A Timeline of Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift's Alleged Feud Throughout the Years

Olivia Rodrigo started out as a major fan of Taylor Swift's, but things seemingly changed after Taylor accused of her copyright infringement.

Kelly Corbett - Author

Sep. 12 2023, Published 5:45 p.m. ET

olivia rodrigo taylor swift
Source: getty images

The Gist:

  • Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift, two of the biggest females in pop music, started out on friendly terms in 2020.
  • But in 2021, things seemingly took a turn in their relationship after Taylor accused Olivia of copyright infringement.
  • While Olivia maintains she has no conflict with her, fans believe Olivia's sophomore album "Guts" throws shade at Taylor.
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We love drama, but not when it’s between two of the biggest ladies in pop music, Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift. There have been rumors of a feud circulating between them for years.

In September 2023, Olivia tried to shut down these claims in an interview with Rolling Stone, claiming there was never bad blood between her and Taylor.

A selfie snapped backstage of Olivia and Taylor on May 11, 2021 at the BRIT awards, where they met for the first time in person.
Source: Instagram / @oliviarodrigo

A selfie snapped backstage of Olivia and Taylor on May 11, 2021 at the BRIT awards, where they met for the first time in person.

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"I don’t have beef with anyone. 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 told the magazine.

She further added: "I’m just so in awe of [Taylor] constantly, and I truly would not be the songwriter I am today if I had not grown up being so inspired by everything she does.”

olivia rodrigo selfie with taylor swift
Source: Instagram
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A solid statement given by Olivia, but for years, pop music listeners have been keeping track of every interaction between these artists — and many seem to be unable to shake off the idea that they are actually on good terms.

For reference, we've compiled every interaction between Olivia and Taylor over the years so you can decide for yourself if they had drama.

April 2020: Olivia starts interacting with Taylor on social media.

In 2020, Olivia and Taylor began acting friendly on social media. Olivia, who was riding off of the success of Disney Channel's High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, was just getting started in the music business and had been very open about her admiration of Taylor.

And in the beginning, Taylor seemed fond of Olivia, too.

When Olivia posted a video of her singing Taylor's song "Cruel Summer," Taylor reacted by posting Olivia's cover on her Instagram Story.

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"Love this!" Taylor wrote in response. Naturally, the then-16-year-old was over the moon that her favorite songstress had not just noticed her, but complimented her singing.

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January 2021: Olivia releases her debut record-breaking single "Driver License."

On Jan. 8, 2021, Olivia released her debut single "Driver's License," and the world was shaken by her talent. Within hours, the single was at No. 3 on Top 100: USA chart on iTunes.

Olivia shared the good news on Instagram, but not without acknowledging the two singles ahead of hers. "Next to Taylor on the US iTunes chart. I’m in a puddle of tears," she wrote.

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The following day, Olivia snagged the top spot on the charts, knocking Taylor out of the lead.

On Jan. 10, Taylor responded to Olivia's Instagram post about placing on the iTunes chart and wrote: "I say that's my baby and I'm really proud," followed by a happy crying emoji, a heart emoji, and a clapping hands emoji.

Olivia, once again Olivia was overwhelmed by Taylor's support and shared a video of her reacting to Taylor's comment.

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February 2021: Olivia claims she's "the world's biggest Swiftie" in an interview.

In an interview with Nylon, the rising starlet gushed over Taylor, sharing a memory of when she was 4 years old and belted out her song “Picture to Burn." Olivia also dubbed herself “the world’s biggest Swiftie.”

May 2021: Olivia and Taylor meet at the BRIT awards. Olivia's first album 'Sour' is released.

On May 11, 2021, Olivia and Taylor finally met in person at the BRIT Awards and took this photo together backstage. Per CNN, Olivia passed Taylor a sweet handwritten note that night, too. The ladies still seemed to be smitten with one another.

Later that month, Olivia's debut album "Sour" was released on May 21.

And fans learned that Taylor and her longtime writing partner Jack Antonoff had actually gotten a writing credit on one of Olivia's tracks.

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Olivia discussed why they received credits on the song "1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back" while on The Zach Sang Show on May 30, 2021.

"We interpolated ‘New Year’s Day,’ which is Taylor’s song from 'Reputation.' I came up with the '1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back"' concept and I sort of wrote a verse and a chorus," she said.

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This basically meant that Olivia inserted chords from "New Year's Day" into "1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back." This is different from sampling as Olivia re-recorded the chords in a toned-down manner so they would sound similar to Taylor's, but weren't identical.

July 2021: Taylor and songwriting partner Jack Antonoff quietly receive writing credits on "Deja Vu" after a rumored lawsuit.

In the weeks following Olivia's release of "Sour," fans started pointing out that there were similarities between Olivia's song "Deja Vu" and Taylor's song "Cruel Summer."

While Taylor and Jack already received credit on "Sour" for "1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back," it appeared that they also believed they deserved credit on "Deja Vu" and accused Olivia of copyright infringement. Rumors circulated that Taylor actually sued Olivia over this, but that has never been confirmed.

In July 2021, Olivia quietly gave Taylor and Jack writing credits for "Deja Vu."

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The following month, Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams, who is friends with Taylor, and her bandmate Josh Farro received credit on Olivia's song "Good 4 U." This came after months of people comparing Olivia's song "Good 4 U" to Paramore's "Misery Business."

Ultimately, Olivia lost millions of dollars paying out royalties to Taylor and Paramore — which likely felt like a major blow after working so hard to put out her first album. It was unclear why Taylor was so adamant about getting credit.

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December 2021: Olivia is named 'Time' magazine's "Entertainer of the Year."

In December 2021, Olivia was named "Entertainer of the Year" by Time. In her interview with the publication, she spoke about the plagiarism accusations that surrounded her first album, claiming, “It was really frustrating to see people discredit and deny my creativity."

Record producer and songwriter Dan Nigro, who has been working with Olivia since the get-go, also shared his thoughts. “It seems like people get funny about things when songs become really popular," he said.

Dan Nigro and Olivia Rodrigo posing with their Grammy at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards
Source: getty images

Dan Nigro and Olivia Rodrigo posing with their Grammy at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards

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June 2023: Olivia releases "Vampire" and fans begin speculating over who it is about. Taylor adds Sabrina Carpenter to her tour lineup.

On June 30, 2023, Olivia released her new single "Vampire" and fans began speculating about who she wrote it about. Many pegged it as a breakup song and initially believed it was about her ex-boyfriend Adam Faze. However, sources confirmed to People that it was about someone else, which quickly made some turn their attention to Taylor.

That same month, Taylor added singer Sabrina Carpenter to her Eras tour lineup for Europe as a special guest. This raised brows as Sabrina is believed to be the woman that Olivia's ex Joshua Basset left her for, as detailed in "Driver's License." As one could imagine, you usually aren't chummy with the person that your ex dated after you.

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 Taylor Swift and Sabrina Carpenter together at the American Music Awards in 2022. Olivia Rodrigo was also in attendance at this award show, but didn't interact with Taylor.
Source: getty images

Taylor Swift and Sabrina Carpenter together at the American Music Awards in 2022. Olivia Rodrigo was also in attendance at this award show, but didn't interact with Taylor.

Furthermore, in July 2023, Taylor added Paramore to the Eras tour lineup — which fans thought was further salt in the wound as the two artists who had taken Olivia down were now teaming up again.

The following month, the New York Times asked Olivia if she had been one of the numerous celebrities who attended Taylor's Eras tour and she answered "I haven't yet." She then added: "I'm going to Europe next week."

Fans felt that Olivia's lack of attendance could have been intentional.

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September 2023: Olivia releases "Guts" and fans question whether "The Grudge" and "Lacy" are about Taylor.

On Sept. 8, 2023, Olivia released her sophomore album "Guts" and fans moved on from "Vampire" and began dissecting the song "The Grudge," believing that it was about Taylor.

Some lyrics that stood out amongst fans were: “One phone call from you and my entire world was changed / 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.”

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As well as as: “You built me up to watch me fall / You have everything and you still want more,” and, “I try to be tough, I try to be mean / But even after all this, you're still everything to me.”

Not all fans were convinced that "The Grudge" was about Taylor, though. Some claimed that "Lacy" also had potential to be about the "Anti-Hero" singer.

The first verse of "Lacy" reads: “Lacy, oh, Lacy, it's like you're out to get me / You poison every little thing that I do / Lacy, oh, Lacy, I just loathe you lately / And I despise my jealous eyes and how hard they fell for you / Yeah, I despise my rotten mind and how much it worships you.”

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