Kungs vs Cookin' on 3 Burners song This Girl (released February 19, 2016, which is a remix of the latter's original version) resembles several earlier soul/pop tracks including The Style Council's My Ever Changing Moods (released 1984), Classics IV's songs Spooky (released October 1967, and covered by related group Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1979) and Stormy (released 1968), and even Electric Light Orchestra's Evil Woman (released October 1975).
The pre-chorus to Walk the Moon's Shut Up and Dance (released September 10, 2014) shares a similar rhythm and structure as the verse to Cartel's Honestly (released 2006). Both songs are in the key of C# major.
Shut Up and Dance (:58) VS Honestly (:05)
Shut Up and Dance
Key: C# major
Chord Progression (pre-chorus):
C#/F, C#/F, F#, F#,
C#, C#, G#/C, G#/C,
G#, G#, F#
Key: C# major
Chord Progression (verse - second half):
F#, F#, G#, G#
C#, C#, G#/C, G#/C
C#, G#/C, C
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
Ed Sheeran's single Thinking Out Loud (released August 14, 2014) resembles several songs, in terms of chord progression/rhythm guitar part, and melody, including John Mayer's Waiting on the World to Change (released August 1, 2006), John Hiatt's Have a Little Faith in Me (released May 29, 1987), All-4-One's I Can Love You Like That (released 1995), Marvin Gaye's soul/funk classic Let's Get It On (released June 15, 1973), Van Morrison's romantic ballad Crazy Love (released 1970), and Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions gospel/soul classic People Get Ready (released 1965) to which Waiting on the World also owes a debt. Also, the vocal melody to TOL's pre-chorus is similar to a vocal melody in the chorus of Avril Lavigne's My Happy Ending (released July 7, 2004). Compare: TOL's "people fall in love in mysterious ways maybe it's all part of a plan" with MHE's "all this time you were pretending, so much for my happy ending"). Honorable mention to Gregory Abbott's Shake You Down (released September 29, 1986), Extreme's More Than Words (released March 23, 1991), Steely Dan's Hey Nineteen (November 1980) and Paul McCartney and Wings' With a Little Luck (March 20, 1978) .
Thinking Out Loud
Key: D major
Chord Progression (Verse/Chorus):
D, D/F#, G, A (or I, I/III, IV, V)
Waiting on the World to Change
Key: D major
Chord Progression (Verse/Chorus - rhythm/guitar part):
D, B minor, G, D (or I, vi, IV, I)
A, B minor, G, D (or V, vi, IV, I)
The rhythm guitar part to Maroon 5's song Maps (released June 16, 2014) closely resembles the rhythm guitar part to Nico & Vinz's Am I Wrong (released April 12, 2013). Maps's guitar follows a IV-V-vi (or 4-5-minor 6) chord progression in the key of E, while AIW's guitar follows a vi-IV-ii-V (or minor 6-4-minor 2-5) chord progression in the key of Eb (only a half-step apart), and both parts have a pattern that emphasizes the third eighth note of each chord change (one-and-TWO, and-three-AND). Both songs seem heavily inspired by the ska work of the Police (you can also add Bruno Mars' Locked Out of Heaven to the list), and Maps' pre-chorus ("I was there for you in your darkest times") is particularly reminiscent of "Can't Stand Losing You."
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 (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).