The verse vocal melody to Taylor Swift's chart-topping single Style (released January 27, 2015) from her 1989 album, closely resembles the chorus vocal melody to Emeli Sande's top-40 single My Kind of Love (released June 8, 2012).
DNCE's song Cake by the Ocean (released September 18, 2015) bears a strong resemblance to several songs including Donna Summer's Bad Girls, Falco's/After The Fire's Der Kommissar, and particularly Cake's Never There (released October 13, 1998). DNCE's Joe Jonas has suggested that the title resulted from a mistranslation of "sex on the beach" by a Swedish producer (perhaps it's a thinly veiled referenced to the song's true lineage). Cake by the Ocean and Never There share the same key (E minor), basic verse chord progression (Emin-Amin-B7sus4-B7), and production/arrangement (single lead guitar riff outlining the chord changes).
Taylor Swift’s Style (released February 9, 2015) is reminiscent of several songs including:
Jealous by Nick Jonas (released September 8, 2014, which itself emulates Prince's Little Red Corvette and Miguel’s Adorn; nevermind that Adorn, released August 7, 2012, emulates Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing). Style has the same key (B minor/D), similar chord progression, tempo (95 bpm vs 93 bpm), and production as Jealous.
Style (:19) VS Jealous (:10)
Key: B minor/D major
Chord Progression (Verse): B minor, G (i, VI OR vi, IV)
Key: B minor/D major
Chord Progression (Verse): A, B minor, G (VII, i, VI ORV, vi, IV)
Hurts my brain to think about all of the songs referenced by Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars (released November 10, 2014). I think this excerpt from Wikipedia, says it best:
According to Billboard 's author, Sean Ross, the song is widely influenced by funk artists and their songs, including James Brown's "Living in America", Stevie Wonder 's "Superstition", Zapp's "More Bounce to the Ounce", One Way's "Cutie Pie", The Gap Band's "Oops Up Side Your Head", Earth, Wind & Fire's "Getaway", The Sequence's "Funk You Up", The Sugarhill Gang's "Apache", George Kranz's "Trommeltanz (Din Daa Daa)" and The Time's "Cool" though more likely this comes from The Time's hit "Jungle Love". The only song on "Uptown Funk" specifically credited is the 2012 top 10 R&B and rap hit Trinidad James' "All Gold Everything" (which gives the song its "don't believe me, just watch" chant).
Nicely done Mr. Ross.
To the aforementioned list, I would add:
Kool and The Gang's Ladies Night and Hollywood Swinging
Duran Duran's Notorious
While Ed Sheeran readily acknowledges the influence of Justin Timberlake on his sophomore album, x, the lead single Sing (released April 7, 2014) references several classic songs including Mick Jones' guitar rhythm from The Clash's This Is Radio Clash (released November 20, 1981), the bass/groove from Rick James' Give It to Me Baby (February 20, 1981), falsetto harmony from the Rolling Stones' Miss You (released May 10, 1978), chorus melody from Rod Stewart's Do Ya Think I'm Sexy (released November 10, 1978), and verse melody from Sisqo's Thong Song (January 4, 2000).
The chorus vocal melody to Paramore's funk-pop track Ain't It Fun (released February 4, 2014) is similar to the chorus vocal melody to Swing Out Sister's late '80s hit Breakout (released October 3, 1986). Both chorus vocal melodies are built on major pentatonic scales with common notes (AIF in E major pentatonic: E F# G# B C; and Breakout in A major pentatonic: A B C# E F#). Compare the lines: AIF ("Ain't it fun, liv-in' in the real world" B-C#-E-B-B-G#-F#-E, with Breakout ("Don't start to ask, and now you've found a way to make it last" C#-E-F#-B-B-E-F#-G#-B-G#-A-G#-E-E)