jason aldean

Emorton25/Wikimedia (CC-BY-SA) Tess Cagle

Did Jason Aldean steal this chart-topping country hit?

On Twitter, a compelling case from an aspiring songwriter.

 

Tess Cagle

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Published May 21, 2018   Updated May 21, 2021, 3:18 pm CDT

Canadian musician Connor Shaw made a compelling argument on Twitter this month that he wrote the No. 1 song in country music—but it was stolen by Jason Aldean.

The singer hailing from Edmonton, Canada, said he wrote a song called, “Easy,” in 2015 in a music class, and when it was received well by his peers he posted the song to YouTube. Now, he believes it was ripped off by Jason Aldean, members of the Florida Georgia Line, and Morgan Wallen to create “You Make It Easy,” which debuted in February 2018.

Aldean’s “You Make It Easy” reached No. 28 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” and No. 1 on Canada’s Billboard Country chart.

In a series of tweets, Shaw explains that after he shared his song online in 2015, a family friend reached out to him in 2017 for demos that she could send around in the U.S. Then, in February 2018 he heard Aldean’s song and was struck by how similar it sounded to his own.

“I thought, ‘Hmm, that’s funny. My song uses that as the hook for the chorus, I wonder what this sounds like,’” he tweeted. “After listening for the first minute of the song I came to the shocking realization that ‘You Make It Easy’ uses the same hook and melody as my song.”

Shaw even provides a side-by-side comparison of the two tracks, as well as a breakdown of how the two songs compare lyrically. He also did a lot of research about how Aldean’s song came to fruition.

Shaw said he was approached by a Canadian entertainment lawyer who helped him prepare a cease-and-desist letter, which was sent to Florida Georgia Line’s lawyer. While Shaw did not include the exchange between the two letters in his thread, the documents were uploaded to Scribd and reported as factual by Global News.

Florida Georgia Line’s lawyer, Jess L. Rosen, responded to the cease-and-desist and said it was “entirely devoid of merit.” He specifically cited the accusation that the song lyrics were similar and said if you do a Google search, over 700 songs use similar lyrics.

With regard to the music, Rosen said the analysis should be left to musicologists and that the fact that Shaw and his lawyer did not have an official analysis done proves that they didn’t truly see any striking similarities.

Lastly, Rosen said it was absolutely impossible that his clients know Shaw or anyone in relation to him, and the fact that Shaw’s YouTube recording has a mere 203 views proves that it’s unlikely that Florida Georgia Line stumbled across the song. (“Easy” now has 16,000 views on YouTube.) 

Shaw has stuck to his theory and compared himself to David in the biblical tale of David vs. Goliath, except in his version Goliath wins.

“I’m almost certain that I sound crazy,” he tweeted. “I just can’t shake this feeling that my song was taken from me and I can’t do anything about it. In 2018, David gets his ass kicked by Goliath.”

Shaw did not respond to a request for comment.

Folks on Twitter don’t really seem to buy his argument.

Some folks believe him, however, and have even created a GoFundMe to raise money for him to get a better lawyer. As of press time, it had raised $785 out of the $2,000 it hopes to raise.

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*First Published: May 21, 2018, 12:08 pm CDT