In lockdown, we all need to come up with new ways to fill our time. And, eschewing the normal hobbies of “baking banana bread” or “snitching on your neighbours”, Pitbull has numbed the pain of going from Mr Worldwide to Mr Inside by officially copyrighting his “signature” yell: “EEEEEEEYOOOOOO”. Now, if you want to scream his trademarked grito, you’ll have to either pay him or ask him nicely. But which other celebs could copyright their most-used sound – and would they succeed?
Mariah Carey: the whistle-scream
Mariah Carey never misses a chance to remind us that she can – or could – sing in five octaves, and that’s why she rolls out that high-pitched whistle-scream that sounds as if it’s summoning dogs, or dolphins, at least once an album. Slapping a trademark on “singing extremely high” even though she didn’t actually invent it? Wouldn’t be the biggest diva move Mariah’s ever pulled.
Would it work? Well, there’s only one other person in pop that can sing that high. Basically what I’m saying is: Ariana Grande, see you in court.
Pusha T: the ‘yuugh’
A phrase only used by a) former Clipse rapper Pusha T and b) children spitting out whatever they’re eating, the “yuugh” is an over-the-top puking sound. Pusha has officially confirmed it’s spelt “yuugh”, and he knows because he writes down his ad-libs, apparently.
Would it work? Hopefully – it’s time we started fining fussy eaters and babies out of their pocket money.
Disturbed’s David Draiman: the ‘OOH-WAH-AH-AH-AH’
Like a nu-metal Pitbull, David Draiman screamed the terrifying, and memorable, intro to Disturbed’s Down With the Sickness back in 2000 and has been followed by crowds of fans yelling it at him, and asked about it in every interview he’s done, ever since.
Would it work? No. Judging by the karaoke attempts on YouTube, he’s the only one who can do it without sounding as if they’re having a medical emergency.
Rick Ross: the ‘ruhh’
Rick Ross has never really topped his 2006 hit Hustlin’, but he has managed to grunt as punctuation at the end of every lyric he’s ever rapped. You know the one: somewhere between a walrus snort and the sound your dad makes when he sits down.
Would it work? No. Moving house would be even more expensive than it already is – every time you’d pick up a heavy bit of furniture, you’d make the sound and owe Ricky Rozay £100.
Billie Eilish: the ‘duh!’
In the 90s, adding “duh” on to the end of your sentence was basically mandatory between the ages of 11 and 17. Everyone said it! But nobody trademarked it, duh! Enter: Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy, where you can practically HEAR her eye roll as she says it.
Would it work? Show us something Billie Eilish can’t succeed at, duh!