Taylor Swift faces $59m suit for allegedly stealing lyrics from US singer

4 November 2015 / 11 months 3 weeks ago

The Straits Times
Nov 3, 2015

Pop star Taylor Swift is reportedly being sued for US$42 million (S$59 million) for allegedly stealing lyrics for her mega hit, Shake It Off, from her album 1989, released last year.

US R&B singer Jesse Braham, whose stage name is Jesse Graham, claims that Swift blatantly lifted the phrases "haters gone hate" and "playas gone play" from his 2013 track.

"Her hook is the same hook as mine," Braham told the New York Daily News. "If I didn't write the song Haters Gone Hate, there wouldn't be a song called Shake It Off."

The single by Swift has over 1.1 billion hits on YouTube to date. Braham said there was "no way" Swift could have penned the lyrics independently of his song and that he first noticed the similarities between both tracks when she performed the song on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

He is now seeking cash compensation after his initial requests to have a selfie with the pop star and to be credited as a writer of the track were rejected. 

This is the second legal case in the past week that involves Swift. Last week, the singer demanded that a radio host she accused of groping her be put on trial.

Her demand was part of a counterclaim to a lawsuit filed against her in September by David Mueller, who said he was fired because of false accusations that he groped her at a photo session.

The counterclaim filed by Swift's lawyers last week, as reported by the New York Daily News, said:

"Mueller's newfound claim that he is the 'wrong guy'... is specious. Ms Swift knows exactly who committed the assault - it was Mueller."

Swift also waded into potential controversy when merchandise that could have been sold ahead of her concerts in China next week featured the "1989" date - a year considered sensitive in China as that was when the Tiananmen Square massacre took place, Britain's The Guardian reported.

Swift's initials "TS" may also stand for "Tiananmen Square".

Swift will be in Singapore for a sold-out two-day concert tour on Saturday and Sunday.

This article was first published on Nov 3, 2015.
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