"Unchain My Heart" is a song written by Bobby Sharp (1924-2013) and recorded first in 1961 by Ray Charles and in 1963 by Trini Lopez and later by many others. Sharp, a drug addict at the time, sold the song to Teddy Powell for $50. Powell demanded half the songwriting credit. Sharp later successfully fought for the rights to his song. In 1987, he was also able to renew the copyright for his publishing company, B. Sharp Music.
The track was further popularised by Joe Cocker when he named his 1987 album after the song. His version of the song was re-released in 1992 and reached #17 in the UK. In Australia, the Howard government controversially used the Joe Cocker version to promote the now-infamous television advertisements for the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2000. Cocker later stated that if he had known it was going to be used for political gain he would not have licensed it.
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