Rumours of a feud between Olivia Rodrigo the two singers were sparked in 2021 when Rodrigo gave Swift and Jack Antonoff – who is a longtime collaborator with Swift – writing credits and royalties for her track “Deja Vu”, as it had interpolated Swift’s “Cruel Summer”.
The 20-year-old singer also gave the pair writing credits for “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back”, since the tune interpolated Swift’s “New Year’s Day”.
Since then, many people have speculated about bad blood between Rodrigo and Swift.
On Tuesday (12 September), Swift quashed any rumours of a feud with Rodrigo by cheering for her at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards.
With one song, she achieved the sort of overnight success that isn’t supposed to be possible in the modern, fractured music industry.
“I don’t have beef with anyone,” Rodrigo said. “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.”
At this year’s VMAs, Swift dominated the 2023 VMA nominations with eight nods: Artist of the Year, Video of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop, Best Cinematography, Best Direction, Best Visual Effects and Best Editing, all for her 2022 hit “Anti-Hero”.
The “Style” singer emerged the biggest winner of the night, winning four awards for Video of the Year, Best Direction, Song of the Year, and Best Pop, all for “Anti-Hero.”
Drivers License, released in January 2021, broke Spotify records in just 24 hours. Then it broke them again. Seven days later, it entered the UK and the US charts at number one.
Drivers License wasn’t a one-off. Rodrigo’s debut album, Sour, sparked a pop-punk renaissance, spawned four more chart hits, and earned three Grammy Awards.
The star was invited to the White House as part of a vaccination drive, and used her Glastonbury debut to protest the overturning of Roe v Wade, which removed the federal right to abortion in the US.
Amidst it all, she returned to film her final episodes of the Disney series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series; and staged her first tour, cautiously playing smaller venues because, prior to the 2021 Brit Awards, she’d never played any of her own material in front of an audience.
“It was, obviously, just absurd and crazy. I’d been writing songs and working my whole life, but it did seem sort of instantaneous.
“And it wasn’t until very recently that I began to process how irrevocably my life was changed in a span of a few months.”
The “Vampire” singer arrived at the award show ceremony in a crystal-covered , floor-length liquid silver Roger Vivier gown that sparkled in every direction.
She took the stage directly after Lil Wayne’s hits-filled performance, starting with “Vampire” first. The creative direction of both performances directly referenced their music videos. Her performance of “Vampire” saw Rodrigo sitting in a moody, tree-covered set and ended with fireworks destroying the props and Rodrigo running off. Some stars, including Selena Gomez, looked confused at the sight after an off-stage handler escorted Rodrigo off the stage.
Earlier this month, Variety’s chief music critic Chris Willman said of “Guts”: “A sophomore jinx would be a terrible thing to suffer before you’re old enough to have a legal drink to slug down the disappointment. It’s not something Olivia Rodrigo has to worry about.
“Guts,” her second album, does feel at times like ‘Sour, Too’ — a picking-up-right-where-we-left-off extension of her Grammy-winning 2021 debut — but that can only be counted as a good thing, if the spark is still there. It is, in spades.”
He added, “Two years of maturation have not done anything to put a dent in how much accomplished and rocking fun her music was right out of the gate. One of the year’s canniest, most delightful albums, again? Of course it is.”
In her cover story for Rolling Stone released Tuesday, Rodrigo shared some background behind the album’s beautiful madness. She said, “Something I always grappled with, especially when I was younger, is feeling like I couldn’t be angry or express dissatisfaction or complain for fear of being ungrateful. It was drilled into me, and it caused a lot of problems. I had all this anger bubbling up inside me — especially when you’re a teenager and you’re confused and you feel like the world is out to get you and you’re so insecure — and I’d have dreams where I was going crazy. I felt like I could never be like that in real life.”
When I came home from college for the first time, the thing I wanted to see most was my 8-month-old dog. I was so excited to see him that my teeth chattered for 45-minutes on the way home. I walked through the door, and my dog went ballistic. He zoomed around the living room and then sat right on our chair. I like to think he was as excited to see me as I was to see him.
Two years later, my mom sends me photos of him every day, and every day, I look forward to it. The only day I missed my mom’s message was Sept. 8, 2023. My phone was on Do Not Disturb because Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album “Guts” was coming out, and I didn’t want a single spoiler from a fake fan who listened to the leaks. Flash forward to midnight, and I was a nervous wreck. After months of being bullied, I finally switched from YouTube music to Spotify. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to use the app.
The nervousness made me dumb as a rock, but I finally figured it out at 12:02 a.m. and listened to “all-american b—-” immediately. The lyrics were unapologetically edgy, an extreme tone shift from “Sunshine across my window,” to a howling scream that reminded me of Kurt Cobain.
To me, releasing “Guts” was Rodrigo’s way of asserting herself and her style for the first time. “Sour” was an extremely specific, personal record. She utilized her angst to allow her audience to understand what it means to be a teenager, which in 2021 came with its own challenges as the world slowly emerged from a global pandemic.
What makes any rock star great has been central to Rodrigo’s music her whole career. She makes her songs extremely passionate because they’re very personal to her. Yes, at times, it makes her lyrics awfully specific, but I don’t have to relate to her experience– I have to relate to the emotion behind it.