Bad blood? Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift have been in the center of feud rumors, which have only heightened since the former Disney actress dropped a song fans are convinced is about the Eras Tour performer called “The Grudge.” Keep reading for details on their relationship.
Are Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift Friends?
Olivia has been a huge fan of Taylor since she was a child, calling her her “idol” on multiple occasions. “She’s totally my biggest idol and biggest songwriting inspiration,” Olivia gushed during a February 2021 appearance on Apple Music’s “The Travis Mills Show. “To have her blessing was really, really special.”
After Olivia released her debut single “driver’s license” in January 2021, which skyrocketed the songstress to fame, Taylor publicly commented her support of the young star. At one point, Olivia took to Instagram and said she was in “a puddle of tears” after her name was listed next to Taylor’s on the U.S. iTunes Chart. Upon seeing this, Taylor commented on the social media post and wrote, “I say that’s my baby and I’m really proud.”
During a separate March 2021 interview, this time with Sirius XM’s “Morning Mash Up,” Olivia revealed that Taylor had sent her a heartfelt letter with multiple gifts. “Actually last night, like literally like 12 hours ago, I got a package from her with this like handwritten note,” the actress said. “And 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 I, and like all of this amazing stuff, she’s like hand-wrapped these gifts.”
Olivia continued, “I feel so lucky that I just like was born at the right time to be able to look up to somebody like her. I think she’s incredible. All of her support and like genuine, like compassion and excitement for me is just been so, so surreal.”
Why Do Fans Think Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo Are Feuding?
Things began to ~sour~ after Olivia dropped her debut album SOUR in May 2021. Taylor was credited on the album track “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” as it uses an interpolation of her 2017 song “New Year’s Day.”
At the time, Olivia explained that she wrote the lyrics over Taylor’s chords — and she felt “lucky” that Taylor and her team approved her request to include the song on her album.
However, that’s not what had fans confused. After SOUR dropped, listeners noticed that Taylor was also newly credited on one of Olivia’s biggest hits, “Deja Vu,” which had dropped a few weeks prior. The song, which quickly became Olivia’s biggest hits, was an alleged interpolation of Taylor’s song “Cruel Summer.”
That’s not all — a few months later, Taylor’s close friend Hayley Williams and her bandmate Josh Farro of Paramore were retroactively given songwriting credits on another of Olivia’s hits, “Good 4 U,” claiming that it was similar to Paramore’s 2007 song “Misery Business.”
It was later revealed that Olivia had given up 50% of the royalties on each of the songs as a result of these retroactive credits. During this time, all of this was handled incredibly privately between all parties.
Since then, Olivia and Taylor have not spoken about one another publicly. However, during an interview with Rolling Stone in September 2023, Olivia was asked point blank about the alleged feud.
“I don’t have beef with anyone,” she told the outlet. “I’m very chill. I keep to myself. I have my four friends and my mom, and that’s really the only people I talk to, ever. There’s nothing to say.”
She added, “There’s so many Twitter conspiracy theories. I only look at alien-conspiracy theories.”
However, Olivia said she was “a little caught off guard” during the time of the additional SOUR co-writes. “At the time it was very confusing, and I was green and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,” she explained. “It’s not something that I was super involved in. It was more team-on-team. So, I wouldn’t be the best person to ask.”
Why Do Fans Think Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘The Grudge’ Is About Taylor?
Fast forward to 2023, Olivia dropped her sophomore album GUTS in September, which included a song called “The Grudge,” which fans immediately speculated was about Taylor. The track reflects on Olivia’s lingering emotional turmoil and confusion after she was betrayed by someone who had originally built her up.
In the track, Olivia explains the specifics on when this grudge began, explaining she has “nightmares each week ’bout that Friday in May,” where she found out something that changed her “entire world” in a single phone call. For reference, SOUR dropped on May 21, 2021, which was a Friday in May.
“Trust that you betrayed, confusion that still lingers, took everything I loved and crushed it in between your fingers. And I doubt you ever think about the damage that you did, but I hold onto every detail like my life depends on it,” she sings. “My undying love, now I hold it like a grudge, and I hear your voice every time that I think I’m not enough.”
Another clue that “The Grudge” could be about Taylor is toward the end of the song, when Olivia mentions being given “flowers filled with vitriol.” This could reference Taylor’s public support over Olivia until things went down.
The next line, “You have everything and you still want more,” feels like a reference to Taylor, as she is arguably one of the most successful superstars on the planet — but still came after a new artist for a songwriting credit.
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