When Jesse Graham, a 50-year-old Taylor Swift fan and R&B singer, recently asked the "Blank Space" singer if he could take a selfie with her, she declined. Now, in an odd twist of events, Graham is suing Swift to the tune of $42 million for what he considers to be the theft of lyrics he wrote back in 2013.
The hook to Swift's "Shake It Off," Graham says, has a number of similarities to his song, "Haters Gone Hate." Despite the fact that "Haters Gone Hate" and "Shake It Off" don't really sound all that much alike, Graham told the New York Daily News that he at least deserved a co-writing credit on Swift's track. Take a listen for yourself:
"Her hook is the same hook as mine," Graham insists. "If I didn't write the song 'Haters Gone Hate,' there wouldn't be a song called 'Shake It Off.'"
Apparently, Graham has reached out to Swift's label (Big Machine) with his concerns to no avail, and it's not exactly difficult to see why. Though Graham did technically put out his song featuring the lyrics in question out before Swift, the inevitability of a hater's hate is something that's popped up in a number of different songs.
Back in 2000, 3LW dropped their first, self-titled album that featured a number of moderately successful hits. You might remember the group's second single, "Playas Gon Play," that just barely managed to make its way onto Billboard's Hot 100. It shares quite a few more lyrics with "Shake It Off" than "Haters Gone Hate" does.
Even if his lawsuit against Swift doesn't go as planned, Graham has a backup plan: he's also suing CNN for the name of its show New Day, which he says sounds too much like the name of his church organization, New Day Worldwide.