5 Huge Hits That Were Actually Covers

'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' was originally about ... a guy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2014 3:04 PM CDT
5 Huge Hits That Were Actually Covers
Madonna performs "Same Love" on stage at the 56th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

If you're a fan of any of these 10 songs rounded up by the BBC, you may not know they're actually cover versions. A sampling:

  • "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," Cyndi Lauper: The 1983 song was originally sung by Robert Hazard in 1979; he wrote it about a man obsessed with women. But Lauper changed the line "All my girls have got to walk in the sun" to "I want to be the one to walk in the sun."
  • "Bette Davis Eyes," Kim Carnes: The 1981 hit was first a Jackie DeShannon song in 1975, and it had "a big band intro and country-style steel guitar." The song's co-writer later pitched it to Carnes.

  • "Ray of Light," Madonna: The 1998 song was first released in 1971 by British Folk duo Curtiss Maldoon. A dance producer who liked it teamed up with a niece of one of the Curtiss Maldoon members, recorded a new version, and played it for Madonna.
  • "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Jett first saw her 1982 song performed by the Arrows, a power-pop trio, on TV while she was on tour in 1976. She first recorded it in 1979 with a different band before recording the version that ended up being a hit three years later.
  • "Don't Cha," Pussycat Dolls: The 2005 hit was first a song by Tori Alamaze the year before, but it flopped and Alamaze's record company dropped her. The Pussycat Dolls' version wasn't much different, but it reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 2 in the US, leading Alamaze to call the group "the Copycat Dolls."
Click for the complete list, or check out the real stories behind other famous songs. (Read more Cyndi Lauper stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.