The Bellamy Brothers, Howard and David, have been one of country and pop music's most successful duos worldwide for more than 35 years. Throughout their award-winning career, they've crafted a number of humorous hits and shot comical music videos to match. But the brothers are not exactly laughing at the recent upsurge in popularity associated with the video for one if their biggest hits of all time. And it's thanks in part to pop princess (and frequent lightning rod for controversy) Britney Spears.

The brothers first got wind that something was up when the video for their 1979 chart-topper, 'If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me,' showed an increase on YouTube of 270,000 views, almost overnight. At the same time, several Internet discussion boards lit up with accusations that Britney Spears new single, 'Hold It Against Me,' was "a Bellamy Brothers rip-off," noting a striking similarity between the lyrical content of the two songs.

"Back in 1979, I wrote a little song called 'If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me,'" David Bellamy says in a statement. "That little song went No. 1 and has since become one of the defining songs of our career. If you listen to the lyrics of Britney Spears' new single, 'Hold It Against Me,' you'll find some major similarities. Howard and I have no personal beef with Britney. She's a talented gal. But professionally, well, in all honesty, we feel completely ripped off. Where's the originality?"

The brothers' statement does not indicate whether the pair are pursuing legal action against the singer or any other parties responsible for the tune -- which was leaked on the web on Monday and officially released today (January 11). But Howard Bellamy has a personal message for the controversial superstar:

"Hey Brit, if I said you ripped off our song, would you hold it against me? Thanks."

Listen to Britney's 'Hold It Against Me' in the first video player below. Watch the Bellamy Brothers perform 'If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me' in the second video below.

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