The debut of Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran’s hotly anticipated single called “I Don’t Care” has certainly not gone as planned. Released on Friday morning, the song immediately sounded familiar to many fans, many of whom were not afraid to call out the famous duo on Twitter, per The Daily Mail.
The song was meant to be an anthem to tackle the stigma around mental health. However, music lovers commented that the song’s chorus was nearly identical to a 2014 song by Cheryl, then known as Cheryl Cole. Cheryl’s song even had the same name: “I Don’t Care.”
Cheryl shot to fame as part of the band Girls Aloud. She grew her fandom after appearing as a judge on British X Factor. In her personal life, she is known for her marriage to pro-soccer player Ashley Cole as well as her relationship with former One Direction star Liam Payne, with whom she shares a son.
“Ed Sheeran is 100% gonna have another lawsuit on his hands because I Don’t Care sounds way too similar to Cheryl’s I Don’t Care,” said one Twitter user.
“Conspiracy theory: Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran just sang Cheryl Cole’s “I Don’t Care” and re-released it,” added a second fan.
Others urged Cheryl to take legal action.
“Hey @CherylOfficial what’s with @justinbieber and @edsheeran ripping off your ‘I don’t care’ song. Get some royalties on that,” wrote a third.
In addition to Sheeran and Bieber, other songwriters that collaborated include Fred Gibson, Jason Boyd, Max Martin and Shellback. The song is not expected to appear on any upcoming albums.
This is not the first time Bieber and Sheeran have been hit with plagiarism claims.
Sheeran was accused of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” in his song “Thinking Out Loud.” The claim is now being taken to court, where Distract Judge Louis Stanton just ruled that the case will be decided before a jury.
Sheeran had hoped that the lawsuit could be dismissed but Judge Stanton denied the request, stating that there were “substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements.”
Sheeran has also been hit with claims of plagiarism for his smash hits, “Photograph” and “Shape Of You.”
Meanwhile, Bieber was accused of plagiarism back in 2016. Casey Dienel, who goes by the stage name White Hinterland, claimed that Bieber’s mega hit “Sorry” used her vocal riffs, per The Telegraph. Dienel ended up dropping the lawsuit, which had also targeted song co-creator Skrillrex.
Despite the controversy, the song is making waves, currently trending at number two on Youtube. Sheeran and Bieber’s “I Don’t Care” already boasts more than four million views.