Led Zeppelin Sued for Plagiarizing "Stairway to Heaven" & 8 Other Bands Accused of Stealing Songs
For years people have been pointing out how Led Zeppelin's famous song "Stairway to Heaven" sounds an awful lot like Spirit's song “Taurus" and now a lawsuit on behalf of Spirit is hoping to prove this once and for all. The similarity may be more than a coincidence as the song was written two years after Led Zeppelin toured with the band they allegedly ripped off. The goal of the suit is to give "Taurus" writer and Spirit guitarist Randy California a writing credit on Zeppelin's famous song and to block the further production of any of their albums containing "Stairway to Heaven."
But this alleged plagiarism is not the first that Led Zeppelin has seen. In 1985, Willie Dixon sued the band claiming that “Whole Lotta Love” was plagiarized from his 1962 hit “You Need Love." The lawsuit eventually lead to Zeppelin adding Willie Dixon as a writer of "Whole Lotta Love."
But that plagiarism charge isn't the last the industry saw. Here are 8 other songs that were supposedly copied from another artist.
1. KATY PERRY "ROAR"
Perry's hit pop song is accused of sounding a lot like Sara Bareilles' "Brave." You can listen to both tracks laid over each other here and judge for yourself:
2. ALICIA KEYS "GIRL ON FIRE"
After her hit debuted, Earl Shuman accused the singer of stealing from his 1962 track "Hey There Lonely Girl." The suit has yet to be settled. Listen to the two songs below:
3. AVRIL LAVIGNE "GIRLFRIEND"
The Rubinoos sued Lavigne in 2007 for allegedly copying their 1979 song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." In 2008 it was determined that any similarities were coincidental.
4. COLDPLAY "VIVA LA VIDA"
The 2008 hit was accused of being plagiarized from the 2004 song "If I Could Fly" by Joe Satriani who attempted to sue Coldplay over the rights. The case was dismissed in 2009.
5. THE BEACH BOYS "SURFIN' USA"
Chuck Berry rightfully accused the Beach Boys song of being a note-for-note rip-off "Sweet Little Sixteen." As a result of his lawsuit, Berry received a writing credit and royalties.
6. RADIOHEAD "CREEP"
The Hollies said Radiohead stole a chord progression and a melody from their 1973 song "The Air That I Breathe." They won the lawsuit and the Hollies' members are now listed as "Creep" co-writers.
7. GEORGE HARRISON "MY SWEET LORD"
The former Beatle was accused of plagiarizing the melody of the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine." Harrison's song "My Sweet Lord" was found guilty so the musician responded by buying the company that owned the rights to “He’s So Fine" and thereby solving the problem.
8. GHOSTBUSTERS THEME SONG
Turns out the iconic theme song sounds exactly like Huey Lewis and the News' "I Want a New Drug." The $5 million lawsuit was eventually settled out of court.