Freak like Me

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This article is about the Adina Howard song. For the book, see Jim Rose Circus § Publications. For the Halestorm song, see Freak Like Me (Halestorm song).
"Freak Like Me"
Standard artwork (U.S. CD maxi-single pictured)
Single by Adina Howard
from the album Do You Wanna Ride?
Released January 25, 1995
Format CD single, vinyl single
Genre R&B, hip hop soul
Length 4:13
Label East West, Lola Waxx
Writer(s) Eugene Hanes, Marc Valentine, William 'Bootsy' Collins, George Clinton, Jr.
Producer(s) Mass Order
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Adina Howard singles chronology
"Freak like Me"
"My Up and Down"
Do You Wanna Ride? track listing
"You Got Me Humpin'"
"Freak like Me"
"If We Make Love Tonight"

"Freak Like Me" is the debut single by American R&B singer Adina Howard. It was released on January 25, 1995 as the lead single from her debut album Do You Wanna Ride?. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks behind "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan and was certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of one million copies.[1][2]

The song's drum beat is sampled from Sly & the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song".[3] The song also samples "I'd Rather Be with You" by Bootsy's Rubber Band.[4]

Music video[edit]

The original music video was directed by Hype Williams.[citation needed]

Official versions[edit]

  • "Freak Like Me" (LP version) – 4:13
  • "Freak Like Me" (radio version) – 4:04
  • "Freak Like Me" (a cappella) – 2:35
  • "Freak Like Me" (instrumental) – 4:10
  • "Freak Like Me" (dub instrumental) – 4:12
  • "Freak Like Me" (remix featuring rap by Inspector Rick) – 4:17
  • "Freak Like Me" (remix without rap) – 4:06

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Freak Like Me" (radio version) – 4:04
  2. "Freak Like Me" (remix featuring rap by Inspector Rick) – 4:17
  3. "Freak Like Me" (dub instrumental) – 4:12
  4. "Freak Like Me" (remix without rap) – 4:06
  5. "Freak Like Me" (instrumental) – 4:10
  6. "Freak Like Me" (a cappella) – 2:35


Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy version[edit]

"Freak Like Me"
Single by Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy
Released August 28, 2000
Format CD single, 12" single
Genre UK garage
Length 4:49
Label Positiva
Writer(s) William Collins, Eugene Hanes, Gary Lee Cooper, George Clinton, Loren Hill, Marc Valentine
Producer(s) Andrew Hunter, George Demetriou, Ian McKenzie, Maxim Elmaki, Nial Montgomery

In 2000, a collaboration between two UK garage groups, Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy, released a cover version of "Freak Like Me". English singer Imaani provided vocals on the song. This version reached number 12 on the UK Singles Chart.[6]

CD and 12" formats include remixes by Wideboys and Dome.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD maxi-single
  1. "Freak Like Me" (radio edit) – 3:21
  2. "Freak Like Me" (original mix) – 4:49
  3. "Freak Like Me" (Wideboys Vocal Mix) – 5:01
  4. "Freak Like Me" (Dome's Freaky Deaky Mix) – 5:59
UK 12" vinyl
A1. "Freak Like Me" (original mix) – 4:49
A2. "Freak Like Me" (Wideboys Dub) – 4:35
B1. "Freak Like Me" (Vocal Remix) – 5:10
B2. "Freak Like Me" (Freaky Deaky Mix) – 5:10


Chart (2000) Peak
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[7] 31
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 12

Sugababes version[edit]

"Freak Like Me"
Single by Sugababes
from the album Angels with Dirty Faces
B-side "Breathe Easy"
Released April 22, 2002
Format CD single, Cassette single, vinyl single, digital download
Recorded London, England
Genre Electronica, R&B
Length 3:14
Label Island
Writer(s) Eugene Hanes, Marc Valentine, Loren Hill, William Collins, George Clinton, Gary Numan
Producer(s) Richard X
Certification Silver (BPI)
Sugababes singles chronology
"Soul Sound"
"Freak like Me"
"Round Round"
Overloaded: The Singles Collection track listing
"Freak like Me"
"Round Round"

In 2002, English girl group Sugababes recorded a cover of "Freak Like Me". It was released on 22 April 2002 as the lead single from their second studio album, Angels with Dirty Faces (2002). The song also appears on Richard X's album, Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1 (2003). "Freak like Me" was the first Sugababes single to feature Heidi Range, who joined after the departure of Siobhán Donaghy in June 2001.

This version of the song uses the backing track of a 2001 bootleg mash-up by English producer Richard X, titled "We Don't Give a Damn About Our Friends", which he created under the alias "Girls on Top".[9] The Sugababes version of the song, itself a new version of "We Don't Give a Damn About Our Friends", was sampled from Gary Numan and the Tubeway Army's "Are 'Friends' Electric?" and used the radio edit lyrics of Howard's song ("brotha" is used instead of "nigga"). Numan was now credited as a co-writer of the song. Richard X produced the mash-up without the permission of the copyright holders of the songs by Adina Howard or Tubeway Army, but it became a successful underground dance track. After failing to gain permission to use Howard's vocals for a commercial release, the Sugababes were chosen by Richard X to re-record them.

The sound effect featured at the beginning of the song is the coin-insert tone from the popular 1981 video game Frogger. (The sound was also used to begin the song "Froggy's Lament", about the video game itself, on Buckner & Garcia's album Pac-Man Fever.)

The song received rave reviews from music critics. It was released as the first single from the album, in the spring of 2002 and reached number one in the United Kingdom (where it sold over 275,000 copies), number two in Ireland, and number four in Norway.

Critical reception[edit]

In 2012, The Guardian named "Freak like Me" as the best number-one single of 2002.[10] NME complimented the track as "genius" and claimed, "if this gets to number one, we'll be grinning all summer. Yes, even the Critics."[11]

Chart performance[edit]

On April 22, 2002, "Freak like Me" was released in the United Kingdom. The song became Sugababes' first number-one single when it debuted at number one in the UK Singles Chart, remaining in the top ten for four weeks. It remains one of the best selling singles released by the group, selling over 275,000 copies since its release and being certified Silver.

Outside of the United Kingdom, the song was also successful. While it reached the top ten in Ireland, Norway and Belgium, the song entered the top 30 of most of the charts it appeared on. In Australia, "Freak like Me" became the fourth single by Sugababes to make the singles chart, reaching number 44. It would be their lowest-charting single in Australia until the release of "Shape" in 2003.

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Dawn Shadforth and Sophie Muller and was filmed in London.[citation needed] It uses the We Don't Give a Damn Mix of the song, which is more faithful to the original mash-up. The video is set in a strange nightclub, and acts as an introduction for the recent addition of Heidi Range. It begins outside the nightclub with a man tumbling down the stairs, with Keisha Buchanan in a long coat, seen only from below the knee, walking out of a door, over the man's body and up the stairs. Mutya Buena is seen standing on the stairs facing the direction where the man is lying. Inside, they spot Range dancing and flirting with many guys. They both quickly clash with her, and a fight between them ensues, which ends with Range falling to the floor unconscious. A man tries to help her up, but Buena grabs him by the neck and throws him away from her. Range wakes up again soon after, and stumbles out of the club with another man, where they begin to kiss, until she suddenly bites hard into his arm. Meanwhile, Buchanan takes a man outside, and she leads him into a dark alley, where they flirt briefly, before she scares him away. Buena then goes outside as well, and overpowers a man who towers over her. The music video ends with Buchanan and Buena accepting Range into the group, and dancing into the night. The demonstrations of supernatural strength shown throughout the video and Range biting the man on the arm are generally understood to imply that the women are, as the song suggests, vampire-like "freaks". Julian Morris stars in the music video as one of the boys running from Buena.

Track listing[edit]

  • UK CD1
  1. "Freak Like Me" (radio edit) – 3:14
  2. "Freak Like Me" (We Don't Give a Damn Mix) – 3:39
  3. "Breathe Easy" – 4:09
  4. "Freak Like Me" (video) – 3:39
  • UK CD2 (Later withdrawn due to manufacturing error)[12]
  1. "Freak Like Me" (radio edit) – 3:14
  2. "Freak Like Me" (Different Gear Mix) – 8:14
  3. "Freak Like Me" (Capoeira Twins Mix) – 5:33
  4. "Freak Like Me" (Jameson Mix) – 5:46
  • UK Cassette
  1. "Freak Like Me" (radio edit) – 3:14
  2. "Freak Like Me" (We Don't Give a Damn Mix) – 3:39
  3. "Freak Like Me" (Jameson Mix) – 5:46

Charts and certifications[edit]


In popular culture[edit]

In The Story of Tracy Beaker episode "Music", Adele is singing part of the first verse of Freak Like Me in her bedroom when Tracy approaches her and compliments her voice and asks if she could also be in the band Adele is auditioning for.

The song was used in the PlayStation game Dancing Stage Fusion.[citation needed]

In honor of the song's 20th anniversary, a documentary focusing on its (and singer Adina Howard)'s impact was released titled Adina Howard 20: A Story of Sexual Liberation.[29] It received a nomination for "Outstanding Independent Documentary" at the 2016 Black Reel Awards.

Rapper Pitbull sampled the song on his 2015 single "FREE.K" off his album Climate Change.[30]

Singers Chris Brown and Teyana Taylor sampled the song on their forthcoming release "Own It" which is set to premiere in 2016.[31]

DJs R3hab and Quintino sampled the song on their single "Freak" which premiered in March 2016.[32]


  1. ^ "American certifications – Howard, Adina – Freak Like Me". Recording Industry Association of America. 
  2. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1995". Billboard. BPI Communications. 108 (3): 56. January 20, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Adina Howard's Freak Like Me sample of Sly & the Family Stone's Sing a Simple Song - WhoSampled". WhoSampled. 
  4. ^ "Adina Howard's Freak Like Me sample of Bootsy's Rubber". Who Sampled. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1995". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  6. ^ "Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  7. ^ "Archive Chart: 2000-09-03". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  8. ^ "Archive Chart: 2000-09-03" UK Singles Chart.
  9. ^ "Girls On Top - We Don't Give A Damn About Our Friends / Warm Bitch". Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  10. ^ "The best No 1 records: Sugababes - Freak Like Me". The Guardian. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Sugababes - Freak Like Me". NME. 16 April 2002. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Freak Like Me [CD 2]: Music
  13. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  14. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  15. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  16. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  17. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Tracklisten. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  18. ^ " – Sugababes Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  19. ^ "Chart Track: Week 39, 2002". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  20. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  21. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  22. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  23. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  24. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  25. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  26. ^ "Sugababes: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  27. ^ "British single certifications – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Freak Like Me in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  28. ^ Myers, Justin (28 April 2016). "This week in 2002: Sugababes score their first Number 1 with Freak Like Me". Official Charts. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^

External links[edit]