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"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, as well as number two on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart for four weeks, behind "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan in both cases, and was certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of one million copies.[2][3]

"Freak Like Me"
Freak Like Me.jpg
Standard artwork (US CD maxi-single pictured)
Single by Adina Howard
from the album Do You Wanna Ride?
ReleasedJanuary 25, 1995
FormatCD single, vinyl single
GenreR&B, G-funk,[1] hip hop soul
LabelEast West, Lola Waxx
Songwriter(s)Eugene Hanes, Marc Valentine, William 'Bootsy' Collins, George Clinton, Jr.
Producer(s)Mass Order
Adina Howard singles chronology
"Freak Like Me"
"My Up and Down"

Content and sourcesEdit

The song's drum beat is sampled from Sly & the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song".[4] The song also samples "I'd Rather Be with You" by Bootsy's Rubber Band.[5] Hence, Eugene Hanes, Marc Valentine, William "Bootsy" Collins, and George Clinton's son George Jr. (the last of whom died in 2010) are credited as joint authors and composers.

Music videoEdit

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

Official versionsEdit

  • "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 listingEdit

  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 versionEdit

"Freak Like Me"
Single by Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy
Released28 August, 2000
FormatCD single, 12" single
GenreUK garage
Songwriter(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[7] and No. 1 on the UK Dance Singles Chart.

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

Track listingEdit

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)[8] 31
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 12
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[10] 1

Sugababes versionEdit

"Freak Like Me"
Single by Sugababes
from the album Angels with Dirty Faces
B-side"Breathe Easy"
Released22 April 2002
FormatCD single, cassette single, vinyl single, digital download
Recorded2002; London, England
Songwriter(s)Eugene Hanes, Marc Valentine, Loren Hill, William Collins, George Clinton, Gary Numan
Producer(s)Richard X
Sugababes singles chronology
"Soul Sound"
"Freak Like Me"
"Round Round"

In 2002, English girl group Sugababes recorded a cover of "Freak like Me". This version was conceived and produced by English producer Richard X. It uses as its backing track a sample of the 1979 song "Are "Friends" Electric?" by Gary Numan and Tubeway Army. In 2001, Richard X had created a bootleg mashup of the original recordings of "Freak Like Me" and "Are "Friends" Electric?", titled "We Don't Give a Damn About Our Friends", which he released under the alias "Girls on Top".[11] That song became a successful underground dance track. Richard X wanted to release the mashup commercially, but he could not get permission from Adina Howard to use her vocals, so he decided to re-record the vocals, enlisting the Sugababes to do so.

"Freak like Me" was released on 22 April 2002 as the lead single from their second studio album, Angels with Dirty Faces (2002). It was the first Sugababes single to feature Heidi Range, who joined after the departure of Siobhán Donaghy in June 2001. The Sugababes version of the song 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.

A remix of the song, billed as the "We Don't Give a Damn Mix" appears on Richard X's 2003 album Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1.

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.)

Critical receptionEdit

In 2012, The Guardian named "Freak like Me" as the best number-one single of 2002.[12] NME complimented the track as "genius" and claimed, "if this gets to number one, we'll be grinning all summer. Yes, even the Critics."[13] Billboard named the song #45 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.[14]

Numan considered the Sugababes version of "Freak like Me" to be better than "Are 'Friends' Electric?".[15]

Chart performanceEdit

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 videoEdit

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 listingEdit

  • 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)[16]
  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 certificationsEdit

In popular cultureEdit

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 the song's (and singer Adina Howard's) impact was released titled Adina Howard 20: A Story of Sexual Liberation.[39] It received a nomination for "Outstanding Independent Documentary" at the 2016 Black Reel Awards.


  1. ^ "The Best R&B Videos of the '90s". Complex.
  2. ^ "American certifications – Howard, Adina – Freak Like Me". Recording Industry Association of America.
  3. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1995". Billboard. BPI Communications. 108 (3): 56. January 20, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  4. ^ "Adina Howard's Freak Like Me sample of Sly & the Family Stone's Sing a Simple Song - WhoSampled". WhoSampled.
  5. ^ "Adina Howard's Freak Like Me sample of Bootsy's Rubber". Who Sampled. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1995". Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  7. ^ "Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  8. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  9. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  10. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  11. ^ "Girls On Top - We Don't Give A Damn About Our Friends / Warm Bitch". Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  12. ^ "The best No 1 records: Sugababes - Freak Like Me". The Guardian. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Sugababes - Freak Like Me". NME. 16 April 2002. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  14. ^ "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Gary Numan - Interview". Designer Magazine. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Freak Like Me". 22 April 2002 – via Amazon.
  17. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  18. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  19. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  20. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  21. ^ "Canadian Digital Song Sales". Billboard. July 11, 2003. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  22. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Tracklisten. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  23. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Chart Track: Week 39, 2002". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  25. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 26, 2002" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  27. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  28. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  29. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  30. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  31. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  32. ^ " – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  33. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  34. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  35. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2002" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  36. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart 2002" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  37. ^ Copsey, Rob (28 April 2017). "Official Chart Flashback 2002: Sugababes score their first Number 1". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  38. ^ "British single certifications – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Freak Like Me in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  39. ^ "Adina Howard 20: A Story of Sexual Liberation" – via

External linksEdit