I had to do a double take myself when I saw the headline about Michael Jackson “stealing” a song from legendary 80s duo Hall and Oates.

It seems that Hall was talking to the King of Pop during the “We Are the World” session, and said:

"Hey man, I hope you don't mind if I stole 'No Can Do.'" And I went, "What do you mean you stole 'No Can Do'?" He said, "Nah, man, I used it for 'Bille Jean.'" I said, "It doesn't sound like 'No Can Do' to me!"

Here’s part of the interview:

As John Oates said in the interview, it’s one thing to draw inspiration from another artist’s work – quite another to out and out copy from another artist.

He said that anytime he writes a song, it’s usually with someone who’s influenced him musically – like Curtis Mayfield.

But not to copy another artist’s work.

A couple of examples:

Think back to the base line of Nile Rodgers’ “Good Times” - then put that up against the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight;” Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust;” and Vaughn Mason and Crew’s “Bounce Rock Skate Roll!”

A much copied base line for sure. Major props to Nile Rodgers for coming up with that one.

Or more recently “Got to Give it Up” by Marvin Gaye being the “inspiration” for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” Pretty much the same song were you to ask me.

As for Billie Jean having been “stolen” from “No Can Do” – you be the judge

Billy Jean:

I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do):

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