If you listen to pop radio—or radio at all, really—you’ve probably heard “All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor’s ode to plus-sized women and their butts. It’s currently sitting at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, right behind “Rude” by Magic!, and it has a pretty good chance of making it to No. 1. And as is par for the course so many hit pop songs these days, here come the accusations that it must have been plagiarized.
The Internet has noticed similarities between “All About That Bass” and two different songs: Phish’s 1989 song “Contact” and Koyote’s “Happy Mode,” a Korean pop hit from 2006. While slapping a bunch of notes together in a way that doesn’t sound horrible—especially when you’re making factory-perfect pop—doesn’t allow for all that many variations, the similarities are still pretty striking. Trainor hasn’t yet responded to the accusations, which prompted “Happy Mode” songwriter Joo Young Hoon to tweet earlier this week that he’s “consulting a specialized lawyer.”
As BuzzFeed notes, if Trainor is found guilty of plagiarism, it’s possible her label will take the fall: Just last week, a New York judge ruled that Sony was liable for copyright infringement over Shakira’s 2010 song “Loca.” Still, Shakira was accused there of borrowing not just the melody, but also the lyrics and overriding concepts. In the case of “All About That Bass,” at least, all three of the songs in this argument have wildly different lyrics.
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