Every Time Ava Max Has Sampled Other Songs in Her Music


Ava Max is consistently one of pop’s catchiest stars, churning out earworm after earworm. She’s also known for sampling and interpolating other famous music in her songs, especially ’90s and 2000s electronic and pop music.

Since breaking out with her smash single “Sweet but Psycho” in 2018, Ava has released a string of upbeat, dancefloor-friendly songs, many of which sample, interpolate, riff on or simply pay homage to the pop (and even other genres) that came before her.

READ MORE: 25 Songs Artists Regret Recording

Over the course of her still-blossoming music career, Ava has sampled nearly a dozen songs — that we know of, at least — ranging from ’80s new wave hits to Y2K chart-toppers, reworking them and resulting in varying degrees of success on the Billboard charts.

Though her sample-heavy discography isn’t without some controversy — some critics on social media believe she and her producers rely too much on sampling songs that were already hits — there’s no doubt Ava has one of the keenest ears in pop today, and has a knack for putting her own special spin on the hits and cult tracks of yesteryear.

What songs has Ava Max sampled in her music so far? Read on to find out.

“Whatever” Samples Shakira’s “Whenever, Wherever”

Norwegian DJ and producer Kygo and Ava Max’s 2024 collaboration, “Whatever,” prominently samples and riffs on Shakira’s signature 2001 hit “Whenever, Wherever,” which was released off the Colombian star’s debut English language album, Laundry Service.

Though the tracks are melodically different, the two songs share a very similar chorus. While Shakira’s song is an ode to devotion, Ava’s single is all about heartbreak, showing how a sample can be brilliantly flipped for a different meaning.

“Million Dollar Baby” Samples LeAnn Rimes’ “Can’t Fight the Moonlight”

Released off her second studio album, Diamonds & Dancefloors, Ava’s 2023 single “Million Dollar Baby” heavily samples LeAnne Rimes’ 2000 smash “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” which was featured in the film Coyote Ugly.

The pop anthem was a major global hit, reaching the top 20 in every country it charted in and peaking at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Let It Be Me” Samples Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner”

“Let It Be Me,” Ava’s 2018 collaboration with DJ and producer David Guetta, samples Suzanne Vega’s signature “Tom’s Diner,” which was released as a single in Europe in 1987.

However, it’s seemingly not the only time Ava has referenced “Tom’s Diner,” as her 2019 single “Freaking Me Out” also appears to nod to the iconic ‘80s song in its melodic bridge.

“Kings & Queens” Samples Bonnie Tyler’s “If You Were a Woman…”

The fifth single released off Ava’s debut studio album Heaven & Hell, “Kings & Queens” features a prominent sample of Bonnie Tyler’s 1986 pop-rock single “If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man).”

Ava’s 2020 single was one of her most successful releases in the U.S., peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“Get Outta My Heart” Samples Bernard Herrmann’s “Twisted Nerve”

Released off Diamonds & Dancefloors, “Get Outta My Heart” samples American composer Bernard Herrmann’s “Twisted Nerve,” which is the theme song from the 1968 British thriller of the same name.

Famously, “Twisted Nerve” is prominently featured in Quentin Tarantino’s 2004 film Kill Bill, during the scene where assassin Elle Driver impersonates a nurse and attempts to kill The Bride.

“Not Your Barbie Girl” Samples Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” 

In 2018, Ava sampled a beloved pop classic for her promotional single “Not Your Barbie Girl,” which appeared on the Japanese release of her debut album.

Ava’s song features a sample of Europop group Aqua’s iconic 1997 smash “Barbie Girl.” Unlike the upbeat, irreverent ‘90s song, however, Ava’s track packs a modern message about autonomy in a relationship.

“My Head & My Heart” Samples ATC’s “All Around the World (La La La)”

Released as the final single off Ava’s debut album in 2020, the production for “My Head & My Heart” borrows heavily fromY2K Eurodance group ATC’s smash debut single, “All Around the World (La La La),” which was released in 2000.

“My Head & My Heart” was a Top 50 hit in the U.S., peaking at No. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Emotions” Samples ABBA’s “Lay All Your Love on Me”

Recorded sometime between 2020 and 2021, Ava’s scrapped song “Emotions” sampled ABBA’s 1981 hit “Lay Your Love on Me.”

Unfortunately, according to reports, Ava was unable to get ABBA to clear the sample, and so “Emotions” was never released. However, the track leaked online in 2021.

“Born to the Night” Samples Peter Schilling’s “Major Tom (Coming Home)”

A track off Heaven & Hell, “Born to the Night” samples the melody of Peter Schilling’s 1983 new wave hit “Major Tom (Coming Home).”

The track was off his album Error in the System, which was certified Gold in Germany for selling 250,000 copies. A number of artists have covered “Major Tom” over the years, including Shiny Toy Guns.

“Car Keys (Ayla)” Samples DJ Ayla’s “Ayla”

Released in June 2023, Brazilian DJ Alok and Ava’s collaborative single “Car Keys (Ayla)” saw moderate success around the globe upon its release.

The song samples German DJ Ayla’s 1996 trance track “Ayla (Taucher Remix),” which was a hit in European clubs in the ‘90s.

“So Am I” Samples Anastacia’s “Left Outside Alone”

The second single released off Heaven & Hell, 2019’s “So Am I” reportedly samples Y2K pop star Anastacia’s 2004 single “Left Outside Alone.

The two tracks share similar melodies on their hooks. (Compare Anastacia’s “All my life I’ve been waiting for you to bring a fairytale my way…” to Ava’s “Do you ever feel like a misfit? Everything inside you is dark and twisted…”)

Misheard Lyrics From Iconic Pop Songs

Stacker compiled a list of some of the most misheard pop lyrics to become infamous for the funny mistakes fans made when singing the “wrong” words.

Gallery Credit: Stacker





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