K-Pop

Cheryl Tweedy Cole Fernandez-Versini Payne Is at the Center of a K-Pop Controversy

Not since Lee Hyori‘s “Get Ya!” was accused of ripping off Britney‘s “Do Somethin'” over a decade ago has a South Korean music scandal felt so specifically tailored to my personal interests.

Sunmi, formerly of the Wonder Girls, is back with a follow-up to her incredible, fiery break-up bop “Gashina,” released last August.

It’s called “Heroine,” and was produced by the prolific Teddy (more on him in a moment). She says the lyrics were inspired after watching 9 1/2 Weeks (!), and that the song is meant to be a continuation – or rather, a prequel – to “Gashina.”

OR IS IT JUST A DIRECT RIP-OFF OF CHERYL TWEEDY COLE FERNANDEZ-VERSINI PAYNE?

Answer: eh, not really.

When the track premiered on Wednesday (January 17), fans quickly noticed a melody that shared a strong similarity to Chezza’s debut solo single, “Fight For This Love.” (Go ahead and watch Sunmi’s video. Hear it around the 1:00 mark? “Anything that’s worth having!“)

The comparison only intensified because of a scene in the music video in which Sunmi vogues in high fashion military mode – much like how our fearless Cole Commander did in her own video back in 2009.

Because of the growing controversy, Teddy was forced to come out with a statement on Friday (January 19) shutting down the comparison: “‘Heroine’ is 100% an original work with absolutely no reference to the track in the controversy,” he said.

Cheryl’s said nothing so far, presumably because she is busy tending to Bear Payne while his father promotes his great Fifty Shades song with Rita Ora.

To be fair, it is similar to “Fight For This Love,” it might even be inspired by “Fight For This Love,” but the whole package really isn’t “Fight For This Love.” (To me, anyway.)

It is, however, one of the first truly major K-Pop singles of 2018 – so if it happens to bear a passing resemblance to a Chezza Smasha in the process? That’s even better.

Sunmi Strut GIF

The song is undoubtedly excellent, from the House-y and hypnotizing verses, to the sudden “Fight For This Love” build-up, to the nasty little electronic beat drop right after the defiant declaration of “The show must go on.” And the video, just as with “Gashina,” is a funny, fierce joyride in the mind of a woman having a total emotional meltdown. Sunmi is all of the drama.

With any luck, “Heroine” will hit Cheryl’s ears due to all this noise online, and we’ll have a club-dominating, self-empowering Sunmi duet on the Girls Aloud icon’s next album.

After all, they already have plenty in common: men who’ve done them dirty, and two massive girl groups they’ve left in the dust to become solo superstars. Collaborate, ladies!

Besides, “Fight For This Love” is already charting in South Korea as a result, so she’ll probably have to fly out to do some promo and meet Sunmi, anyway. Now who’s coming with me to Still Fighting For This Love: Live In Seoul in 2019?

On with the show…

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“Heroine” was released on January 17. (iTunes)