Elton John is a singer and songwriter as well as a composer and brilliant pianist. He and his songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin, are well known with their collaboration of over thirty albums since they united in 1967. Recent accusations have come up from a South African man, Guy Hobbs, who is stating that John’s 1985 song “Nikita” is actually his.
According to Guy Hobbs, he took a job as a photographer during the Cold War on a Russian cruise ship in 1982. He began a relationship with a Russian waitress and before he left, the inspiration of his voyage led him to create a song called “Natasha.” Hobbs claims that he copyrighted his lyrics in England while he was living there and eventually sent them to Big Pig Music in 1984 hoping he’d be able to find the perfect artist for his song but was unsuccessful. The song “Nikita” was then released in 1985; three years after Hobbs claims he had written it. He also states that he was unaware that Big Pig Music was strictly music made between Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Elton John shot back a response saying that his accusations are vague and absurd and he’s completely missing the entire legal point which is that Hobbs can’t copyright any idea legally. The theme of a western man and European woman is so broad that there’s no evidence that it was plagiarized.
Hobbs seems delusional to believe that plagiarism involves common phrases such as “I need you.” Anyone could come up with that theme and those words are used in many songs by thousands of artists. He also claims that it’s taken him over 25 years to come out with the truth because living in South Africa has made it impossible until now which is no excuse. John’s story of the lyrics is about a German border guard who he is unable to meet. Even if the broad theme of the song was stolen, the words are completely different.
Love stories happen in all parts of the world and everyone has their own story to tell. People even have similar feelings and songs are the best way to express them. That’s how we relate to these artists and why we like certain songs because we’ve been through those experiences and we love knowing that we aren’t alone. You can’t plagiarize feelings, only exact words. Suing a man who has successfully written all of his own songs is absurd. Elton John doesn’t need to steal anything from anyone. He’s an outstanding artist and beautiful songwriter without the help of anyone.