The original production of Annie opened on Broadway in 1977, and it ran for a record setting six years. The musical is based on the long-running comic strip Little Orphan Annie, and it is set in New York City in 1933. The opening act features one of the plays most popular songs - Hard Knock Life. The song references the Chrysler Building which, at the period the play is set, had just lost the title of world's tallest building to The Empire State Building. On the song, the chorus is lead by Molly, the youngest orphan, played by Danielle Brisebois. Despite the huge popularity of the song, and the soundtrack, Brisebois never received any royalties - she had been paid a flat fee for performing the song in the musical. This left her feeling bitter, especially after Jay-Z sampled her vocals for his 2002 hit song Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem). At the time, it was Jay-Z's most commercially successful song, and it earned him a Grammy nomination. To clear the sample with composer Charles Strouse, Jay-Z had made up an elaborate story about seeing the play as a child, and writing a competition winning essay at his school. This clip is from the 1982 movie Annie, so it is not the recording that was sampled for Jay-Z's song.
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