Adele has been accused of plagiarism for copying the melody of a famous Turkish song. Diehard fans of late Turkish singer Ahmet Kaya claim that Adele has stolen the song "Million Years Ago" from him.
The Turkish song, "Acilara Tutunmak," was a popular track in the homeland of its Kurdish singer when it was released in 1985. That was three years before Adele was born, however, and the song was a big hit locally but not in the UK, from which Adele hails.
Adele wrote "Million Years Ago" with Greg Kurstin, who also produced it, along with "Hello" and one other song from the "25" album. Kurstin, who was born in 1969 in Los Angeles and was therefore alive when the Kaya song was released, is a prolific American songwriter and producer who has written songs for Pink, Beyonce, Lily Allen, Ellie Goulding and numerous other pop stars.
While there is no clear apparent connection between Adele or Kurstin and the Kaya song, that doesn't mean that one or both of them couldn't have heard it and either intentionally or unintentionally copied the melody of it. At the same time, many melodies do sound similar, and the similarity of the songs could be a complete coincidence.
That hasn't stopped some Turkish fans from branding Adele as a "thief," and the story is making big news in the country. Although Kaya has passed away, his widow has the right to sue if there was indeed plagiarism. In an interview with a Turkish newspaper, however, she stated that she didn't believe Adele intentionally stole her late husband's song, but that "If she consciously did it then it would be theft."
The fine line between plagiarism and being merely influenced or inspired by another artist's work was famously debated in 2011 when Lady Gaga released "Born This Way," which sounded very familiar to "Express Yourself" by one of her idols, Madonna. While Madonna didn't sue, she snarkily criticized it as a "reductive" copy of her 1989 hit.
The YouTube video below compares Adele's "Million Years Ago" to "Acilara Tutunmak." Do you think they sound the same? Let us know in the comments below.