his original song. Remember also that the Snap! version contains the line, “copywritten lyrics so they can’t be stolen,” which must trigger tiny nuclear explosions inside Rob’s head every time he hears it.
Radiohead
Although “Creep” was Radiohead’s breakout hit, the band has never been particularly fond of the song, even refusing to play it live for years on end . Perhaps it’s because it doesn’t fit very well thematically with the rest of the band’s catalog, or because it’s been covered an insane number of times in agonizingly earnest fashion by the likes of Moby and Korn. Lead singer Thom Yorke has famously referred to the song by the alternate title “Crap,” but perhaps that’s just the shame talking because the song’s composition is a blatant ripoff of an old song by the Hollies, “The Air That I Breathe.”
According to NME , it took Hollies songwriters Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood a while to catch on — but once they did, they were quick to haul the band into court for copyright infringement. It presumably wasn’t a lengthy hearing because the two songs’ chord progressions are obviously identical. Hammond and Hazelwood were awarded a cut of the Radiohead song’s royalties, and future pressings of Pablo Honey — the album on which “Creep” appears — credit them as co-songwriters. It was a cut-and-dried case until just recently, when British crooner Sam Smith decided to muddy the waters by ripping off “Creep” for his song “Midnight Train,” presumably in an attempt to get the Hollies’ and Radiohead’s lawyers to fight to the death.
Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash is a legend, and it’s impossible to overstate his contributions to country music. He famously played one of his signature tunes, “Folsom Prison Blues,” for an audience of inmates at the actual Folsom Prison, because he was just that badass. As immortalized in the biopic Walk the Line, “Folsom Prison Blues” is the tune that saw Cash turning away from traditional, gospel-tinged country, taking the genre into totally new territory with bleak lyrics about the hopelessness of prison life — but the flick conveniently left out the part where he ripped off the bulk of the song from an earlier recording.
That recording was Gordon Jenkins’ “Crescent City Blues,” which was released in 1953. The Los Angeles Times reported that Cash once explained to an interviewer that he wrote the song at a time when he “had no idea I would be a professional recording artist,” and that he “wasn’t trying to rip anybody off.” But even though the compositions are quite different, many of the lyrics — including the opening lines of each verse, among others — are identical. Cash went on to say that he eventually worked it out with Jenkins, and “everything was right” — but the reported $100,000 settlement Cash forked over probably helped a lot.
Guns N’ Roses
Former Australian Crawl lead singer James Reyne really doesn’t want to make a big deal about this, but fans have long been of the opinion that the Aussie band’s 1981 track “Unpublished Critics” was—how to put this most delicately—pilfered, plundered and thieved by Guns N’ Roses for their signature tune, “Sweet Child O Mine.” Reyne has claimed to have not been aware of the controversy until recently — “it just didn’t cross my radar because I was listening to other things,” he reportedly said — and Australian Crawl has never so much as threatened any legal action, which is odd. When you compare the tracks side by side, it sure seems like the similarities would be enough to make any lawyer worth their salt drown in a puddle of anticipatory drool.
As reported by VH-1 News, Reyne told an Australian blog that these similarities include “the same chugging chord progression, a similarly sweeping lead break, the verse melody, and the elongated one-syllable vocal in the chorus,” which is exactly right, but he later expressed a disinclination to take on the Guns’ presumed army of lawyers, and that was that. At least there’s now a partial answer to the repeated query of “where do we go now?” which closes the Guns N’ Roses tune, and that answer is “not to court, thankfully.”
Michael Jackson
Everyone’s heard Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” and everyone’s heard Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” but unless you’re a musician, it may have escaped you that the two songs’ rhythm sections are … quite similar. Upon the King of Pop’s death and subsequent ascension to Pop Heaven, a gaggle of celebrities told their MJ stories to Rolling Stone, and among the more interesting recollections was one from Daryl Hall, describing an interaction that took place during the recording of the star-studded benefit track “We Are the World.”
“He sort of clung to Diana Ross pretty much,” Hall recalled, “but at one point I was off to the side and he came over to me and said, ‘I hope you don’t mind, but I stole “Billie Jean” from you.'” Hall has told this story
more than once , and in every version he defers to King, sometimes adding the detail that he played it off by saying he didn’t see the similarity. Like many artists, Hall seems to subscribe to the idea that a certain amount of theft is normal — but at the very least, he’s got to be quietly smug about the fact that a little bass groove he came up with while screwing around in the studio formed the basis for not one, but two monster smash hit songs.
Ray Parker Jr.
If the name Ray Parker Jr. doesn’t immediately ring a bell, then we just have one question for you: Who ya gonna call? That’s right, you’re gonna call the Ghostbusters because Parker told you to in his signature hit from the original 1984 film. But it almost wasn’t to be; according to Rolling Stone, the movie’s producers had originally wanted Huey Lewis and the News to provide the soundtrack’s lead single, but Huey and the boys were already at work on the soundtrack to Back to the Future and had to decline. Fortunately, Parker was on hand to fill the big Huey Lewis-shaped hole in the soundtrack by writing a perfectly catchy tune ripped off nearly wholesale from “I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis.
It took Lewis about 10 seconds to file a lawsuit upon hearing Parker’s song, but it took fully 10 years for the case to be resolved. The parties settled out of court in 1995, with a non-disclosure agreement preventing either of them from talking about the case, which Lewis totally ignored. In an episode of Behind the Music , he blabbed, “The offensive part was not so much that Ray Parker Jr. had ripped this song off, it was kind of symbolic of an industry that wants something — they wanted our wave, and they wanted to buy it. … I suppose it was for sale, because, basically, they bought it.” Parker sued, and Lewis probably thought it was totally worth it.
Katy Perry
In May 2013, pop songstress Katy Perry tweeted a supportive message to fellow singer Sara Bareilles: “I heart you,” it read (nice!) above a post of Bareilles new video “Brave” (super-nice for a megastar like Perry to give free publicity to a regular star of the non-mega variety). A few months passed, and in August of that year, Perry released the lead single from her new album Prism. You may have heard it — “Roar” ended up being the sixth-highest-selling single of 2013, and it sounds a whole hell of a lot like “Brave” (not so nice).
The Guardian reported that it took fans no time at all to begin mashing up the two songs, which was presumably about as easy as mashing up some mashed potatoes with more mashed potatoes. To add more thievery to the existing thievery, DJ Dillion Francis took to Twitter to complain loudly about the fact that one of the two videos for “Roar” — in which Perry texts the song’s lyrics throughout the day from a sped-up, first person point of view — took its concept from an earlier clip for one of his songs, ” Messages.” Perry never addressed either complaint, but Bareilles was insanely diplomatic when discussing the controversy with CBS News, saying, “I can’t say that I think that they don’t sound similar. … I’ve known Katy a really long time and we’re friends. And at the end of the day, it was really only good for my song.”
George Harrison
Even artists of the highest stature aren’t immune to the thievery bug, and few statures are higher than “ex-Beatle.” A prolific songwriter who was famously allowed only two songs per Beatles album, Harrison poured his backlog into the massive, three-album release All Things Must Pass after the band’s breakup. In November 1970, his single “My Sweet Lord” became the first solo release from a former Beatle to top the Billboard charts, which — in light of that stupid two-song rule — must have been pretty gratifying for Harrison. That is, until people began pointing out how very, obviously similar the song’s vocal line was to the Chiffons’ hit 1963 single “He’s So Fine.”
According to Ultimate Classic Rock, that tune’s publisher successfully sued Harrison in 1971. Harrison admitted that he was familiar with the song, but stated that any plagiarism was unintentional and was done “subconsciously” — and the judge agreed that this was probably true, while still stating flatly that “it is clear that ‘My Sweet Lord’ is the very same song as ‘He’s So Fine’ with different words.” Despite the clear-cut nature of the case, haggling over damages dragged on for an incredibly stupid 27 years, until 1998 — meaning Harrison’s heartfelt plea for a closer relationship with God instead had the effect of earning him a much, much closer relationship with his lawyers.
Coldplay
Coldplay’s breakthrough 2008 single “Viva La Vida” had only been out for a few months when sharp-eared fans began posting videos to YouTube, noting similarities between its melody and that of “If I Could Fly,” a 2004 instrumental by guitar god Joe Satriani. Satriani, who apparently surfs the hell out of YouTube between bouts of massive shredding, quickly took notice and filed suit.
Coldplay employed the “Gee whiz, beats me” defense, as
reported by MTV News. “If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music,” said the band’s official statement to the press, “they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him.”
Strange, then, that the case was promptly settled out of court with an undisclosed, sealed “stipulation,” which means that money changed hands between the two parties to settle the matter, and it probably wasn’t Satriani doing the paying, according to The Guardian . We’ll probably never know the details unless Satriani pulls a Huey Lewis and blabs about it to somebody, but it appears he might not have gotten that much. In a strange footnote, Yusuf Islam — formerly known as Cat Stevens — had made some noise prior to Satriani’s suit about similarities between “Viva La Vida” and his song “Foreigner Suite.” When asked by Rolling Stone if he was considering a lawsuit of his own, he deadpanned, “It depends on how well Satriani does.” Said lawsuit never materialized, so … apparently not that well.
Rod Stewart
There was a shameful time in our nation’s history when Rod Stewart strutting around in spandex to a disco beat, asking us all if we thought he was sexy, was considered to be an acceptable form of entertainment. Longtime fans of the musician’s more rocking work with the band Faces and as a solo artist collectively projectile-vomited as “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” roared to #1 in late 1979 — a development which was quickly noted by Brazilian singer Jorge Ben Jor, whose answer to the question was “No, but I think I have a pretty solid lawsuit.”
Indeed, the chorus — which, drummer Carmine Appice told Songfacts, is the only part of the song Stewart actually wrote, with his band handling the rest — contains the exact same melody as Jor’s Spanish-language tune “Taj Mahal,” and it wasn’t long until the lesser-known artist got all sue-y about it. Stewart quickly settled, agreeing to give proceeds from the song to children’s charity UNICEF, and claimed the George Harrison defense in his autobiography , saying, “Clearly the melody had lodged itself in my memory and then resurfaced. Unconscious plagiarism, plain and simple. I handed over the royalties … wondering whether ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ was partly cursed.” At least all that sexiness helped to feed needy children , which is a sentence you will almost certainly never read again.
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Morris M.
It sometimes feels like musicians can get away with anything. Justin Bieber can get arrested and still keep cranking out mediocre music. Ozzy Osbourne can bite the head off a bat and still land a mediocre reality show. Johnny Cash can publicly confess to shooting a man in Reno, just to watch him die , and still get to cut a record in Folsom Prison. Man, what would a musician have to do to get in some real trouble?
Depending on the musician in question, maybe not so much. While some can get away with near-murder, other crooners find themselves looking down the barrel of a ruined career just for having the wrong backup dancers. If you’re struggling with a hyper-successful music career and need to take the pressure off, take note. Any one of these could have you on food stamps faster than you can say “career suicide.” nt That Destroyed These Musicians’ Careers

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