OneRepublic's Counting Stars (released June 14, 2013) earned the band it's second No. 1 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart (and frontman Ryan Tedder's third No. 1 in the format). Stars shares slight similarities with Madonna's disco throwback Hung Up (released October 18, 2005), including tempo (CS: 122 bpm VS HU: 125 bpm), chord progression (both move from i-III or minor root chords to thirds), basic structure (both use four-chord whole-note patterns), key (only a half-step apart, CS: C#minor VS HU: Dminor), and production (CS's synth lead melody/sound is reminiscent of HU's sample of the ABBA song Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight). Hung Up (:48) VS Counting Stars (:30)
Taylor Swift's single Sweeter Than Fiction (released October 21, 2013) and Orchestral Manoeuvres [sic] in the Dark's If You Leave (released April 28, 1986) share similar chorus melodies. Both songs were written specifically for films (IYL for Pretty in Pink, and STF for One Chance), and both songs modulate up a whole step for the chorus. In IYL (key: F major), starting with the chorus lines "I touch you once, I touch you twice" the melodic pattern is 5-2-3-1, while STF (key: B major) starting with the chorus lines "There you'll stand ten feet tall" follows a 2-3-1 melodic pattern. Likewise, both of those melodies emphasize eighth notes for the first beat of the measure, followed by an eight note rest and a long note for the second half of the second beat (e.g. touch-you-once, there-you'll-stand).
Bruno Mars' single Treasure (released May 10, 2013) bears some resemblance to Breakbot's Baby I'm Yours (released February 25, 2010). Similarities include: chord changes/progression (though the song keys are a whole step apart), BPM (116 vs 118), and production/arrangement. Also, check out George Duke's Reach Out, or Kool and the Gang's Steppin' Out and Take it to the Top for very similar vibes/production. [Thanks to Andrew Zucker for this comparison.]
Baby I'm Yours (:18) vs Treasure (:08).
The choruses to Imagine Dragons' song Demons (released October 22, 2013) and Madonna's hit Like a Prayer (March 3, 1989) have similar melodies (and lyrics). The opening line of LaP's chorus: "When you call my name" follows a 3-3-1-1-b7 melodic pattern, while the opening line of Demon's chorus: "When you feel my heart" follows a 3-3-5-1-b7 melodic pattern (only a single different interval, and two different words). Likewise, both melodies are sung over a I-V (or major 1-5) chord progression. LaP (key: F# major) follows a I-V-IV-I-V (or 1-5-4-1-5) progression and Demons (key: Eb major) follows a I-V-vi-IV (or 1-5-minor6-4) progression.
Honorable mention goes to the chorus to Crowded House's 1991 single Fall at Your Feet (:42), as Demons shares the same key (Eb) and exact (common) chord progression (I-V-vi-IV or 1-5-minor6-4), though melodies and tempos are distinct.
Check out the opening line of each chorus:
Like a Prayer (:42) vs Demons (:56)
The chorus to Lady Gaga's (Mother Monster's) dance/electronic chart-topper Applause (released August 12, 2013) bears some structural and lyrical resemblance to Vicki Sue Robinson's signature disco hit Turn The Beat Around (released 1976). Both songs have an identical descending minor chord progressions (I - Flat VII - VI or 1-b7-6) followed by ascension through the same chords. Turn The Beat Around starts in the key of F# minor, but modulates to G minor, the same key as Applause, and both songs cycle through the following progression: Gmin-Fmaj-Ebmaj-Ebmaj-Fmaj-Gmin. Turn the Beat Around is slightly slower than Applause (133 bpm versus 139 bpm). Compare TTBA (around 4:26, with the lines "Turn the beat around. Love to hear percussion.") and Applause (around :55, "Give me the thing that I love. I'll turn the lights out").
British singer-songwriter Jessie J released her track Price Tag on January 28, 2011. Artist and actress Miley Cyrus released her track We Can't Stop on June 3, 2013. The two previously collaborated on Miley's hit Party in the U.S.A., which Jessie co-wrote with Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly. We Can't Stop (at 80 bpm) and Price Tag (at 93 bpm) have the exact same 1-3-6-4 chord progression only a half-step apart (WCS in the key of E major: E major, G# minor, C# minor, A major; and PT in the key of F major: F major, A minor, D minor, Bb major). Compare Price Tag (:16) to We Can't Stop (:11).
Danish singer-songwriter Karen Marie Ørsted better known as MØ, officially released her track Pilgrim in March 2013, the same month as Lorde's Royals. However, Pitchfork writer Larry Fitzmaurice reviewed Mo's track the previous October. The two songs share a drumbeat, handclap/fingersnaps on the second and fourth beats and feature raw female vocals. The similarities seem to end there.
New Zealand singer-songwriter Ella Yelich-O'Connor, known by her stage name Lorde, was signed to a record deal at the tender age of 13. Her hit Royals, which she released in March 2013, has topped the US and NZ charts. Royals' chorus (in the key of D major, and at 84 bpm) bears some resemblance to the chorus of George Michael's 1990 hit Freedom '90 (a whole step lower--in the key of C major--and slightly faster at 91 bpm). Both choruses feature a familiar 1-b7-4 chord progression (found in multiple songs like Sweet Home Alabama, Jet Airliner, Taking Care of Business), and rhythmically the drums and bass emphasize the first beat and second eighth note of the second beat. Listen to both choruses: Royals (around :48) and Freedom '90 (around 1:55).
Other songs similar to Royals:
Royals' verse melody ("[...] diamond in the flesh") is reminiscent of the Champs 1958 classic--and Pee Wee Herman favorite--Tequila. While Royals is slower and more sparse than Tequila (in the key of F major and at 90 bpm), both melodies begin prior to the downbeat with the fifth degree of the scale, then move to the tonic, then the flatted seventh. Listen to Tequila (sax line around :21).
Royals' pre-chorus (:26), where Lorde sings ("But every songs like gold tooth, grey goose, trippin' in the bathroom [...]") and the b-section in Supertramp's Dreamer (2:20), where Rodger Hodgson sings "Take a dream on a Sunday, take a life, take a holiday" have similar melodic/harmonic structure.
Troublemaker (featuring Flo Rida) is a dance/pop track from the English singer-songwriter and X Factor runner-up, Olly Murs. The song's chorus (starting around :37, with the lines "Why does it feel so good, but hurt so bad?") bears a strong resemblance to the chorus of Maroon 5's Misery (starting around :35 with the line "I am in misery"), which was released in June 2010. Ironically, the chorus of Misery bears a strong resemblance to the chorus of Britney Spears' 1999 single (You Drive Me) Crazy. For music theorists: Troublemaker and Misery share a common chord progression known as the circle progression (in this case vi-ii-V-I or 6-2-5-1), which can even be found in works by Bach and Mozart.