She’s spoken a lot about how she’s one of the biggest Swifties out there, but fans think there might be some secret hostility, leading to the question of what happened between Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo to stir the gossip pot.
Swift has been somewhat of a mentor to Rodrigo ever since she was a Disney star. When Rodrigo’s debut single “Driver’s License” charted at number three on iTunes, directly below two of Swift’s songs, Rodrigo proudly shared a screenshot to Instagram and wrote: “next to taylor on the us i tunes chart i’m in a puddle of tears.” Taylor reciprocated by commenting on the post: “I say that’s my baby and I’m proud.”
Rodrigo would later tell NME in 2021 that: “I’ve always looked up to Taylor since I was literally five years old,” she said. “Obviously I think she’s the best songwriter of all time, but she’s so business-savvy and she really cares about her career in that regard too – that’s been really inspiring for me to watch somebody take control of their career and their life like that.”
She continued: “My favorite Taylor Swift album is Speak Now. I would love to be on a Speak Now song. I’m just so excited to listen to them, though. I love listening to the vault recordings and stuff like that. I’m gonna own my masters, but I’ll listen to songs I’m not putting out and be like, ‘Maybe I’ll do a vault thing when I’m Taylor Swift’s age.’”
After months of sending each other gifts and handwritten notes, the pair eventually met at the 2021 Brit Awards, taking a sweet photo together. During an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Rodrigo said: “She gave me this ring because she said she wore one just like it when she wrote Red and she wanted me to have one like it and all of this amazing stuff, she’s like hand-wrapped these gifts.”
But fast forward two years, Rodrigo first released her latest single, “vampire” and fans initially speculated that it was about her ex, Adam Faze. But a source promptly told People that “The song isn’t about Adam Faze,” leading fans to speculate that the lyrics referring to a “bloodsucker” are actually about Swift and not a “guy” at all. So what happened between Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo? Here are all the clues to their secret feud, which neither have spoken publicly about.
Here’s what we know.
July 2023: Taylor Swift adds Paramore to the Eras Tour 2024
On July 5, 2023, Taylor Swift added 14 shows to her 2024 European Eras tour and announced that Paramore would be her opening act. “Hayley and I have been friends since we were teens in Nashville and now we get to frolic around the UK/Europe next summer??? I’m screaming???” Swift wrote in an Instagram post. Hayley would also feature on Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), the re-recording of her 2010 album.
July 2023: Did Olivia Rodrigo shade Taylor Swift in “vampire”?
Rodrigo said in a press release that “vampire” was about self-realization. “For me, this album is about growing pains and trying to figure out who I am at this point in my life,” Olivia said. “I feel like I grew 10 years between the ages of 18 and 20—it was such an intense period of awkwardness and change. I think that’s all just a natural part of growth, and hopefully the album reflects that.”
The lyrics read: “I used to think I was smart / But you made me look so naïve / The way you sold me for parts / As you sunk your teeth into me, oh / Bloodsucker, famefucker / Bleedin’ me dry like a goddamn vampire.”
As mentioned, fans originally thought the song was about Rodrigo’s ex, Adam Faze, but that was shut down by a source who told People it wasn’t about him and in fact, she was just using the word “guy” to veil the fact that it was actually about someone Rodrigo has idolized for years. “Sorry but no one can convince me that song isn’t about Taylor Swift being the bloodsucker/vampire she’s singing about but she’s masking it by making it seem it’s about a boy,” one person tweeted. “Olivia’s new song vampire is about Taylor swift!!!! Don’t tell me otherwise.” A third added: “the more i listen to vampire im convinced it’s about taylor swift.”
The “bloodsucker” line may refer to the fact that Swift (along with Jack and St. Vincent) had received a combined 50 percent share of the royalties of Rodrigo’s most commercially successful song.
June 2023: Taylor Swift adds Sabrina Carpenter to Eras Tour
Having already embarked on her Eras tour, Taylor Swift later added Sabrina Carpenter to the lineup for Europe as a special guest, referring to her as a “sweet angel princess”.
February 2023: Taylor Swift and Sabrina Carpenter take pics at the Grammys
Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo were seated near each other at the Grammys in 2023 but never interacted. Meanwhile, Swift took plenty of selfies with Sabrina Carpenter, with whom Rodrigo was said to have beef. After all, Joshua Bassett, Rodrigo’s rumored former flame was said to have moved on with Carpenter, creating a messy love triangle.
2022: Grammys strip Taylor Swift’s credits from Sour
Rodrigo would go onto win three Grammys for Sour at the 2022 awards and would be nominated for Album of the Year. While Swift, Jack Antonoff and St. Vincent were credited on the awards don’t count interpolations—that’s rerecorded quotations from other songs—toward album of the year consideration.
“Last week, we received the correct credits from the label that recognize Annie Clark, Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift as songwriters of an interpolation on the track, ‘Deja Vu,’” the academy said in a statement, per the New York Times. “In keeping with current Grammy guidelines, as songwriters of an interpolated track, Clark, Antonoff and Swift are not nominees in the album of the year category for Sour.”
December 2021: Denying her creativity
In a TIME magazine feature late 2021, Rodrigo hit back at claims she was ripping off other artists: “It was really frustrating to see people discredit and deny my creativity,” she said. Her producer, Dan Nigro was coyer: “It seems like people get funny about things when songs become really popular.”
In the same interview, Rodrigo laments the comparisons to other female pop stars, saying: “Young women are constantly compared to each other. I’m the ‘new this’ or ‘this woman meets that woman,’ and that can be reductive. I’m just Olivia. I’m doing my own thing. It’s meaningful when people recognize that.”
October 2021: ”Mean girls”
Not too soon after that, during a Rolling Stone interview alongside Alanis Morrissette, Rodrigo responded “Same!” when the Canadian singer said: “There was a lot of bullying and a lot of jealousy and a lot of people whom I’d adored my whole life being mean girls.”
September 2021: Paramore is retroactively credited on Olivia Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U”
Paramore’s Hayley Williams—a close friend of Taylor’s—and Joshua Farro are retroactively credited on Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U”, another hit single off Sour. It’s because the track shares striking similarities with Paramore’s 2007 single “Misery Business.” Billboard later reported that Rodrigo had given up millions in publishing royalties to Swift, Hayley Williams, Jack Antanoff and others.
May 2021: Olivia Rodrigo faces accusations she ripped off Taylor Swift
When Rodrigo’s debut album Sour came out in 2021, Swift’s musical influence in Rodrigo’s work was at its most apparent in her song “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back,” which was imbued with Swift’s track, “New Year’s Day.” Indeed, she explained to Teen Vogue that “I came up with the ‘1 Step Forward’ concept and I sort of wrote a verse and a chorus. I was in the car on a road trip, and when I got home, I decided to sing it over the chords of ‘New Year’s Day.’”
This use of Swift’s work was authorized, but weeks after Sour’s release, fans noticed another credit to Swift, one added retroactively to Rodrigo’s hit song “Déjà vu”, though the references were more subtle. Swift, in addition to her collaborators Jack Antonoff and St. Vincent, was added alongside Olivia’s and songwriter-producer Dan Nigro.
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