On September 5, 2013, Katy Perry released her newest hit song, “Roar,” to the radio. Unsurprisingly, “Roar” debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard Top 100, becoming Perry’s eighth number 1 Billboard release. While the success of “Roar” was not surprising, the song itself was. Upon hearing Perry’s newest radio hit, many fans began alluding it to another popular song released months earlier – “Brave,” by Sarah Bareilles.
Both songs are similar in their overall messages – essentially, that one must rise above and conquer all their life’s struggles. However, that is not the complaint from the fans. To many, it appears as if the underlying beat and general “tone” of the two songs sound too much alike, leaving many wondering if Katy Perry simply copied the success of Bareilles’s “Brave.” Luckily, the internet has been kind enough to provide a mash-up of the two so that one can decide for oneself:
If it is true that “Roar” is a copy of “Brave,” one can only blame Perry’s producers – Dr. Luke and Max Martin. Claiming that Dr. Luke had copied a song would not be too far of a stretch. While working for Avril Lavigne, Dr. Luke was sued for plagiarism, and Dr. Luke also drew much criticism when people stated that Perry’s “California Gurls” and Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” sounded too similar. Katy Perry has even drawn ire for copying musicians, with many claiming that her song, “I Kissed a Girl,” was too similar in concept to Jill Sobule’s “I Kissed a Girl.”
Whatever the issue was, though, the proverbial hatchet has been buried. This past Wednesday at Perry’s cancer benefit concert, “We Can Survive: Music For Life,” Bareilles joined Perry on-stage to sing Perry’s “Roar.” This act of union was representative of Bareilles’s attitude about the controversy the entire time: “Katy’s a friend of mine and we’ve known each other a really long time, so she even texted me about it and we went back and forth. The shame that I feel that’s happened is that it’s become a drama. It’s putting this negative spin on two artists that are choosing to share positive messages,” Bareilles stated.
The positive message of Bareilles’s “Brave” has been heard and recognized. Recently, patients and doctors at Amplatz Children’s Hospital at the University of Minnesota were inspired to create their own music video for Bareilles’s hit song. Even though inspiration for the song came from the struggles Bareilles’s friends faced with the decision to come out, the message has spread to be championed by any group facing adversity: “The staff put together this video that was very similar to the music video of ‘Brave’ and it’s heart wrenching and gorgeous and beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time…It’s a message I’m so happy to be the voice for,” said Bareilles.
Despite the months of controversy and fan bickering, both Perry and Bareilles have been able to practice what they preach and rise above their own adversity with the song controversy. Bareilles even left a message for those who felt bitter towards the issue: “If I’m not mad I don’t know why anybody else is upset. I’m like, ‘Relax, let’s just celebrate that we can be out there and encouraging people to, like, feel strong and empowered.’”
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