September 18, 2023
Music History

What Is the Most-Sampled Song of All Time?

Every morning at 8:45, I do a break with Fred and Mel on the morning show on 102.1 the Edge. When the topic turned to samples, Fred challenged me to find the most-sampled song of all time. Here’s the answer.

According to the very comprehensive WhoSampled database, no song snippet has been used more times in more songs than “Change the Beat” (Female Version) a 1982 B-side credited to Beside but actually Fab 5 Freddy. It appears in no fewer than 1,726 songs in various clean and mutilated forms.

Here’s the whole track.

Now just the sample…

You can hear it here…


…and even here.

As for which artist has been sampled the most, it’s James Brown, hands down with 8,746 samples found. The break in “Funky Drummer” accounts for over 1,100 samples on its own.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37064 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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