Did Britney Spears Rip Off The Bellamy Brothers?

Videos by American Songwriter

There are few, and I mean few, differences between The Bellamy Brothers and Britney Spears. No, the fringed cowboys of the late Seventies do not equate love with toxicity or slavery. And no, Britney Spears does not, and hopefully will never, have a country music career. However, these folks share four sweet words that might bind them together the rest of their days; “Hold It Against Me.”

It is reported that the Bellamy Brothers are considering legal action against Britney Spears due to her new single’s title, and its likeness to their hit, “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me”. Though the songs share no melodic commonalities, the Bellamy Brothers are befuddled at Ms. Spears’ unoriginal use of the phrase. The country act is currently “weighing their options” with legal action, while Britney Spears has yet to comment.

“Back in 1979, I wrote a little song called ‘If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me,’” David Bellamy tells GAC. “That little song went No. 1 and has since become one of the defining songs of our career. If you listen to the lyrics of Britney Spears’ new single, ‘Hold It Against Me,’ you’ll find some major similarities.”

Spears’ single was written by Max Martin, Lukasz Gottwald, Bonnie McKee and Mathieu Jomphe.


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  1. Titles and concepts can’t be assigned copyright. The Belmamy Bro. tune was 30 years ago, and yes it was a great hook, but hooks can’t be assigned copyrights either. 90% of all songs on the radio today are spinoffs of older Popular songs either intentionally or unintentionally. That is for a myriad of reasons including mathematical possibilities; limitations of the 12 note system, as well as the “talent” of the average “Songwriter” today. It’s cute of them to try to get some attention but thats all it is, there is virtually no similarity except for the hook, and the Spears music is a rip off of other songs as well, as again, are most Pop songs today.

    Country repeats formula regularly and nobody says anything. One can give several examples of current charted songs that are direct rips of other songs. And of course we are all familiar with the current Lady *ahme-cough-maddona*Gaga “song”.

    Pop songwriting today is musical scrap fabric quilt making, all machine stitched. Nobody actually weaves the fabrics anymore and few quilt by hand or do anything alone. Plenty of examples of this in Folk /Americana as well, so no genre is innocent.

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