Ice Under Pressure

Back in 1981, David Bowie (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016) and the members of Queen co-wrote “Under Pressure” that was included on Queen’s album “Hot Space” that was released the following year. It hit the top spot on the charts in the UK, but peaked at the 29th spot in the U.S. The song was a staple of Queen concerts until the band stopped touring in 1986.  Even though David Bowie was instrumental in the song’s creation, he chose not to include it in his live performances until 1992 when he sang the song as a duet with Annie Lennox at the tribute concert for Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991).

It’s never been a secret that American rapper Robert Matthew Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice sampled the bass line from “Under Pressure” for his hit, “Ice Ice Baby.”  The Vanilla Ice song was released on his 1989 debut album “Hooked” and a year later, on his national debut album “To The Extreme.”

Now this was back in the early days of sampling.  Legal precedent wasn’t carved in stone yet.  Things weren’t playing out very well in most of the industry’s opinion.

Neither David Bowie now Queen were credited as co-writers of the “Ice Ice Baby” and they saw none of the royalties … that is, until the lawsuit was settled. Vanilla Ice argued that he had added a beat between notes and because of that, the two songs were completely different songs. Of course, in later years, he admitted that he wasn’t serious about using that as a defense. Still, the situation was serious enough for Queen and David Bowie to threaten to sue Vanilla Ice for copyright infringement.

At the end of the day, Vanilla Ice thought it was more prudent to settle out of court for an undisclosed sum of money and to give David Bowie and Queen songwriting credits on the “Ice Ice Baby” track.  For Vanilla Ice, because “Ice Ice Baby” was making a name for him as a rapper, losing all rights to his song could prove disastrous to his career which is why he opted for the out of court settlement.

So whether you’re a fan of David Bowie or Queen, or a fan of Vanilla Ice, you have to admit that the bass line is catchy with enough punch to carry two songs to the charts.  What do you think?


OMG! Dead Again?

When it was falsely reported earlier this year that country music star Reba McIntyre had died in Austria, thousands of friends, family and fans were shocked and upset.  She appeared on “The Talk” and shared that her nephew, Trevor, suffered a panic attack upon hearing the news.

It’s almost unbelievable the number of death hoaxes that have perpetrated on musicians and actors in the last two years alone!

Sir Paul McCartney performed at the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony but allegedly he died in March 2012.  Needless to say, he’s been the victim of death hoaxes for over forty years now.  But just out of curiosity, how many others have read notices of their demise on social media over the past couple of years?

Remember Eddie Murphy?  It would appear that when the death hoax in December 2010 didn’t take, it was recycled in May 2011, in December 2011, in February 2012 and again in July 2012, always with the same alleged cause of death:  death by snowboarding. 

How about Usher?  He supposedly died in a single vehicle accident in April 2012 and then again in June 2012.

Missy Elliot?  She supposedly died in March 2011 and again in November 2011.

Vanilla Ice?  He supposedly died in a single vehicle accident as well back in June 2012.  He tweeted after the rumour spread that he’d gotten 30 texts from his mom, family and friends who had all heard the bad news.

Jon Bon Jovi?  He supposedly died in December 2011 after performing at the Bamboozle Festival.  

British singer, Adele?  She supposedly died in January 2012. Rihanna?  Supposedly she died in January 2012, as well.  Cher?  Supposedly she died in January 2012, too.  January 2012 was a bad month for singers but a great month for thoughtless hoaxers.

Rowan Atkinson also known as Mr. Bean?  Supposedly he kicked the bucket in February 2012.

That’s just a small smattering of death hoaxes that have been spread on social media networks. 

Whatever happened to checking facts before passing a rumour along?  Has society fallen so low as to no longer care about how a false rumour might affect the friends, family and colleagues of those who have supposedly died?

Isn’t it about time we all stopped jumping on the celebrityism train, forwarding information about well-known strangers without knowing if there’s any truth to the information that’s being forwarded?

What we need is a kinder, more thoughtful society, not a more jaded, just-add-water-instant-coffee-mindset society that loves to pass along misinformation with the excuse they didn’t know it was a hoax when they passed it on to their friends and followers.

By the way, Gotye supposedly died last month.  The reported cause of death was suicide, supposedly a shot to the head with a 9 mm handgun.  Really, death hoax pranksters?  How do you think that kind of misinformation would have affected the singer’s mother had she seen it scroll by on the CNN ticker?

And to think some people out there think these death hoaxes are funny.  It’s about time they sat down and re-assessed why they do what they do, and then apologize to the people they’ve traumatized.

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