In music, there's a fine line between paying homage and stealing a sound -- and many famous artists have crossed it.

Rock’s history is littered with instances of bands ripping off concepts from fellow musicians. In some cases, it was a riff, a melody or maybe a specific instrumental part. In others, artists have pilfered lyrics or entire tunes from other acts.

As you’d expect, accusations of plagiarism are usually met with denial. Many rockers have gone to court to protect their reputation, insisting that any similarities between their songs and others' work were completely coincidental.

But what about rock stars who’ve come right out and admitted to borrowing from other artists? Turns out, plenty of hugely successful musicians have done just that.

READ MORE: Classic Rock Artists Who (Allegedly) Ripped Somebody Off

“What do they say? ‘A good artist borrows, a great artist steals’ – or something like that,” Paul McCartney explained to Guitar Player in 1990. “That makes the Beatles great artists because we stole a lot of stuff.”

Indeed, McCartney's famous former band is just one of the acts featured on our list of 15 Rock Stars Who Admitted to Ripping Off Other Artists. So are many other legendary groups, including Led ZeppelinMetallica and Nirvana.

In many cases, musicians "borrowed" concepts from their influences, like Brian Wilson who based a Beach Boys' hit on a tune previously created by Chuck Berry. Still, other entries on our list are far more unexpected -- like the band who ripped off a famous commercial jingle, or the group who pilfered part of a nursery rhyme for their global hit. These stories and more can be found below.

Rock Stars Who Admitted to Ripping Off Other Artists

Gallery Credit: Corey Irwin

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