“How can there be 24 writers on a song?” the Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated writer of songs like Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time,” and Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” tweeted Monday.
And then hundreds chimed in with the answer: Because the song samples other copyrighted works, a rich tradition in American music stemming from the early days of hip-hop.
“This isn’t meant as shade, I’m just curious,” she responded after the backlash hit the thread. “Ok, it’s prob samples that add up the ammount of writerrs (sic).”
Singer, songwriter and producer The-Dream, who collaborated with Queen Bey on Renaissance, chimed in to explain further.
You mean how’s does our (Black) culture have so many writers, well it started because we couldn’t afford certain things starting out,so we started sampling and it became an Artform, a major part of the Black Culture (hip hop) in America.Had that era not happen who knows. U good?
— MUSIC ICON THE-DREAM (@TheKingDream) August 1, 2022
“I didn’t mean that as an attack or as disrespect,” Warren responded. “I didn’t know this, thank U for making me aware of it. No need to be mean about it.”
The-Dream has five Grammy awards under his belt, including “Best R&B Song” and “Song of the Year” for Beyoncé’s 2008 smash hit Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), which he co-wrote with three other writers credited, including Beyoncé, and co-produced.
“Btw I know it’s not a one on one writing contest you looking for from no one over here,” he added in another tweet. “You don’t want that smoke and you know I love you, but come on. Stop acting like your records haven’t been sampled.”
Warren was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001, and is known for working solo, without collaborating with other writers. She won her first and only Grammy in 1997 for writing Celine Dion’s Because You Loved Me, and has written a lot of hits for a lot of A-list talent since, including Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, and even Beyoncé.
She has since apologized to Beyoncé, maintaining she meant “no disrespect” to an artist widely considered one of the greatest of all time.
Ok, I meant no disrespect to @Beyonce, who I've worked with and admire. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) August 1, 2022
But just because she apologized, doesn’t mean she’s off the hook, having agitated the relentless BeyHive.
you absolutely meant disrespect. you had multiple tweets throwing shade, even when you knew how a SAMPLE works, even when multiple people were telling you how sampling works, but you kept tweeting shade for 5 HOURS.
— Dominic Cummies (@dominic_cummies) August 1, 2022
ok, but what did you want with that tweet anyway? because sample is something that anyone in the music industry knows, and should know that everyone involved needs to be credited.
— ka ⚡ (@breeiza) August 1, 2022
— Sir Parkwood (@Rocksteady00) August 1, 2022
How do you, of all people, not know how that works?
— Bradley Stern (@MuuMuse) August 1, 2022
girl be quiet 🤫 pic.twitter.com/Xflxrgl9SU
— thique alien superstar (@somalibra) August 1, 2022
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