With all the kerfuffle over Dr. Taylor Swift’s alleged PJ usage causing more environmental damage than the Kardashian-Jenners, it’s easy to forget that the pop star is also currently embroiled in a copyright lawsuit. The singer-songwriter is accused of stealing lyrics for her 2014 bop “Shake It Off,” which earned Swift three Grammy nominations and peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler claim Swift plagiarized lyrics from the 3LW song “Playas Gon’ Play,” a 2001 girl-group track with the chorus, “Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate.” On August 8, Swift argued that she “never heard” the 3LW song in question and maintained that “the lyrics to ‘Shake It Off’ were written entirely by me,” according to court documents obtained by Billboard.
“In writing the lyrics, I drew partly on experiences in my life and, in particular, unrelenting public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism which I learned I just needed to shake off and focus on my music,” Swift said. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2017 over the singer’s lyric, “’Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” Swift and her legal team wrote that these phrases are popular idioms: “I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville.” Plus, she said that she never heard the song until “after this claim was made.” The main takeaway here: Swift was sleeping on girl groups from the early aughts … You hate to see it.