Did ‘Glee’ Steal a Song from a College Acappella Group?

Yesterday the web got its first taste of the songs that will be featured in next week’s season finale of Glee. Among them was an all female acappella rendition of Usher’s “Yeah!” The cover is a rousing, empowered track, especially when sung by a female group. All this would have been fine and dandy, if it weren’t seemingly ripped off a hard working, student run collegiate acappella group.  

Take a listen to Glee's version of “Yeah”

Now listen to the track by University of Oregon’s Divisi, originally released in 2005.

Eerily similar. Almost uncomfortably so. And yet there would be no apparent reason to believe foul play is at work. The Glee producers have worked with college acappella groups in the past. Take for example their set up with the Tufts Beelzebubs, who provide the arrangements for the Warblers. 

On the contrary though, sources within acappella circles with ties to Divisi have confirmed to me that the show did not have the full cooperation of the group and original arranger. Glee had reached out to Divisi and were working on a deal only for it to fall apart last minute, with Glee going ahead and doing their version of the song anyway. Leading one to believe that there may be something more sinister afoot.

Glee strolls a fine line between honoring music and bastardizing it. The acappella community is a tight knit, but not often heard subculture that has benefited greatly from its recent exposure on shows like Glee and The Sing Off. Hopefully network television and acappella can continue to work together for the betterment of both.

  1. billtronreadershares reblogged this from popculturebrain
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  7. weaimweignite reblogged this from evarrenarchive
  8. crisscolferswifts reblogged this from evarrenarchive and added:
    Honest to god, this was the first thing I thought of when I listened to the song.
  9. felixfirecrotchwalken reblogged this from popculturebrain
  10. mikecoogan reblogged this from popculturebrain and added:
    but they really need...give credit where credit is due.
  11. ajkoch reblogged this from popculturebrain and added:
    I’m not surprised in the least. As I haven’t watch the show for some time now, I had no idea that they’d collaborated...
  12. artisticawesomeness reblogged this from popculturebrain
  13. miss-printed reblogged this from flavorpill
  14. tyndalecode reblogged this from popculturebrain
  15. flavorpill reblogged this from popculturebrain
  16. wwjcvdd reblogged this from popculturebrain and added:
    Divisi’s a great group, I’ve got a few of their tracks, including that one. FOR SHAME, though. College a cappella...
  17. popculturebrain reblogged this from thefreshestcereal and added:
    Well said Nicole.
  18. thefreshestcereal reblogged this from popculturebrain and added:
    Sadly, I think the statement that the a cappella community is a “not often heard subculture" hits the root of this...
  19. egadsy reblogged this from popculturebrain and added:
    ooh shit
  20. sleepdeprivedmind reblogged this from popculturebrain and added:
    Yikes. :/ I sincerely hope...indeed worked with...instead of...
  21. mattsevits reblogged this from popculturebrain and added:
    Oregon grad, this pisses...off. Our acapella groups work really hard. Now I
  22. eirizu reblogged this from popculturebrain
  23. lucaluca reblogged this from popculturebrain and added:
    AWWWWWWWW SHIT. Popcorn Gif!
  24. treatyoselfartie reblogged this from popculturebrain and added:
    more reason they should’ve had Artie sing it, dammit
  25. theperksofbeingkrista reblogged this from popculturebrain
  26. lucaluca said: Oooooo sherlock, you’re on to something.