Maybe you're strolling through a store and you hear a familiar sound filter through the speaker. Is that—is that a Rodgers and Hammerstein melody? Or perhaps you're flipping through radio stations and hear sample of the "America" rhythm from West Side Story.
During the Golden Age of Broadway, showtunes made frequent appearances on the radio and the Billboard charts as popular standards. More recently, specific shows have connected with artists who have recorded revamped takes on their score—like The Hamilton Mixtape or Dear Evan Hansen. Beyond direct covers, listeners have been able to spot familiar musical theatre rhythms, melodies, and lyrics as samples in songs from all genres, including pop, hip hop, rap, reggae, and rock.
With JAY-Z's tributes to the 1970s titular orphans Annie and Oliver and numerous homages to The Sound of Music, this playlist is full of samples, remixes, and covers of beloved songs from the musical theatre canon. Make sure to listen closely—some will be more recognizable, but others feature quick, small samples.
Need help identifying which musical theatre songs these remixes?
“Searching for Maria” - Christina Aguilera; “Maria” from The Sound of Music
“7 Rings” - Ariana Grande; “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music
“Wind it Up” - Gwen Stefani; “The Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music
“Build God, Then We’ll Talk” - Panic! At the Disco; “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music
“My Favorite Things” - Outkast; “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music
“Doin’ Time” - Sublime; “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess
“Rich Girl” - Gwen Stefani; “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof
“Popular Song” - MIKA and Ariana Grande; “Popular” from Wicked
“Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” - JAY-Z; “Hard Knock Life” from Annie
“Mama Said” - Lukas Graham; “Hard Knock Life” from Annie
“Big Spender” - Missy Elliot; “Big Spender” from Sweet Charity
“Better Than You” - Rye Rye and M.I.A.; “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun
“Anything” - JAY-Z; “I’d Do Anything” from Oliver!
“Ain’t No Half-Steppin’” - Big Daddy Kane; “Ease on Down the Road” from The Wiz
“Electrify” - Beastie Boys; “Company” from Company
“I’m Getting Married” - Yellowman; “Get Me to the Church on Time” from My Fair Lady
“James Brown” - Big Audio Dynamite; “America” from West Side Story
“Don’t Tread on Me” - Metallica; “America” from West Side Story
“Hung Up” - Madonna; “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” from Mamma Mia!