As the litigation continues, Taylor Swift is finally speaking out in light of the plagiarism accusations. Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, the songwriters behind girl group 3LW’s single “Playas Gon’ Play,” originally filed a copyright lawsuit against Swift in 2017. The lawsuit claims that Swift stole the song’s lyrics to create “Shake it Off”, the lead. single from her 1989 album, released in 2014.
In a sworn statement obtained by BillboardSwift says she had “never heard of [“Playas Gon’ Play”] or the 3LW group” until the complaint is filed. “I listened almost exclusively to country music,” Swift says of her upbringing in the deposition. “My parents limited what I could watch and listen to and didn’t allow me to watch TRL until I was around 13.”
Swift also claims that the lyrics to “Shake it Off” were written “entirely” by her and were taken from “commonly used phrases and comments” the singer has heard throughout her life. “I had heard the phrases ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ uttered countless times to convey the idea that negativity can or should be ignored,” she said in her statement.
Although new developments in the case are making headlines, this isn’t the first time that fans have taken to social media about the alleged similarities between the two leads.
“3LW deserves a Nobel Prize for bringing ‘Players Gon Play’ to the world in 2000 because we wouldn’t have ‘Shake it Off’ without it,” a fan tweeted in 2015.
“Taylor Swift should pay royalties to 3LW for ‘Shake it Off’,” another music fan tweeted on Twitter in 2015.[Because] we already knew haters would hate and gamers would play.
Adrienne Houghton, who was a founding member of 3LW, said on talk show “The Real” in 2017 that she thought the similarity between the two songs was “dope.” Although Houghton isn’t involved in the lawsuit (nor are former 3LW members Naturi Naughton or Kiely Williams), she admitted she “don’t know” if Swift actually stole the lyrics, but she’s “interested in how it’s all going.”
There seems to have been more discussion about copyright and royalty disputes lately. Bad Bunny made headlines in March when it was revealed that the rapper Missy Elliott was getting most of the royalties for ‘Safaera’ after sampling his 2001 hit “Get Ur Freak On”. Earlier this summer, Mariah Carey was served with a a lawsuit alleging his hit ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ infringed copyright.
While it’s hard to predict the outcome of cases like these, at least Swift can rest assured that she’s not the only one facing these sorts of legal issues.