Is Taylor Swift’s ‘You Need to Calm Down’ a rip off of Beyonce’s ‘Party’?

taylor party

Taylor Swift is still being discussed this week, which was the whole point of the “You Need to Calm Down” video (and just the song generally). She loves it when her promotional blitz is working and people have strong feelings for and against her. She loves when the Snake Fam jumps to her defense, and she loves when people talk sh-t about her, because that reinforces her own sense of rich-white-lady martyrdom. But I do wonder if the “Taylor endlessly copies Beyonce” conversation truly bugs her. First it was Taylor’s sad take on Beyonce’s “Formation,” then it was the Mayocella performance at the Billboard Music Awards, which seemed like a ripoff of Beyonce’s Coachella performances (as seen in Homecoming, which had just come out). And now the Beyhive has brought out their microscopes to analyze Tay’s “You Need to Calm Down” in comparison to Beyonce’s 2011 music video for “Party.”

Similar things: women all dressed up in cute outfits in a trailer; trailer park parties; floating in a pool, dancing in fur jackets. “YNTCD” is a sugary and bright ode to LGBTQ+ stereotypes while “Party” is more of a celebration of lower-income African-American communities. Is it a perfect side-by-side comparison? No, it’s not, just as Mayocella wasn’t a perfect copy of Homecoming. Taylor isn’t copying Beyonce as much as she’s massively influenced by Beyonce’s visuals, performances, videos and more. What’s weird is that… Taylor never really cites Beyonce as one of her faves, even though it’s VERY clear.

Photos courtesy of Taylor Swift.

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63 Responses to “Is Taylor Swift’s ‘You Need to Calm Down’ a rip off of Beyonce’s ‘Party’?”

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  1. Moses says:

    How silly. As if either of these ideas are especially original and exclusive to Beyoncé. 🙄

    • Pringer says:

      Thank You. I mean i dont even know what to say

    • Kathryn says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Thank you

    • Alissa says:

      Exactly. None of this is original, nor is any of it all that similar. The comparisons to Formation were beyond weak, the “Mayochella” thing was a little lame immediately after Homecoming but Beyonce was not the first or last artist to use marching bands. This is a joke. People are reaaaaally trying to stretch.

      There are plenty of valid and reasonable criticisms of Taylor Swift. Claiming she’s copying Beyonce is not one.

    • Safina says:

      Agreed. Similar theme, totally different. Who cares.

  2. Lightpurple says:

    Not seeing anything in that Beyonce video that wasn’t done in hundreds of videos before it.

  3. Uppenyrcraut says:

    I just think that for someone like Taylor to make a video with LGBTQ themes would feel really risky and groundbreaking to her and her audience. Most of us a like whatever, we were there 10 years ago. As a non-american, Taylor tells me a lot about middle america and how conservative it is. Bey has a different fanbase, of course she will be more innovative and authentic.

    • buensenso says:

      taylor used to be more authentic when she was country and seemed more conservative.

      • SKF says:

        People change. She was a kid when she was doing that. Being authentic to herself now is going to be completely different to being authentic to herself as a teenager. She’s been living in major cities, exposed to a much broader range of people for a long time now. Of course her perspectives have changed.

  4. Billbop says:

    Show me one original work of art! Everything is a copy of something.

    I don’t like either one of these women’s music and I find Taylor exhausting and silly, but no one ripped off anyone in this case. If Taylor can be called out, so can Beyonce because I have seen elements of her video numerous of times in older videos…

  5. Anne says:

    Honestly, both do kind of give me Marie Antoinette at her Hameau vibes.

  6. Lizzie says:

    taylor is a copy of a copy. she is chronically unoriginal. she’s about 20 years late to the party on writing pithy songs about ally-ship. i respect her for putting her money towards good causes but she should just keep doing that and quit this pandering nonsense.

    • SKF says:

      I respectfully disagree. There has been a rise in violence against LGBTQIA+ people in Europe (including the UK) recently. Teen suicide in that community is still incredibly high. Current music icons need to be releasing music like this and making videos like this. It is important. It shows widespread support. It makes kids who feel alone feel supported and loved. It shows kids at school that their idols are supportive and involved and they should be too, it normalises being LGBTQIA+. How many teenagers are out there actively listening to gay anthems from 20, 30, 40 years ago? They mosy listen to current music and there need to be gay anthems in every generation, and lots of them.

  7. Leriel says:

    Nah, it’s pretty basic concept for a typical music video – backyard/pool/trailer park party. Demi Lovato did that in Sorry not sorry. Every teen comedy has a scene like that. It’s not a copy, it’s just a proof how basic they both go sometimes.

    • Sassbr says:

      Well, Demi did the backyard party at a mansion or something. The teenage house party concept in someone’s big house, which everyone does, yeah, and pool is not the concept we’re talking about. The trailer park and the community represented is the concept. I don’t think it’s a rip off necessarily but I can see people coming up with this idea and then someone saying “Beyonce did that,” and maybe they had seen the video and forgot, or maybe they’re like “oh that’s weirdly uncanny.” There are a lot of small visual similarities that are suspicious, but they’re different enough that you can chalk the idea of the fur coat in a trailer park as just basically ghettolicious (like it’s irony) or pounding in an inner tube in an above ground pool as OBVIOUS places the mind goes, when trying to represent a juxtaposition between trailer park life and luxury. You can come to those visuals independently, I think.

  8. HelloSunshine says:

    What’s with all of the TS/Beyonce comparisons? The stuff Beyonce has done has been done before, why aren’t we comparing that? I just don’t get comparing these two in general I guess. Very different people and artists who both copy/are influenced by others lol

  9. ElleKaye says:

    Good grief, you would think that music videos didn’t exist before certain women started to make them. Janet Jackson’s, “Rhythm Nation” is an amazing video, and no one is ever accused of ripping her off. Gwen Stefani uses a marching band in “Hollaback Girl”, as I’m sure many other artists have done, but the only two comparisons are Taylor and Beyonce.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      Yep. There is nothing new under the sun.
      Also, damn is Bey extra hot in that Party video!

      • Naddie says:

        To be honest I’ve never seen any video where Beyonce is not over the top hot. One of the most beautiful women in the world in my opinion. When I was a teen I could watch Crazy in love and Naughty girl in mute (and I love her voice).

    • Suz says:

      Can we all just agree that the Bey-hive and the Swifties are equal in their crazy when it comes to defending their queens?

      • ElleKaye says:

        @ Suz and @ Chilly,

        Bey does look fantastic in her video…she looks like she is having fun and enjoying life.

        As for the stans? It gets so out of control with death threats and internet trolling. That kind of blind worship is scary.

  10. AB says:

    The TSwift shot from the pool actually gave me Legally Blonde vibes.

    • Mellie says:

      oh my….I was just getting ready to type that same thing! haha…love Legally Blonde!

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:


  12. Babs says:

    ‘Party’ is such a jam. I’m not even going to bother watching anything Taylor.

  13. Valiantly Varnished says:

    These comments are cracking me up. No one said that Beyoncé created the idea. But if you cant acknowledge the VERY obvious cribbing or her work by TS. Then you’re either delusional, blind or a hater.
    “Beyoncé didn’t create school bands”
    Nah but she had LITERALLY just done it at Coachella and her Homecomings doc”
    “Beyoncé didn’t create trailer park theme”
    “Nope but most people of Tay’s generation remember that video before anything else like it – and that was clearly her reference point”

    • Alissa says:

      I’m pretty familiar with pop culture, and am only about 8 months older than Taylor, and I have never heard of the Party song nor seen the video. I don’t think you can at ALL say that was clearly her reference point. I don’t even really see similarities, and could probably come up with multiple music videos with fur coats, being in a pool, and a trailer park.

    • OuiOkay says:

      Really? It’s a cute video but I’d never seen it or heard the song

      • ME says:

        I don’t think “Party” was a huge hit for Beyonce. I remember when it came out but it wasn’t the biggest hit and easily forgettable. It wasn’t a super popular video that years later everyone would remember.

        Todrick Hall was the EP of Taylor’s video. If anyone was influenced by Beyonce, it’s probably him. Mind you, Trailer Parks, pools, furry jackets can be seen in MANY videos. People are just stretching because they really hate Taylor. If we dissect Beyonce’s videos, we will see she has similarities in her videos to other artists’ videos as well.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        The video was quite popular but the song was not. The reason the video was popular was BECAUSE of its visuals.

      • maya8 says:

        ”Todrick Hall was the EP of Taylor’s video. If anyone was influenced by Beyonce, it’s probably him. ” Well yeah, but it’s not like he did anything without Taylor’s explicit permission.

      • ME says:


        Yeah he probably told her his “vision” and she said “that sounds great”. I highly doubt she said “nope it’s similar to 10000 other videos, especially that Beyonce video from years ago that not too many people remember” lol.

    • Moses says:

      EXCEPT Taylor has used drum lines in videos and concerts going back to her first or second album. She wasn’t stealing anything from Beyonce, she was doing more of what she’s done for a decade.

    • ElleKaye says:


      Well, I’m one of those people you are referencing, and I’m not delusional, blind, or a hater. I’m simply older and I have more artists and videos to reference. Beyonce has several performances that are similar to other artists. Does it mean her choreographer copied them willfully, or is it coincidence? I’m guess it just happened.

    • SKF says:

      I’m the same age as Beyoncé and have seen a lot of her clips and I have never seen that video clip before. I struggled to recall the song. They have completely different vibes even if 3 of the styling elements are similar and none of those three elements are original to Bey. Beyoncé does things really really well; but she not often an original. If she was completely original then we might have something to talk about; but she’s not. Her point of difference is that she works harder than anyone else and as a result her performances are insane. Her pyramid / staging for Coachella was original, and the way she used the elements and the level of showmanship she brought to that festival. However, it is important to note that her use of a marching band was not original, it was the way she put it all together that was. Therefore, Taylor using a marching band (which she has done in the past) was not copying because stylistically it was different. Honestly, all of these ladies pull stylistic elements from all over the place. Madonna was the queen of that. None of them are particularly original, they just bring more fringe elements mainstream. There is no egregious case of one superstar copying another here.

  14. aleja_mx says:

    I couldn’t care less about either of them.

  15. MzansiZuluGurl says:

    Bet most of the comments are gonna be bashing Beyonce.. In 3..2..1..

  16. sassafras says:

    We all got crowns. You all need to calm down.

  17. Marianne says:

    As if Beyonce created those visuals and ideas in the first place. Some of y’all are reaching. And honestly, the pool shot made me think of Elle Woods first and foremost.

  18. Cindy says:

    Things like this are why I get so exhausted by Taylor Swift. I didn’t like that she made pride about her, but I definitely think this was just a silly music video and shouldn’t be taken that seriously. But people take it seriously, and thus Taylor’s victim narrative is fed.

  19. lobstah says:

    Well there’s one thing she can’t copy – Beyonce has rhythm.

    • Dara says:

      And a four-octave range.

      • SKF says:

        Ummmm… Beyoncé is fantastic but she does not have a four octave range! 3.5 at BEST. She definitely has a more powerful voice and better voice than Taylor; but there’s no need to exaggerate.

    • Kebbie says:

      Yet she insists on dancing. I just want to scream “STOP DANCING, TAYLOR! You’re terrible at it!”

  20. bella says:

    If anything it is a rip off of Legally Blonde, as other people have said. There are a million videos of people in pools and coats. I don’t think it is original to other ladies.

  21. Tiffany :) says:

    I think one of Beyonce’s great skills is celebrating black culture. I think her video for Party is a part of that tradition for her, as was Beychella (of course). Taylor isn’t trying to go anywhere near that, as she shouldn’t.

    I don’t agree with the accusations of copying because these performers are operating on two different levels. Taylor’s ME video was cute pastels in a candy colored city with a marching band in a parade. Pop candy. Totally different than Beyonce’s deep cultural dive into the importance of HBCUs.

    Taylor’s YNTCD video is plastic grass and bright plastic colors in a trailer park. Artifice, camp and pageantry. Way different vibe and tone than Party, which gives the feel of a neighborhood block party and low key fun. Authenticity.

    They are going for different things, and I think they both are succeeding in their niches.

  22. Emily says:

    Neither video is very original, so I would say Taylor didn’t copy Beyoncé so much as the video is basic.

  23. ikki says:

    I love Beyoncé’s voice harmonies oof good song

  24. virginfangirls says:

    I don’t see it.