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Plagiarized This Way?

Here is another song that might have made it into the Lady Gaga song born this way.  What do you think?  Comments at the bottom of the page past the ads.  I think Madonna is gonna sue, or give her permission.  But can’t she just rip off the rest of her songs if that happens?  DP

Since its release last Friday, many people have stated that they feel LADY GAGA’s song “Born This Way” is reminiscent of MADONNA’s “Express Yourself,” with some going as far as to accuse Gaga of plagiarizing that Madonna hit.  In fact, however, “Born This Way” is actually more reminiscent of a song that was written three years ago…and also titled “Born This Way.”

The earlier “Born This Way” was written by the legendary songwriting team of ASHFORD & SIMPSON in 2008, for a musical called Invisible Life. The musical never made it to Broadway, but some of its songs have been performed publicly in Gaga’s hometown of New York, at a West Side club owned by Ashford & Simpson.  Like Gaga’s song “Born This Way,” this song, about a gay man deciding to be himself, is about acceptance and tolerance.  The lyrics go, “I was born this way…/God made me and it’s okay/So don’t try to change me/I was born this way/Others like me/You’ve gotta set ‘em free/Free to be/Everything we wanna be.”

The 2008 “Born This Way” has now been recorded by singer and dancer TERRY LAVELL, currently appearing in the Broadway musical La Cage Aux Folles, and is available for viewing on YouTube. In a statement, VALERIE SIMPSON of Ashford & Simpson said of the similarity between the two songs, “It’s weird how the same ideas and thoughts can float into the universe and emerge from different minds and different places.”  Her husband, NICK ASHFORD, added, “I think there’s enough love in the world for Lady Gaga and Terry Lavell.”

As for whether or not Madonna thinks Gaga ripped her off, her spokeswoman told ABC News Radio Friday that the star hadn’t yet heard the song because she was on a plane.  But, commenting on the accusations, she said, “Don’t settle for second best, baby.”  That could be interpreted as a reference to the chorus of “Express Yourself” — “don’t go for second best/baby/put yourself to the test.”  Interestingly, on Saturday, a live performance video of “Express Yourself” was posted to Madonna’s YouTube channel. (ABC NEWS)

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