“I heart you@sarabareilles,” Katy Perry tweeted on May 15, linking to a video of singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles‘ song, Brave. Now, weeks later, an onslaught of critics claim that Katy has made imitation the highest form of flattery by ripping off elements of Bareilles’ song for her new single, Roar, which was released on August 10.
“It’s disappointing that Katy Perry borrowed Sara Bareilles’ song instead of her overall thing of being good at her job,” former MTV VJ Dave Holmes Tweeted.
Other fans and critics cried copycat Katy on Twitter:
‘Roar’ by Katy Perry & ‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles. Love them both- but they are the same song. Hmmm
— Orla (@VanillaSong1) August 22, 2013
I swear Roar by Katy Perry sounds exactly like Brave by Sara Bareilles.
— Honeymoon Avenue ❤ (@ArianaFan112198) August 22, 2013
i wanna like katy perry’s new song except i can’t because it’s a ripoff of my girl @SaraBareilles‘s song
— Stephanie Scrafano (@stephscrafano) August 22, 2013
I absolutely love Katy Perry’s new song, Brave, by Sara Bareilles.
— Steve Salibian (@Ssalibian) August 22, 2013
Katy Perry totally copied Sara Bareilles
— Penelope Macias (@PenelopeMacias) August 22, 2013
Seems Katy Perry and I have something in common, we both love Sara Bareilles’s music. Only difference is I didn’t steal it.
— Stevie Pierce (@auroraasters) August 21, 2013
Indeed, the two share more similarities than just theme. According to an analysis on samethattune.com, the songs have nearly-identical tempos, with Roar at 92 beats per minute and Brave at 90 bpm. Both songs are in the key of B flat and move to the key of G minor. And the keyboard part — staccato eight note chords during the verses — is almost exactly the same.
Although Sara’s song came out first, on April 23, Katy’s producer Dr. Luke has claimed that Roar was written and recorded well before Brave came out.
But the supposed “victim,” Bareilles, couldn’t be happier. On August 20, she tweeted, “All love, everybody. All love.” And the next day, Billboard announced that after ten weeks on the Billboard charts, Brave jumped from #66 to #46 for the week ending August 18, 15 spots higher than its previous highest showing at #61. Digital sales of the song were up 80% from the week before, coming in at 51,000 to the previous week’s 28,000. And it was no coincidence: Epic Records told Billboard.com that they planned to promote the song to pop radio as a result of the ongoing comparisons to Katy’s single.
Listen to a mashup of the songs here and weigh in in the comments: Did Katy rip off Sara or is it all a coincidence?