The creator behind the “Amen Break,” one of the most-sampled pieces of music in history, is finally getting financial compensation 46 years after it first made an appearance in The Winstons’ 1969 track Amen, Brother.
The six-second breakdown, which can be heard below, has been featured in everything from hip hop and drum & bass to rock and breakbeat, including songs by David Bowie, Oasis, N.W.A., and The Prodigy. However, despite its ubiquitous usage and incredible influence, neither the copyright owner, Richard L. Spencer, nor the actual performer, drummer Gregory C. Coleman, have ever received any clearance fees or royalties.
Now, thanks to a GoFundMe campaign set up by Martyn Webster and Steve Theobald, a pair of UK breakbeat hardcore DJs, money has been raised to award as compensation. Although Coleman passed away penniless and homeless in 2006, Spencer received a cheque for £24,000, well above the original crowdfunding campaign goal of £1000.
“Thank you so much for this great contribution to my life,” Spencer responded in a Facebook video. “Thank you very, very much. A-men!” Click here to watch the video.