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Selena Gomez Accused Of Lying About Writing Her Hit Song After Gwen Stefani's Demo Of The Track Leaks

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Selena Gomez and Gwen Stefani

It’s been so long since their break-up it’s easy to forget that Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber were once one of pop’s it-couples. 

Of course, we’ve never needed to look any further than Gomez’s 2014 hit “The Heart Wants What It Wants” to remind us of their passionate, and apparently tumultuous, relationship—until now, anyway.

It turns out the song may have had nothing to do with Bieber, now that a demo of the song has leaked onto the internet this week—with Gwen Stefani’s vocals. 

A Gwen Stefani version of Selena Gomez's 'The Heart Wants What It Wants' has surfaced.

Several versions of Stefani’s demo, titled “My Heart Wants What It Wants” instead of Gomez’s “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” have appeared and disappeared on social media and YouTube this week amidst ongoing rights disputes.

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It turns out the pop diva and former No Doubt frontwoman recorded the song too but decided not to release her version.

Gomez went on to release it just as word of her and Bieber’s split hit the news. And a lot of fans are feeling misled by the track.

Many fans seem to think Stefani's is the original version. But Gomez is credited as a writer of the song, along with David Jost and songwriting team Antonina Armato and Tim James, the duo known as Rock Mafia.

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The strange way that songwriting credits work in the music industry, however, makes it next to impossible to know the extent to which Gomez was actually involved in the writing.

Gomez could be credited for simply changing around a line or two.

Pop fans on Reddit were quick to point out that Gomez has repeatedly claimed to be the writer of the tune. One commented, “She literally said she wrote it and that it’s her most personal song & means so much to her."

The fan isn't exaggerating, Gomez has repeatedly expressed how personal the hit was for her.

“I was going through one of the hardest parts of my life,” she told Zach Sang in 2017, “And I took what I was going through and put it into my art.”

Another fan on Reddit noted that changing "My" to "The" in the song's title could entitle her to a songwriting credit in the music industry's tangled web of legalities.

RELATED: 8 Reasons People Are Concerned About Selena Gomez — From Alleged Lies About Her Health To Her Messy Feuds

Fans of Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber consider the song to be about their breakup.

In her own words, Gomez has been fairly cagey about claiming the song is actually about her relationship with Bieber.

However, the song’s timing and in particular its video, which opens with Gomez lamenting about their volatile relationship, gives that impression.



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The clip for the song begins with shots of Gomez over a tearful voiceover in which she recounts her conflicts with Bieber. She’s heard saying:

"I know his heart, and I know what he wouldn't do to hurt me, but I didn't realize feeling so confident, feeling so great about myself and then it just be completely shattered by one thing—by something so stupid.”

“But then you make me feel crazy because you make me feel like it's my fault. I was in pain."

Media coverage of the song and the album it appears on, suggestively titled “For You," heavily referenced her relationship and break-up with Bieber as well. 

A 2014 interview with Ryan Seacrest timed to the album’s release even featured Gomez talking about Bieber’s reaction to the video when she showed it to him. She told Seacrest:

“He thought it was beautiful… I think it was really hard. I think he was a little jealous of the [actor in the video] at first.”

Many pop fans took to social media to call out Gomez for what they see as a deception now that Stefani's version has been brought to light.

RELATED: Selena Gomez Accused Justin Bieber Of Cheating On Her ‘Multiple Times'

There could be a simple explanation.

In the end, the confusion could be down to totally innocent details of the process of creating pop music. As one Redditor theorized:

“So Selena co-wrote the song, decided she didn’t want it, Gwen (and possibly other artists) recorded a demo, Selena decided she wanted it back, Selena got it back and released it?”

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time such a thing happened, especially when working with big-name songwriters like Rock Mafia.

In the end, only Gomez knows the real story. But given all the drama surrounding the tune at the time, this is one pop mystery that's sure to endure.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.