Saturday, April 13, 2024

Mariah Carey’s Bad Karma Over “Emotions” Hit Got Her in Trouble– Stolen from The Emotions’ Hit “Best of My Love”


Long ago in a far off galaxy, Mariah Carey had a nasty habit of lifting other people’s songs for herself. It got her in a lot of trouble and caused many lawsuits and settlements. I wrote an article about this in Spin magazine back in the day. She sampled The Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” for her hit “Fantasy,” for example. That was a bad business. Mariah’s songwriting abilities have long been questionable. Even her long time co-writer Walter Afanasieff recently recalled that he laid out “All I Want For Christmas is You” before she even heard it.

But last night when Mariah’s earpieces failed her and was revealed to be lip synching, the song in question was her –ahem– ‘hit’– “Emotions.” What younger fans may not realize is that “Emotions” was copied almost note for note from a big hit called “The Best of My Love,” sung by Philly International group The Emotions. It was produced and written by Earth Wind & Fire creator Maurice White.

White died this year, and I can’t help but think that last night’s debacle was a sign from him and a reminder. Back in the 90s, when Carey and husband/manager did this, White gave me a great quote: “Some people sample, but they sampled the whole buffet!”
Here’s “Best of My Love”:

and here’s “Emotions”:

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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