She is one of the most renowned songwriters in pop today but Taylor Swift has been accused of stealing the lyrics for her hit single Shake It Off. An r'n'b singer claims the Grammy-winner used some of the lyrics from a song he wrote in 2013 without permission and has filed a lawsuit suing Swift for $42m (£19.4m).
In the lawsuit, Jesse Braham, who uses the stage name Jesse Graham, alleges that Swift used lyrics from his song Haters Gone Hate for the chorus of Shake It Off, which was released in August 2014. Braham claims he owns the copyright for phrases including: "haters gone hate" and "playas gone play".
During the chorus of his song, Braham sings: "Haters gone hate, playas gone play/ Watch out for them fakers, they'll fake you everyday," while Swift sings on Shake It Off: "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play/ And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate... And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake." However, the songs share no similarities other than the specified lyrics.
Listen to Taylor Swift's Shake It Off:
Defending his argument, Braham told the NY Daily News: "Her hook is the same hook as mine. If I didn't write the song Haters Gone Hate, there wouldn't be a song called Shake It Off." Braham claims he only noticed the similarity between the lyrics several months ago when he saw Swift performing Shake It Off on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Since then, the r'n'b artist has contacted Swift's record labels Sony and Big Machine to demand monetary compensation and to be acknowledged as a writer of Shake It Off. According to the publication, Braham also wants to take a selfie picture with Swift however this was denied. Braham now states: "At first I was going to let it go, but this song is my song all the way."
According to the publication, Braham also plans on filing a lawsuit against CNN for the title of its morning show New Day. In reference to Braham's claims, a legal source has told Perez Hilton: "Mr Braham, who is representing himself, cannot claim copyright protection for the phrases "haters gone hater" and "playas gone play" because the Copyright Act does not protect short phrases and these phrases are not original to him. In addition, and most damning to Mr Braham's claim, the two songs have absolutely nothing in common."
Shake It Off has become one of Swift's biggest singles to date, soaring to number one and being certified platinum eight times. Explaining her inspiration behind the single, Swift told Good Morning America in August 2014: "The message in the song is a problem I think we all deal with and an issue we deal with on a daily basis.
"We don't live just in a celebrity takedown culture, we live in a takedown culture. People will find anything about you and twist it to where it's weird or wrong or annoying or strange or bad. You have to not only live your life in spite of people who don't understand you; you have to have more fun than they do."