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Bebe Rexha’s ‘I’m a Mess’ Gives Belated Credit to Writers of 1997 Hit ‘Bitch’

The song's chorus — "I'm a mess, I'm a loser, I'm a hater, I'm a user" — interpolates the song co-written by Shelly Peiken and Meredith Brooks.

Bebe Rexha
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records

Grammy Award-nominated songwriter and author Shelly Peiken celebrated her birthday today with a gift from Bebe Rexha — a writing credit on Rexha’s new single, “I’m A Mess.”

The song, written by Justin Trantor, Jussi Karvinen and Devon Corey, is the latest single from Rexha’s forthcoming album, “Expectations,” set for release June 22. The song’s chorus — which goes “I’m a mess, I’m a loser, I’m a hater, I’m a user” — eerily mirrors Peiken’s 1997 hit, “Bitch,” co-written and released by Meredith Brooks. Although that chorus– “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover, I’m a child, I’m a lover” — had different lyrics, the writers noticed a musical similarity and credited both Peiken and Brooks.

“Guess What! It’s my birthday, and guess what I got? A nice little gift,” Peiken shared on Instagram. “The writers of Bebe Rexha’s “I’m a Mess (Justin Trantor, Jussifer & Devon Corey), did a classy thing when they suspected the song ‘interpolated’ ‘Bitch.’ They gave me a co-writing credit. : ) #ClassActs. Now can I have my cake?”

Peiken is having an exciting year, which kicked off when her audio-book, “Confessions of a Serial Songwriter,” was nominated for Best Spoken Word Album up against Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” and Carrie Fisher ‘s “The Princess Diarist,” who won the award posthumously. Peiken’s other songwriting credits include two No. 1 hits for Christina Aguilera (“What a Girl Wants” and “Come on Over Baby”).

Watch the “I’m a Mess” lyric video below: