Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Not to mention the quickest route to possible legal action.
Surprisingly enough, someone has actually stepped forward to challenge Britney Spears over authorship rights to the most eye roll-inducing pickup line in history, claiming that her new smash single, "Hold It Against Me," actually stole its name and lyrics from "If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me," a No. 1 country song that's more than three decades old.
Here's the deal...
David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers, the group responsible for the 1979 hit, was first to sound the alarm, telling Entertainment Weekly that he is looking into the possibility that Team Spears blatantly lifted from his (uh, completely dissimilar-sounding) song.
"It's not everyday you get in the middle of a Britney Spears brawl," he told the magazine, adding that he was first tipped off to the similarities by his son, who informed him of the title crossover.
And while he acknowledged that it's a familiar phrase, he noted that, "this particular title is kinda hard to disguise, because the title is the song. It's not like saying, 'I love you, baby.' "
However, Bellamy, who incidentally is celebrating the 35th anniversary of his band's first No. 1 this year and embarking on a 180-show tour, isn't necessarily going to take his hang-up any further than the pages of some glossies.
"I just have to see what the intent was," he said. "I just kind of found it unoriginal, and I guess it makes us realize how old we are, because they're recycling our titles already."
Well, if it makes you feel any better, David, it is pretty unoriginal, but not because she ripped anyone off: if anything, it's just vintage Spears (and not just because she didn't actually pen the tune). And if anything, that's just the way her adoring public want it.
As her record label Jive was quick to trumpet yesterday, "Hold It Against Me" set a new one-day precedent, rising to the top of the iTunes singles chart within hours of its release. The digital debut also broke records for the most number of spins ever for a first-day release.
So, let's tally this thing up: Britney got a No.1 track off a heavily-circulated turn of phrase; Bellamy got some fleeting renewed relevance off a pretty baseless claim. Call it even?