Taylor Swift has shaken off a lawsuit alleging she stole lyrics for her 2014 hit “Shake It Off” from the 3LW single “Playas Gon’ Play.”
Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who penned the 3LW track, hit Swift with a copyright lawsuit in 2017.
Documents filed on Monday, Dec. 12, in federal court in California show the case was dismissed after the two sides agreed on a settlement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
As previously reported, Hall and Butler alleged Swift lifted her lyrics “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play/And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”
The songwriters said instead of writing the words herself, Swift borrowed from their lines “Playas they gon’ play and haters they gonna hate.”
A judge dismissed the case in 2018, saying the lyrics were “too banal” to be copied. But an appeals court disagreed and resurrected the claim in 2021.
Swift responded in 2021, saying: “The lyrics to ‘Shake It Off’ were written entirely by me.”
Hall and Butler slammed Swift, saying, “This is defendants’ fourth attempt to make these claims go away, so defendants’ labelling them as baseless rings hollow at this point.”
3LW (short for 3 Little Women) was originally made up of Adrienne Bailon (The Real), Kiely Williams (The Cheetah Girls) and Naturi Naughton (Power). The R&B group released their self-titled debut album, 3LW in 2000. The disc was certified platinum and produced a string of hits including “Playas Gon’ Play,” which peaked at number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Swift, 33, claimed she was too young to listen to the song when it came out and added that she had no idea who or what 3LW was.
“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,” the pop star said in court documents.
Swift added that the lyrics came from commonly used phrases. “Prior to writing ‘Shake It Off’ I had heard the phrases ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ uttered countless times,” her filing said.
Swift’s attorneys also said the songwriters were “hoping for a windfall” from the massively successful artist.
The case was scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 17, 2023. Now that there’s a settlement in place, it’s over.
An attorney for Hall and Butler didn’t respond to THR‘s request for comment.
Listen to the songs below and decide for yourself.