Kanye West is facing accusations of copyright infringement for allegedly sampling Donna Summer's music without permission, specifically her 1977 hit "I Feel Love."
Initially, West sought permission to sample the iconic track, but his request was denied by Summer's estate. Despite this rejection, West proceeded to incorporate elements of "I Feel Love" into his song "Good (Don't Die)," featured on his new Vultures album.
The controversy arose when listeners noted similarities between the lyrics and melody of "Good (Don't Die)" and those of "I Feel Love." In particular, a segment of the song features the repeated phrase "Oh, I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive," reminiscent of Summer's original composition.
A statement posted on Donna Summer's official Instagram account addressed the issue directly, asserting, "Kanye West... asked permission to use Donna Summer’s song I Feel Love, he was denied... he changed the words, had someone re sing it or used AI but it’s I Feel Love... copyright infringement!!!"
"I Feel Love" was a significant success for Donna Summer, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spending a total of 23 weeks on the chart. Produced and co-written by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, the song remains a beloved classic from the disco era.
This accusation against Kanye West is not an isolated incident. It follows a pattern of the artist allegedly using others' music without proper clearance, despite requests for permission being declined.
In a related development, former Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne also recently called out Kanye West for unauthorized sampling. Osbourne stated that West had requested to sample one of his songs but was refused permission due to Osbourne's accusations of antisemitism against West. Despite this refusal, West proceeded to use the sample at a Vultures 1 listening event, prompting Osbourne to publicly disassociate himself from the rapper.
Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy's wife and manager, reiterated their stance on denying West permission to sample their music, emphasizing the importance of respecting fellow artists' wishes. She expressed disappointment in West's actions and reaffirmed the Osbourne family's decision to distance themselves from him.
The controversy surrounding Kanye West's unauthorized sampling comes amidst broader scrutiny following his series of hate speech and antisemitic remarks, which have led to repercussions from companies such as Adidas and Def Jam. As West navigates these controversies, the allegations of copyright infringement add another layer of complexity to his ongoing legal and public relations challenges.