(the cover in question, posted in tumblr in 2011
Earlier this afternoon, Justin Bieber tweeted the link to a new song, "We Were Born For This," hosted on what appears to be his personal Soundcloud page.
Many Paramore fans were quick to point out that the track's artwork (which Bieber is also currently using for his Twitter profile photo) bears a striking resemblance to the cover of the group's 2007 album Riot! Not only that, but the pop singer appears to have lifted the artwork from a Paramore fan's Tumblr account.
While the similarities could be pegged a strong coincidence (Riot itself resembles the cover of No Doubt's Rock Steady, after all), its source seems to indicate otherwise. Under The Gun Review's Jacob Tender has uncovered a Tumblr post dating back to 2011, identical to Justin's "We Were Born For This" artwork, apparently designed by a Brazilian Paramore fan and inspired by Riot! track "Born For This."
Whether Bieber or his team knowingly lifted the artwork, commissioned its use, or were unaware of its source is unclear, but one fact remains important to keep in mind. Though stealing someone else's art is bad form, and should never be condoned, "We Were Born For This" does not appear to be an official Justin Bieber single, and, as of now, is not generating any sort of profit for the singer, since it's only being hosted for free. The track's function seems to be more like that of a mixtape: a mid-cycle, free, and unofficial promotional tool.
It is also unclear (and unlikely) whether Bieber or his team were even aware of the Paramore connection when they came across the artwork. Aside from similar titles and this cover art snafu, the two songs have nothing in common.
In an interesting and unrelated coincidence, Paramore's "Born For This" itself borrows from another source, albeit as an intentional homage. The song's pre-chorus, where Hayley Williams sings "we want the airwaves back," is taken from Refused's "Liberation Frequency."