From Beyoncé to Sandman – Six Famous Leaks That Have Rocked the Internet in Recent Years | Ents & Arts News

The rise of the internet has put musicians, writers, and filmmakers at increased risk of a “leak culture”.

Getting unpublished material illegally and posting it online can not only sabotage the artist – but also make money for those responsible as their unofficial accounts are gaining traction on streaming platforms.

This week, it was a series of screenshots from the upcoming Grand Theft Auto VI video game Posted in online message forum By a hacker who also claimed to be behind a recent cyber attack on Uber.

It saw the share price of parent company Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar Games, which created GTA, drop 3.8% and have been described as a “PR disaster.”

Here, Sky News looks at other notable leaks over the past 20 years.


Beyoncé’s seventh album, Renaissance, was leaked 36 hours before its scheduled release at midnight on July 29 this year.

The singer had already teased the artwork, full song list, and Break My Soul singles to add to the anticipation of her first record in six years.

But when “high-quality flack files that definitely look like an album” were reported to have appeared on Spotify and Apple Music by Variety the day before, fans weren’t elated — but outraged.

Several members of the so-called “Beehive”, Beyoncé’s fan base, have urged others not to listen to the illicit files and accused those who do of not being true fans.

Unconfirmed photos have also appeared on social media from European countries, such as France and the Netherlands, on physical copies of the album that were sold before the official release.

When she was finally dropped, Beyoncé released a statement to thank her fans for their “steadfast support” and “patience.”

“So, the album leaked,” she wrote. “And you all actually waited until the proper release time so you could enjoy it together.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before. I can’t thank you all enough for your love and protection.”

She added that she was grateful to the fans “who are calling out to anyone trying to sneak into the club early.”

Writing during the coronavirus pandemic, she previously said the album “offered her a place to dream and seek sanctuary during a frightening time for the world,” adding that it was “a safe place, a place without judgment.”

Madonna, rebellious heart


Madonna’s thirteenth studio album, Rebel Heart, was scheduled for release in the spring of 2015, with the single, Living for Love, appearing on Valentine’s Day that year.

But two clips from the album appeared on the Internet on November 28, 2014, and another 13 clips on December 17.

Instead of waiting for a planned release date, three days after the second leak, Madonna made the album available for pre-order on iTunes, with those who signed up for free to listen to six of the leaked tracks.

Living for Love was also released on December 20.

“I’d rather fans hear completed versions of some songs than unfinished tracks circulating,” she said at the time, adding that it was an “early birthday present.”

A month later, an Israeli infiltrator named Adi Lederman was arrested after a joint investigation by the FBI and the Israel Police.

He was subsequently imprisoned for 14 months on charges of trespassing, copyright infringement, prohibited secret surveillance and investigative instructions.

Madonna later described the experience as an “artistic rape” and “a form of terror”.


Neil Gaiman

Not all leaks are carried out by hackers.

This movie was staged from the inside in a successful attempt to ensure that the movie was never made.

In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, The Sandman author Neil Gaiman claimed to have sent a script for his DC Comics adaptation by Jon Peters — the producer behind A Star Is Born and Wild Wild West.

He said the script was so bad, that he anonymously sent it to Ain’t It Cool News, where it got such poor reviews for the project.

Gaiman said, “I didn’t read the whole text, [but] I have read as much of the text as possible.

“It was a mess. It wasn’t better than a mess.

I said: There was nothing I liked there. There was nothing I liked. It was the worst text I had ever read by anyone.

“It’s not just Sandman’s worst-case scenario. It was the worst-case scenario I’ve ever sent.”

The recently critically acclaimed 1989-1996 comic was recently adapted for a Netflix show featuring Tom Sturridge, Boyd Holbrook, and Jenna Coleman.

J.K. Rowling, Cuckoo’s Call

J.K. Rowling

Six years after releasing her final Harry Potter novel, J.K. Rowling has published the crime fiction novel The Cuckoo’s Calling.

But unlike her first non-Harry Potter edition, The Casual Vacancy the previous year, she published it under a pseudonym.

Describing the decision in a Q&A, she said, “I longed to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and receive a wholly incongruous feedback.”

As for the choice of name, she told The Wall Street Journal, “I chose Robert because he’s one of the men’s favorite names, because Robert F. Kennedy is my hero, and fortunately, I haven’t used him for any of the characters in the Potter series or The Casual Vacancy.”

But shortly after Rowling’s release, the writer’s role was revealed in an article in the Sunday Times.

Chris Jussig, a partner at Russels Solicitors, claimed he believed he was telling his friend Judith Caligari Rowling that she had authored the book “in the confidence of someone I trust implicitly.”

But it was later revealed that Ms Caligari gave the information to a journalist on Twitter.

The writer said she was “appalled and saddened by such a fundamental betrayal of trust” and took the couple to court.

They agreed to pay her legal costs and reparations fees, which Rowling donated to the Soldiers’ Charitable Society that helped her with her research.

Although it left the writer furious, the leak sent the book up over 5,000 places on the Amazon sales list in just a few hours.

P **** pamper

Young Nodi performing at Lollapalooza Music Festival

Hackers’ use of streaming services has allowed them to derive thousands of royalties from other people’s music.

A notable example is the unreleased song P**** Pamper, better known as Kid Cudi, by American rappers Young Nudy and Playboi Carti and record producer Pi’erre Bourne.

In April 2019, an unofficial version of the song, featuring only Playboi Carti’s poetry, was uploaded to Spotify by an account called Lil Kambo, which later turned out to be the work of a high school student.

Lil Kambo posted the song on his Reddit account, which after Playboy Carti performed his hair at Coachella 2019, meant it climbed to the top of the US Viral 50 chart that year with over two million streams.

In an interview with Genius, Lil Kambo explained that he used a sample song he found on YouTube.

“I first created my Spotify account to post songs that are not already on Spotify.

Before the song was released, there was a snippet on YouTube and it looked like it would be a hit if released.

“I posted it on my channel without even thinking about its size.”

Despite the song’s removal, it continued to be uploaded to the streaming platform in various forms, by accounts including YungGen and King Zay, each time climbing the charts and earning user rights.

Lil Wayne, The Leak

Pic: Walik/Goshorn/MediaPunch/IPX
Pic: Walik/Goshorn/MediaPunch/IPX

In 2007, Lil Wayne fans were widely anticipating the third installment of his Tha Carter series when five of the songs scheduled to be shown on her were leaked online.

The rapper decided not to bow to pressure and release the full album early – instead pushing Tha Carter III further back.

Then he released a separate EP for the leaked songs – giving it The Leak.

The album cover also made a humorous reference to the anonymous hack, with the tagline “Lil Wayne Approved”.

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Commenting at the time, he said, “We have to know exactly what’s out there.

“I’ll probably probably do all the songs floating around and make my own tape called The Leak because people really want the music.”

Although some have argued that the leaked songs were of questionable quality, the surprise EP undoubtedly helped fuel the hype around Tha Carter III, which was finally released in 2008, with The Leak available as a bonus disc in the deluxe version.

It became one of the most popular albums of the year.