R&B artist sues Taylor Swift for $42M over 'Shake It Off' lyrics

Taylor Swift
Eva Rinaldi/Flickr
Taylor Swift is going to need a little help from her legal team to shake off her latest hater. R&B artist Jessie Braham has filed a $42 million lawsuit against the pop star, claiming that she used lyrics from his 2013 song Haters Gone Hate for her massive hit, Shake It Off, according to CNNMoney.

Braham, whose stage name is Jesse Graham, is calling into question lyrics from Swift’s song’s catchy chorus. In it, she sings, “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.” Braham’s lyrics, in comparison, include, “Haters gone hate, playas gone play. Watch out for them fakers, they’ll fake you everyday.”

There are certainly similarities, but Braham claims it goes beyond that. He told  New York Daily News, “If I didn’t write the song Haters Gone Hate, there wouldn’t be a song called Shake It Off.” In his filing, he links to a YouTube video of Haters Gone Hate, which was uploaded in December 2013.

Braham is not only seeking to be added as one of Shake It Off‘s songwriters, but to be awarded $42 million in damages from Swift and Sony. He told the Daily News that he’d previously reached out to Swift’s team after hearing her perform the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and that he’d spoken to reps from Sony and Big Machine four or five times. According to Braham, he requested to be added as a writer and to take a selfie with the singer herself. After he was denied, he decided to bring the case to court.

As anyone who was a teenager in the early 2000s can attest, “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate” were common expressions. It seems unlikely that Braham will be able to win this case, especially considering that he filed his paperwork without an attorney and will be up against Swift’s powerful legal team.

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