Queen and David Bowie vs. Vanilla Ice

In 1990 Vanilla Ice’s new album “To the Extreme” was launched in America by SBK Records. The most financially successful track on that album was “Ice Ice Baby”. The song was a hit cracking the billboard top 100 list, the first song of the hip-hop genre to do so. However while listening to the song you can’t help but notice a striking similarity to the song “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie. The opening guitar rift is almost identical in both songs.

The casual music fan noticed this as well as David Bowie and Queen. The group was then forced to sue Vanilla Ice for copyright infringement on one of their signature tunes. The young hip-hop star defended his song by claiming he altered the tune ever so slightly thus making it his own.

Vanilla Ice decided to pay royalties to David Bowie and Queen to avoid a lawsuit. In addition the young rapper also gave Bowie and all members of Queen songwriting credit for “Ice Ice Baby”. Robert Van Winkle (Ice’s real name) couldn’t afford to lose the rights to the song because it was his most successful and popular song. It spent a week as the number one song on the Billboard hot 100 during the week of November 3rd 1990.


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