Taylor Swift is standing behind her work after another group accused her of copying her song in their 2014 hit “Shake It Off.”
R&B girl group 3LW first sued Swift in 2017, saying the superstar stole the chorus from “Playas Gon’ Play” without permission. “Playas Gon’ Play” repeats a hook from “Playas, they gonna play / and haters, they gonna hate,” while Swift’s hook from “Shake It Off” repeats “Cause the player gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters will hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”
A judge threw out the case in 2018, saying 3LW’s chorus was too unoriginal to protect. The following year, however, an appeals court reinstated the lawsuit and set the stage for a jury trial at a date to be determined.
In a new document presented to U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald in Los Angeles on Monday, Swift outlined the meaning of her song “Shake It Off” and reiterated that she wrote the song herself and with no outside influence.
“The lyrics to ‘Shake It Off’ were written entirely by me,” Swift wrote. “’Shake It Off’ is about independence and ‘shaking off’ negative personal criticism through music and dance. In writing the lyrics, I drew in part on experiences in my life, and particularly on relentless public scrutiny of my personal life, “clickbait” reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism that I learned I just had to shake off and myself focus on my music.
“The lyrics to ‘Shake It Off’ are also based on commonly used phrases and comments that I’ve heard throughout my life,” she continued. “Before I wrote ‘Shake It Off,’ I had heard the phrases ‘players will play’ and ‘haters will hate’ countless times to convey the idea that negativity can or should be shaken off.”
Swift went on to say she had never heard of the song or group on the radio, on TV, in movies, or anywhere else. Notably, two of the three 3LW members – Kiely Williams and Adrienne Bailon – starred in The Cheetah Girls series of Disney Channel Original Movies, which ended in 2008 with a third installment. Naturi Naughton (“Queens”) was part of the original trio and was succeeded by Jessica Benson.
“The first time I heard the song was after the claim was made,” Swift wrote. “I’ve never seen a ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ music video, never been to a concert where 3LW performed, and never been to a concert where the song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ was performed.”
Of course, Swift previously had to defend her pen after Gorillaz co-founder Damon Albarn said in an interview with the LA Times that she “doesn’t write her own songs.”
“I was such a huge fan of yours until I saw this,” Swift tweeted about Albarn. “I write ALL my own songs. Your hot attitude is totally wrong and SO harmful. You don’t have to like my songs, but trying to discredit my writing really sucks. IMPRESSIVE.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2022-08-09/taylor-swift-distances-herself-from-3lw-after-group-accuses-her-of-stealing-t Taylor Swift shoots down claims that she ripped off 3LW’s song