Billboard reports that Sheeran has acknowledged similarities between the two songs by giving songwriting credits to the writers behind the '90s girl group's Grammy-nominated 1999 hit: Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs and former Xscape members Tameka "Tiny" Cottle Harris and Kandi Burruss. Yes, as in Real Housewives of Atlanta Kandi Burruss. ("Tiny," incidentally, is also known for being married to rapper T.I., though she filed for divorce in December.)
While "Shape of You" is a sex anthem of sorts celebrating Sheeran's love interest's body and "No Scrubs" is the ultimate shutdown of loser dudes, listeners noted similarities between these lines: "Boy, let's not talk too much/ Grab on my waist and put that body on me" (Sheeran) and "No, I don't want no scrubs/ A scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me" (TLC). It may sound like a reach, until you consider the fact that Tom Petty now earns songwriting royalties on Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" thanks to its comparison to his own "I Won't Back Down." By adding the credits, Sheeran has no doubt saved himself the trouble of a legal battle (and, you know, done the right thing).
Burruss, at least, seems to be a happy camper.
"Congrats #edsheeran @teddysphotos for having the #1 album! & thank you for allowing @majorgirl & I to share in the success of #ShapeOfYou!" the reality star posted on Instagram. "#1 for 7 weeks! This is how I dance every time this song comes on."
Cottle also shared the news, writing that she was "blessed."
Burruss, who also wrote Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills," can now boast of having her third career chart-topping hit. The ladies back in Atlanta aren't going to hear the end of this.