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Did Meghan Trainor Plagiarize A K-Pop Artist To Make Her Hit Song “All About That Bass”?

The creator of the original song seems to think so.

1. Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” is currently sitting at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

2. According to the liner notes, the song was co-written by Meghan Trainor and Grammy Award-nominated songwriter Kevin Kadish.

3. It’s recently been pointed out, however, that “All About That Bass” sounds suspiciously a lot like a song by a South Korean group called Koyote.

4. Koyote released their song, “Happy Mode,” in 2006. Here are both songs right after each other.

5. And here are both songs at the same time.

6. Koyote’s song was written by Joo Young Hoon. The similarities between the two songs have been brought to his attention.

7. Earlier this week, the songwriter tweeted: “I am consulting a specialized lawyer.” In the tweet, he linked to a Naver article about the controversy.

전문 변호사와 상담하고 있습니다. http://t.co/VbuX1fIWMH

— ÈÆÖ (@climix_joo)

8. The article mentions that the two songs have a shockingly similar melody, rhythm, and tempo.

9. Interestingly though, Joo Young Hoon and Meghan Trainor both might have taken inspiration from Phish. The band released a song in 1989 that is also pretty similar.

Nothing is new under the sun, after all. In music especially, phrases and melodies are notoriously difficult to trace.

10. BuzzFeed has reached out to a representative for Meghan Trainor for comment.


If it is a matter of plagiarism, Trainor’s label could be on the hook. Last week, a New York federal judge ruled that Sony was liable for a song Shakira was accused of plagiarizing. In that case, though, concepts and lyrics, in addition to melody, were also borrowed.

In the case of Meghan Trainor and Koyote, the songs have significantly different lyrics. “All About That Bass” is about flaunting a not-thin frame, while “Happy Mode” is about staying positive through rough times. Here’s a loose translation of the latter’s chorus: “Even though love left, don’t be sad and cry / New love will find it’s way / Sadness is only resting before it leaves.”

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