Taylor Swift is shaking off accusations that she copied lyrics to her 2014 number-one hit.
Billboard reports that Taylor filed a sworn declaration on Monday saying that the lyrics of “Shake It Off” were “written entirely by me.” Since 2017, the writers of a 2001 song by 3LW, “Playas Gon’ Play” have been claiming that Taylor copied the idea for from their song, which features the lyrics “playas, they gonna play” and “haters, they gonna hate.”
In her declaration, Billboard reports Taylor explained what led her to write the lyrics, saying, “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.”
Taylor further explained that she heard about players playing and haters hating by listening to the other kids with whom she went to school, calling the phrases “commonly used sayings” and noting that she also heard them in “many songs, films and other works.” Taylor further cited a 2013 concert where she wore an Urban Outfitters t-shirt onstage that read, “Haters gonna hate.”
Furthermore, Taylor insisted that she’d never heard the plaintiffs’ song, or of the group 3LW, until the suit was filed, noting that she wasn’t allowed to watch TRL until she was 13 years old.
The case was tossed in 2018 but a federal appeals court overturned that decision. Last year, Taylor’s legal team asked a judge to rule in their favor, but the judge decided a jury trial was needed. Taylor’s filing is part of an effort to avoid that: Her team is asking for a “summary judgement” — in other words, for the judge to rule without a trial.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.