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Taylor Swift Sued for $42 Million Over ‘Shake It Off’

Taylor Swift
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Taylor Swift is being sued for an astronomical $42 million over the lyrics to her mega-hit song, “Shake It Off.”

R&B artist and evangelist Jesse Graham filed suit against the singer last week, claiming the song — which has been certified 8 times platinum — borrowed the key lyrics to its ultra-catchy chorus from his 2013 song, “Haters Gone Hate.”

Swift’s hit features the chorus, “‘Cause the players gonna play play play play play / And the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate,” while Graham’s tune contains the lyric, “Haters gonna hate, players gonna play.”

The two songs have nothing else in common, as Graham’s track is a slow jam, while Swift’s record-shattering single is an uptempo pop song. Regardless, Graham tells the New York Daily News that his claim is valid, saying that Swift’s song borrows his phrase 72 times. “Her hook is the same hook as mine,” he says. “If I didn’t write the song ‘Haters Gone Hate,’ there wouldn’t be a song called ‘Shake It Off.'”

Graham says he originally noticed the similarity in the songs when he saw Swift perform “Shake It Off’ on the Ellen Degeneres Show, and he subsequently contacted her representatives to ask that he be listed as a writer on the song, and for Swift to take a selfie with him. He claims he was repeatedly ignored, leading him to file suit. He says there’s “no way” Swift could have happened upon the same phrasing at random, adding that she is “definitely trolling” him.

“At first I was going to let it go, but this song is my song all the way,” he claims.

Graham runs a church organization called New Day Worldwide, and according to the Daily News, he also plans to sue CNN over the title of their news program, “New Day.”

Swift has not commented publicly on the suit. She is also currently embroiled in litigation with former Denver radio personality David Mueller, whom she claims “grabbed her bottom” at a meet and greet before a concert in 2013. Mueller got fired from his job at radio station KYGO-FM after the allegation, and he recently filed suit against the singer for lost wages. She responded with a countersuit last week, asking for a jury trial.

Listen to Jesse Graham’s “Haters Gone Hate” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” below.

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