Taylor Swift Says She Had Never Heard of 3LW Before "Shake It Off" Lawsuit

Amid a copyright lawsuit from two songwriters accusing Taylor Swift of stealing lyrics from 3LW's "Playas Gon' Play," the singer shared that she had never heard of the girl group until she was sued.

By Gabrielle Chung Aug 10, 2022 10:11 PMTags
Watch: Taylor Swift Responds to Shake It Off Copyright Lawsuit

Look what you made her do: Taylor Swift is defending herself against plagiarism allegations.

The singer recently responded to a 2017 copyright lawsuit filed by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who claimed Swift had lifted lyrics from the 3LW song "Playas Don' Play," which they penned, for her 2014 smash hit "Shake It Off." Per court documents obtained by E! News, Swift refuted the accusation by writing in a declaration dated Aug. 6, "The lyrics to 'Shake It Off' were written entirely by me."

"Until learning about Plaintiffs' claim in 2017, I had never heard the song 'Playas Gon' Play and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW,'" she continued. "The first time I ever heard the song was after this claim was made."

Though 3LW—originally comprised of Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams and Naturi Naughton—released several hits in the early aughts, Swift wrote that she "almost exclusively" listened to country music during that time and "did not watch the MTV show TRL" or go to clubs where mainstream music was played.

Fascinating Facts About Taylor Swift

"The only concerts I went to were for country and folk rock singers, LeAnn RimesBilly Gilman and Melissa Etheridge," she explained. "My parents limited what I could watch and listen to, and did not permit me to watch TRL until I was about 13 years old."


Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Furthermore, Swift attested that "players gonna play" and "haters gonna hate" were common phrases "uttered countless times" by others, including her classmates when she attended school in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, as well as Eric Church in his song "The Outsiders." She also noted in her declaration that she wore an Urban Outfitters shirt with the phrase "haters gonna hate" while performing at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards—a year before she penned "Shake It Off."

"I was reminded of these phrases when I began working on 'Shake It Off' with Max Martin and Shellback in the studio," Swift wrote. "I included versions of the players play and haters hate phrases in 'Shake It Off' because, as they express resistance to negativity, they further 'Shake It Off's message of independence and 'shaking off.'"

She added, "I can and do confirm that 'Shake It Off' was composed independently of 'Playas Gon' Play.'"

E! News reached out to Hall and Butler's attorneys but did not hear back yet.

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