DUETS # 40

Today the duet from 2005 of Dame Shirley Bassey & Kanye West Diamonds Are Forever.

I did some research about this one but don’t know what to make of it. When it was released there was a blog post about it in 2007 by Peggy that stated:“Shirley Bassey is desperate to work with Kanye West – after the rapper/producer impressed her with his sampling of her hit Diamonds Are Forever in 2005. And Bassey is reportedly keen to work around the Stronger hit maker’s schedule to see the collaboration come into fruition.”

On the other hand there are lots of articles that say she wasn’t happy with it at all.

Kenya West was sued several times for the illegal use of songs by various artists.

Just because Bassey let West get away with not clearing the rights to “Diamonds Are Forever” for “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” doesn’t mean West hasn’t gotten in similar trouble before. He has actually been sued three times for sampling songs without the original artists’ permission, including in his 2007 hit “Good Life.”

There was one legendary singer that West did ask directly for permission to sample their music. After getting in a car crash and having his jaw wired shut, West reached out to R&B icon Chaka Khan about sampling her classic “Through the Fire,” as the song helped him through his recovery. Khan agreed, and the song became his debut single in 2003.

But when Khan heard the tweaked version that West included in the song, she immediately regretted giving him permission. She’s expressed her anger many times over the years, calling the song “stupid” and “an insult.”

Dame Shirley did a live version of this duet with Dizzee Rascall at the Royal Albert Hall at the John Barry memorial concert in 2011

From Wikipedia: The song’s production was handled by West, Brion, and Devo Springsteen, all of whom co-wrote it apart from Brion. John Barry and Don Black also received songwriting credits since they wrote singer Shirley Bassey‘s titular theme song for 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, which is sampled. Bassey revealed in September 2005 that she “didn’t know anything about the song before its release” and assumed West did not request permission “to have me singing on his song”, recalling not knowing of it until hearing West “performing it at the Live8 concert”. She also alluded to a lack of contact from “from his record company, which wasn’t very nice”. Bassey desired “to look into” West’s usage of her vocals since he was “very cheeky”, asserting that “one way or another he is going to have to pay me a lot of money”. According to British media law specialist Elin Pinnell, a recording deal’s “certain rights to your work to various different people” who allow its media exploitation and the likelihood of West gaining permission from one of Bassey’s representatives meant he was probably guilty of no wrongdoing. Bassey differed in her opinion of West around two years after the comments, finding the sample impressive and feeling keen to collaborate with him.

An article from the James Bond website.

From the Daily Mail: Shirley Bassey told the Daily Mail: “He didn’t ask my permission to have me singing on his song. I didn’t even know it existed until I heard him performing at the Live 8 concert. I didn’t even hear from his record company, which wasn’t very nice. One way or another, he is going to have to pay me a lot of money.”

In 2015 Austrian Eurovision Contest winner Conchita Wurst announced he was doing a duet with Dame Shirley Bassey too which later proved to be a virtual duet of Diamonds Are Forever.

2 thoughts on “DUETS # 40”

  1. I think the duet with Dizzee Rascall at the Royal Albert Hall was the Children In Need Concert …. it was good too – Terry..


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