It seems like Olivia Rodrigo’s name has been destined to be synonymous with the Swiftie fandom. Even in the early days of her career, Rodrigo often professed her love for Taylor Swift and her music. It was clear that Rodrigo considered Swift her idol and for a while, it seemed like these two were always going to be in each other’s lives. Many Swifties could see that Rodrigo looked at Swift like a big sister and TBH, a lot of us were hoping these two would collaborate on a song.
Unfortunately, that never happened because an alleged feud that caused a riff in Swift and Rodrigo’s friendship. Since 2021, rumors about the pair’s friendship have been circulating. After the whole “Deja Vu” crediting debacle (and don’t worry we’ll get to it!), Swift and Rodrigo’s relationship hasn’t been. So let’s go back in the timeline of Swift and Rodrigo’s friendship and see if we can make sense of what went wrong in their friendship.
Against popular belief, the first time Swift and Rodrigo interacted was a year prior to Rodrigo’s rise to fame thanks to her chart-topping single “Driver’s License.” On Apr. 22, 2020, Rodrigo sang a cover of “Cruel Summer” on Instagram Live for MTV’s Alone Together Jam Session. This video eventually made its way to Swift’s algorithm as she reposted the cover on her Instagram story. Swift captioned it, “THE TALENT. Love This!!! Thanks for this beautiful performance @olivia.rodrigo @mtv.” Of course, as any Swiftie would react, Rodrigo lost. her. mind. She jumped on social media, fangirling as one does. Not only did she repost Swift’s story with overwhelming joy, but she also went on a whole tweeting spree. In an interview with BUILD Series SYD, she gushed about how surreal the experience was.
Although Rodrigo casually mentioned Swift from time to time, the next interaction they had was on “Driver’s License” release day in January 2021. Rodrigo had posted on Instagram with the caption “next to taylor on the us i tunes chart i’m in a puddle of tears 😭😭😭😭”
Swift commented, “I say that’s my baby and I’m really proud.” From then on, Rodrigo had officially received a stamp of approval from the queen herself.
With Rodrigo’s popularity on the rise, every interviewer seemed to find a way to ask her about Swift. Along with promoting her new music, Rodrigo credited both Swift and Lorde as her songwriting inspirations. On Mar. 21, 2021, Rodrigo revealed on SiriusXM that Swift had sent her a ring with a handwritten letter.
“She wrote about that a little bit in her letter,” Rodrigo said. “She was like, ‘I think we make our own luck and I think when you’re kind to people and do what’s right, it always comes back to you in the best ways.’”
During the Fearless (Taylor’s Version) release cycle, Rodrigo and bestie Conan Gray made a TikTok recreation of the “You Belong With Me” music video. Swift reposted the TikTok on her Twitter calling them her “two kids” while gushing over how adorable they were.
After the release of her second single “Deja Vu”, Rodrigo did an episode of Rolling Stone‘s “The Breakdown,” where she mentioned Swift’s music as her creative influences when writing the song. “I love ‘Cruel Summer.’ That’s one of my favorite songs ever. I love the yell-y vocal in it, the harmonized yells she does,” Rodrigo said. “I feel like they’re super electric and moving, so I wanted to do something like that.”
After what seemed like a lifetime, Rodrigo and Swift finally meet at the 2021 Brit Awards and of course, shared this encounter on Instagram.
On the release day of Rodrigo’s debut album Sour, fans pointed out the “New Year’s Day” sample from Swift’s Reputation album on the song “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back”. While appearing on The Zach Sang Show, Rodrigo went into detail about using the “New Year’s Day sample. “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.’ I think they’re really beautiful chords. I was lucky enough to get that approved, and it’s on the record now,” Rodrigo shared.
Now here’s where things get messy! It was reported that Rodrigo’s team had discreetly credited Jack Antonoff, St. Vincent (Antonoff’s collaborator) and Taylor Swift for her single “Deja Vu,” after listeners accused Rodrigo of plagiarism stating the bridge of the song was an interpolation of Swift’s work.
After a slew of copyright infringement allegations, Rodrigo finally addressed the drama. “It was really frustrating to see people discredit and deny my creativity,” Rodrigo said. Dan Nigro, the singer’s collaborator and producer added, “It seems like people get funny about things when songs become really popular.”
Billboard reported a couple of months prior to this interview that Rodrigo had given up millions in publishing royalties due to songwriting credits. Whether these remarks are directed to Swift, we don’t know, but this felt like a significant shift in Rodrigo and Swift’s friendship.
Rodrigo had not mentioned Swift publicly since their alleged falling out. On Sept. 2, Rodrigo did an interview with The Guardian where the interviewer brought up a fan conspiracy that her new single “Vampire” was about Swift. “How do I answer this?” whispered Rodrigo. “I mean, I never want to say who any of my songs are about. I’ve never done that before in my career and probably won’t. I think it’s better to not pigeonhole a song to be about this one thing. I was very surprised when people thought that.”
On Sept. 12, Rolling Stone asked Rodrigo about the ongoing feud rumors surrounding her and Swift. “I don’t have beef with anyone,” she 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…There’s so many Twitter conspiracy theories. I only look at alien conspiracy theories.”
It seems we’ll probably never truly know the details of Swift and Rodrigo’s friendship or their alleged fallout. Swift has never been one to talk publicly about her industry relationships and it seems like Rodrigo has been doing to same. Despite what’s going on between them, both Swift and Rodrigo are incredible musicians who have had monumental years so far!