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Cornell to Cook: "Billie Jean" Is Not Yours, Son!

4/1/2008 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Chris Cornell wants everyone to know that he really liked David Cook's rendition of "Billie Jean" on "Idol" last week -- because he did it first!

In an interview on Billboard.com, Cornell admits Cook "sang it great," but adds, "it was literally a note-for-note take on what I came up with." Step off, wannabe!

While Ryan Seacrest did give Cornell credit for the innovative cover on the show, Cook's imitation has Chris singing all the way to the bank -- Cornell's "Billie Jean" has jumped to #12 on iTunes. Sing copycats, sing!

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