Taylor Swift Said She’d Never Heard Of 3LW Until Her Song “Shake It Off” Got Sued For Plagiarism

In an affidavit filed Monday, Taylor Swift defended herself as the sole writer of her 2014 hit "Shake It Off" in response to a lawsuit alleging she plagiarized some of the lyrics.
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Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler filed the lawsuit in 2017, accusing Taylor of copying lyrics from 3LW's 2000 hit "Playas Gon' Play," which they wrote.
For those who don't know, 3LW is a former R&B group consisting of Adrienne Bailon (The Real), Kiely Williams (The Cheetah Girls) and Naturi Naughton (Power).
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"The lyrics to 'Shake It Off' were written entirely by me," Taylor said, according to the Guardian on Monday. "Until I learned of the plaintiffs' allegation in 2017, I had never heard of the song 'Playas Gon' Play' and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW."
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Sean and Nathan cited an extreme similarity between 3LW's lyrics "playas they gon' play and haters they gonna hate" and Taylor's lyrics "playas gonna play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate".
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Later in her application, Taylor said her inspiration for writing "Shake It Off" came from the "relentless public scrutiny" of her personal life, "clickbait reports, public manipulation" and other negativity that forced her to ignore criticism and to focus on their music.
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"I remember hearing phrases about 'playing players' and 'haters hating' said by other kids together when they attended school in Wyomissing Hills and high school in Hendersonville," Taylor said, per Pitchfork.
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"These phrases were similar to other commonly used sayings like 'don't hate the playa, hate the game,' 'take a chill pill,' and 'say it, don't spray it.'"
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Taylor reiterated that she had never heard of 3LW, announcing that she would not be allowed to watch TRL until she was 13. She also said that she had never heard "Playas Gon' Play" on radio, television or film. According to Taylor, she first heard the song after the plagiarism claim was made.
Although the lawsuit was initially dismissed in 2018, an appeal was later filed in 2021, with a judge ruling that there were "sufficient objective similarities."
To learn more about the case, read this full Guardian article.
Taylor Swift
American singer-songwriter

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