After the highs from the successful release of her re-recorded album Red, Taylor Swift has found herself in some less-than-ideal circumstances. The pop star will be going to trial over plagiarism accusations in a case filed in 2017.
The copyright lawsuit alleges that Swift's hit 2014 song "Shake It Off" — which won multiple awards in 2015 — copied its lyrics "players gonna play" and "haters gonna hate" from a 3LW song, "Playas Gon' Play," which was sung by former group members Kiely Williams, Adrienne Bailon and Naturi Naughton, and written by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler.
On Friday, 3LW posted a statement to clarify that they are not behind the suit, even telling fans to stream Red (Taylor's Version). "There is nothing but love and respect for Taylor and her team," they wrote. "3LW had nothing to do with this case. Please direct all hate elsewhere."
Back in 2018, the case was dismissed by Judge Michael Fitzgerald. But it was Hall and Butler who appealed the ruling, and a court reversed it in 2019.
Swift and her team tried to get Fitzgerald to dismiss the case again, but in his latest ruling the judge wrote that while they had "persuasive arguments" about how her song is different from "Playas Gon' Play," there is a "possibility that there is still a genuine dispute as to the potential substantial similarity between the lyrics and their sequential structure."
The case will be going to jury trial, but the date has not been set just yet.
This isn't the first time "Shake It Off" has been the target of plagiarism accusations. In 2015, a musician named Jesse Graham sued her for $42 million. He claimed that if he had not written his 2013 song entitled "Haters Gonna Hate," Swift would not have been able to write her bop. The case was dismissed by a judge, who also used 3LW's "Playas Gon' Play" as an example of the line being used earlier on.
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