Getting music leaked is just a part of the job when you are in the music industry. Generally, whoever leaks the music is usually frowned upon. Loyal fans won’t listen to leaked tracks at all, and they choose to wait for the artist to release it as they had planned. Fans threw shade at Drake for leaking Kanye West’s music, because it is a low blow.
Who is responsible for leaks? There are many sources that can get their hands on music early. Eager fans, hackers, and even people who work for the artist are usually the culprits. Leaks can be career-altering, so keep scrolling to find out what albums were leaked before their planned release date.
8 To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar is one of the most well-known and celebrated hip-hop artists of all time. He is known to have bangers on every album he released. That is why everyone was so excited about the release of To Pimp a Butterfly. This highly anticipated album was due to debut on March 23rd of 2015. To the public’s surprise, it was leaked a whole week early on March 15th. While many people thought that it was a publicity stunt, it was soon revealed to be a mistake. The album was removed from streaming services over 12 hours later, which seems like a long time. The confusion came from the record being available from two separate labels.
7 Vulnicura – Björk
This eccentric Icelandic singer is well known for her ability to be laid back. The same is true in the face of her music getting leaked. Songs from Vulnicura were leaked months before it was supposed to be officially released. Björk did not respond with anger, and she did not have the songs immediately pulled away from her fans. Instead, she stayed up late and chose to release the entire album early. With Vulnicura still being one of her most personal albums, physical album sales were held off until the actual release date even though the digital download was available.
6 Heathen Chemistry – Oasis
Sometimes, artists are surprised by a leak at their own concert because of nasty fans or malicious hackers who try to get to their unreleased music early. Oasis thought they were debuting their songs from Heathen Chemistry at a show, but the audience sang along. This took them by surprise, but their music had been leaked months before the performance. They blamed their own drummer because he shared the album with someone without permission. They mostly blamed their fans because they had given into the temptation of listening to the music early instead of doing the honorable thing of waiting for it to be officially released.
5 1989 – Taylor Swift
Leaks freak Taylor Swift out. They genuinely give her the heebie-jeebies. When this album was leaked, all the swifties were just as mad as Taylor herself. It really showed how Taylor Swift has cultivated a loyal and supportive fanbase unlike any other. They reprimanded those who listened to the album early. The leak did not even affect the sales, and it was still one of the best-selling albums of 2014. It was so successful, in fact, it helped revive the record industry.
4 Rebel Heart – Madonna
This Queen of Pop is not immune to getting her songs leaked. In 2014, six of her songs off of the Rebel Heart album were leaked almost a full season early. With Rebel Heart being her 13th album, fans couldn’t help but have high expectations. This also is not the first time she has dealt with annoying music leaks. In 2003, she antagonized people who tried to leak her album American Life by sending out a fake download that basically asked them what they were trying to do. The response of the hackers was anger, and they ended up leaking her real album because of it.
3 Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Most times, album leaks are due to overeager fans or malicious hackers who want to ruin the release the artist has planned. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes record labels and companies simply make a mistake. This self-titled album by Bon Iver was actually leaked by Apple iTunes in 2011. They meant to put the featured single out for listening, but they accidentally posted the whole album early. Despite being the world’s largest music retailer, Apple has made this mistake before too.
2 Hail to the Thief – Radiohead
Radiohead is no stranger to getting their music leaked. They have had a complicated relationship with leakers since the start, though. Their sixth album, Hail to the Thief, was released way ahead of schedule and they were shocked. In the past, they usually reacted with a nonchalant attitude, but they did not this time. This time, the band was really upset. Johnny Greenwood, the guitarist, was open about how disrespectful he felt the leak was. He felt that they had put all this work in, just to be cheated.
1 The College Dropout – Kanye West
This high-profile rapper is not immune to leaks. Honestly, due to the high anticipation all of his music releases bring, he might even be more susceptible to them. His debut album, The College Dropout, leaked online way before he had planned on releasing it. This leak kind of caused him to scramble. It forced him to post the songs before the release date to try to get some control over the situation.
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