Was JoJo Siwa’s ‘Karma’ originally a Miley Cyrus song?

JoJo Siwa in the music video for "Karma" (left) and Miley Cyrus in the music video for "Can't Be Tamed" (right)

Dance Moms alumna JoJo Siwa has officially entered her (self-proclaimed) bad girl era with new single “Karma” – but was the tune originally written for Miley Cyrus?

With a new ‘grown-up’ attitude, a press tour declaring a new “gay pop” genre and lyrics about being a ‘bad girl who did some bad things’ (but not bad enough to actually drop the F-bomb in the song’s lyrics), and a KISS-inspired look, Ms Siwa is certainly taking her rebrand seriously.

The single’s shiny and sapphic music video, which contains more than a moderate amount of humping as JoJo finds herself caught in a love triangle on a yacht, then a beach, then the yacht again, have only served to emphasise that Siwa’s efforts to have a Miley Cyrus ‘moment’ à la 2013’s Bangerz is well and truly underway.

Following the release of “Karma”, several rumours began floating around on X (formerly known as Twitter) that ‘Karma’ actually is a scrapped Miley Cyrus song; but how true are they?

Was ‘Karma’ originally written for Miley Cyrus?

While neither JoJo Siwa, Miley Cyrus or any of the song’s writers and producers have confirmed the origins of “Karma”, here’s what we know.

In 2010, Miley Cyrus began her efforts to shake her Disney-constructed good girl image after becoming known to the public as tween sensation Hannah Montana. That PR pivot ostensibly began with the release of “Can’t Be Tamed”, a single that saw parents across the US clutch their pearls at the realisation that Cyrus wasn’t actually her on-screen, bubblegum pop princess character.

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You may be noticing some similarities between JoJo’s proclaimed career trajectory, but the coincidences run deeper than that.

Way back in 2011, a Miley Cyrus fan account tweeted that a single named “Karma’s a B*tch” was a single scheduled to be released – and yes, that song title is a lyric from JoJo Siwa’s latest offering.

The track was, however, never released, and condemned to the graveyard of Miley Cyrus bangers.

Miley herself then seemed to confirm that the track was hers with a tweet tagging producers Timbaland and Rock Mafia in reply to a now deleted-post, with Rock Mafia adding:

“Can’t forget what’s unforgettable… [Karma’s a b*tch].”

Rock Mafia also produced Cyrus’s single “Can’t Be Tamed”.

If we pivot back to ‘Karma’ by Ms Siwa, you’ll find that the writing credits of the single are listed as Antonina Armato, Desmond Child and Tim James; Armato and James are the co-founders of Rock Mafia.

Along with a second producer named DJ White Shadow, Rock Mafia are listed as the song’s producers.

It’s also worth noting that Armato has written for Disney stars like Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez and more in the past, including for the former’s “Can’t Be Tamed”.

Basically, there’s no way of knowing for sure whether “Karma” was originally written for Miley Cyrus, but it’s not implausible.

At time of writing, neither Cyrus nor Siwa have publicly commented on the theory, and the only things that link the two tracks together are its producers, and its lyrics – but that’s been enough for many fans.