As the single topped Billboard Hot 100 chart for the sixth time this week, the New York Times reports that late songwriting icons Rodgers and Hammerstein control 90 percent of the songwriting royalties. The percentage comes as the melody is based off of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music, which the two composed.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, who died in 1979 and 1960 respectively, are just two of the 10 songwriters credited on the single, which also includes Grande. The Times also reports that Grande's Republic Records team went to Concord -- the company that owns the duo's catalog -- in January to make a licensing deal. They agreed to the percentage request without further negotiating.
“[‘7 Rings’] wouldn’t exist in its current form were it not for ‘My Favorite Things,’” Concord chief publishing executive Jake Wisely told the Times. The deal means that the company "stands to make millions of dollars from the song, while Ms. Grande and her seven co-writers will each get just a fraction of what Concord makes," per the NYT.
Compared to the Julie Andrews-crooned ballad about "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens/Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens," Grande's version is a more lavish ode to wealth and self-satisfaction. "Breakfast at Tiffany's and bottles of bubbles/Girls with tattoos who like getting in trouble/Lashes and diamonds, ATM machines/Buy myself all of my favorite things."
In December, Grande shared the inspiration for the track, tweeting, "'Twas was a pretty rough day in NYC. My friends took me to Tiffany's. We had too much champagne. I bought us all rings."
"It was very insane and funny," she continued. "On the way back to the stu njomza was like 'b***h, this gotta be a song lol.' So we wrote it that afternoon."
well ............. ‘twas a pretty rough day in nyc. my friends took me to tiffany’s. we had too much champagne. i bought us all rings. 💍 it was very insane and funny. & on the way back to the stu njomza was like ‘bitch, this gotta be a song lol’. so we wrote it that afternoon. https://t.co/CoczmPj1Fo
The song, however, did receive some backlash. Following its release, rapper Princess Nokia accused Grande of copying her own track, “Mine." Then Grande, in a since-deleted Instagram Story post, wrote, “‘You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it’… White women talking about their weaves is how we’re gonna solve racism," which didn't sit well with some fans.
Grande later apologized, writing, “Hi hi… I think her intention was to be like… yay a white person disassociating the negative [stereotype] that is paired with the word 'weave'… however I’m so sorry if my response was out of pocket or if it came across the wrong way. Thanks for opening the conversation and like… to everyone for talking to me about it. It’s never my intention to offend anybody.”