Steve Miller Resoundingly Approves of Eminem’s ‘Abracadabra’ Sample — ‘I’m Honored’

Steve Miller approves of Eminem's sample of Abracadabra
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Steve Miller approves of Eminem's sample of Abracadabra
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Photo Credit: Steve Miller by Tim Brown for Space Cowboy Records / CC by 4.0

Steve Miller, whose hit ‘Abracadabra’ is sampled in Eminem’s latest single, is thanking the rapper for using his song: ‘I’m honored.’

Often when a classic song is sampled on a new track, it seems like there’s an infringement lawsuit to go along with it. But when the proper avenues are (presumably) followed, a fresh take on an old hit can breathe new life into the song while honoring the original artist in a big way.

This is definitely the case with Eminem’s latest single, “Houdini,” which uses a sample from Steve Miller Band’s hit, “Abracadabra.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steve Miller took to social media to thank the Detroit rapper for using his song.

“You are one of those timeless originators building something new on a long musical legacy of original artists,” writes Miller in a post in which he addresses the rapper by name, beginning “Hey EM.”

“There aren’t many artists who take the time or make the effort to stand up for themselves and credit and respect their influencers at the same time,” Miller’s post continues. “Marshall Mathers, you are an exception and on my short list of people who respect the art. To be included in your process feels good while I’m still singing and playing the music I love. I’m honored.”

“Houdini” was released on Friday (May 31), the first single off Eminem’s upcoming album, The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce). The single references Em’s 2002 hit “Without Me,” playing off a sample from the Steve Miller Band hit. The music video for “Houdini” features Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, comedians Shane Gillis and Pete Davidson, as well as Eminem’s children.

“Abracadabra” stayed at No. 1 for two consecutive weeks upon its release in September 1982 and dethroned Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” It was Steve Miller Band’s third — and final — chart-topping hit, after 1973’s “The Joker” and 1976’s “Rock’n Me.” The track “Fly Like an Eagle,” also from 1976, peaked at No. 2.

Steve Miller Band is due to perform at Comerica Park with Journey and Def Leppard on July 18.