NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, October 31, 2015, 1:26 PM
Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate … and sometimes they’ll even sue.
R&B artist Jesse Graham filed a $ 42 million lawsuit this week against the Grammy-winning Taylor Swift — after his request for a selfie with the singer was denied — claiming that her hit “Shake It Off” rips off a key phrase from a song he wrote in 2013.
Graham, 50, alleges that the chorus of Swift’s 2014 anthem (“‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”) borrows from his slow-jam “Haters Gone Hate,” which contains the phrase “Haters gonna hate, players gonna play.”
Though the two songs bear little resemblance beyond that one lyrical similarity, Graham adamantly defends his case.
“Her hook is the same hook as mine,” he told the Daily News on Saturday, claiming Swift uses it about 72 times in her song. “If I didn’t write the song ‘Haters Gone Hate,’ there wouldn’t be a song called ‘Shake It Off.'”
There is “no way” Swift came up with those lyrics independently of his song, he said.
The musician first noticed the similarity several months ago when he saw Swift perform her hit on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and has since spoken to reps from Sony and Swift’s record label, Big Machine, four or five times.
Graham’s pleas for compensation began modestly enough. He asked to be named as a writer on “Shake It Off,” and also requested that Swift take a selfie with him. But the “Bad Blood” singer’s team repeatedly dismissed him, he said, arguing that his claim to ownership had no merit.
Their denials finally drove him to sue the singer, who he claims is “definitely trolling” him, this week.
“At first I was going to let it go, but this song is my song all the way,” he said.
Graham, who runs a church organization called New Day Worldwide, said he also plans to file suit against CNN for the title of its morning show “New Day.”
Swift’s rep has not yet returned the Daily News’ request for comment.
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