‘Vampire’: Are Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo feuding? The Disney actress is a long-time ‘Swiftie’, but stopped publicly interacting with the singer – who added Sabrina Carpenter to her Eras tour

Are Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo engaged in a feud?

Olivia Rodrigo made her claim to fame as a Disney actress. Photo: @fanci.club/Instagram

Fans appear to think so. The speculation originates from Rodrigo’s abrupt shift: evolving from an ardent admirer who openly expressed her devotion to the pop sensation through social media, to abstaining from mentioning her affection for Swift at all – publicly, at least.

Taylor Swift performs during the Eras Tour concert at AT&T Stadium on March 31, in Arlington, Texas. Photo: TNS

So what could’ve catalysed this change of heart? A mix of things, which are believed to include musical royalties and the fact that they didn’t interact with each other at the Grammys, despite being besties on social media just months before.

Then, in June, Rodrigo unveiled her much-anticipated song “Vampire”, which fans believe might contain subtle references to Swift.

Here’s everything we know about the alleged rift …

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The beginning: Olivia Rodrigo was always a hardcore “Swiftie”

Olivia Rodrigo posting about being a hardcore Swiftie. Photo: @TSwiftNZ/Twitter

Rodrigo, who rose to fame as a teen starring in Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, has always been open about how much she looks up to Taylor Swift.

So when Rodrigo’s debut song “Driver’s License” charted at No 3 on iTunes just below two of Swift’s songs in 2021, the youngster took her excitement to social media, stating: “Next to Taylor on the US iTunes chart, I’m in a puddle of tears.” Swift replied, “I say that’s my baby and I’m really proud.”

Rodrigo told NME in 2021 that she’d been listening to Swift since she was five years old, adding, “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.”

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Gifts and compliments

Taylor Swift gifted Olivia Rodrigo this cardigan. Photo: @tayslivia/Twitter

Their digital friendship only kept growing.

According to Stylecaster, the two pop stars would send each other handwritten notes and gifts for months.

Taylor Swift promoting Olivia Rodrigo’s song “Driver’s License”. Photo: @lolatnug/Twitter

And Swift, who has millions of loyal followers, would also share her appreciation of the budding star’s talent.

Swift even chose Rodrigo and fellow “Swiftie” Conan Gray to celebrate the release of her album Fearless (Taylor’s Version) by recording a promo vid of them singing along to “You Belong With Me”.

Meeting in person

Olivia Rodrigo with Taylor Swift in May 2021. Photo: @oliviarodrigo/Instagram

And then, it finally happened: they met in person at the 2021 Brit Awards. Here, they’d take a now-iconic photobooth pic that immediately went viral at the time.

Musical credits and the Grammys

Olivia Rodrigo taking a selfie. Photo: @oliviarodrigo/Instagram

But things are believed to have gotten, well, sour after that.

Rodrigo’s debut album Sour received critical acclaim upon its release in July 2021. However, some listeners were quick to compare her song “Deja Vu” to Swift’s “Cruel Summer”, per Popbuzz. Although Rodrigo didn’t publicly address these claims, she appeared to make the connection official by later adding Swift, Jack Antonoff and St. Vincent as co-writers on the track, stated Rolling Stone.

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Olivia Rodrigo, winner of the awards for best pop vocal album for Sour, best new artist and best pop solo performance for “Driver’s License”, poses in the press room at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in April 2022, in Las Vegas. Photo: AP

There’s no question that Rodrigo finds inspiration in her idol Swift’s music. The similarities between Swift’s “New Year’s Day” and Rodrigo’s “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” are clear too, and acknowledged by the actress upon its release, but the impact of “Cruel Summer” on “Deja Vu” seems less apparent, according to Variety. The same source stated that it’s likely they settled the case behind closed doors.

US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift arrives for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, on February 5. Photo: AFP

Later, in August 2021, Paramore’s Hayley Williams (who’s a close friend of Swift’s) and Josh Farro were added to the credits of Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U”, reported the BBC. (Listeners had also pointed out similarities between “Good 4 U” and Paramore’s song “Misery Business”.) Although Rodrigo didn’t name names, she later told Time, “It was really frustrating to see people discredit and deny my creativity.”

When the Grammys 2022 rolled around, however, Swift and her co-writers were removed from the list of nominated artists under Sour as Grammys cited a “submission error”, per i-D. According to Stylecaster, Swift and Rodrigo didn’t interact at this year’s Grammys despite sitting near each other, only adding fuel to the rumour fire.

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The concert drama

Taylor Swift performs on the opening night of The Eras Tour at State Farm Stadium on March 17, in Glendale, Arizona. Photo: Getty Images

Swift seems to have struck up a friendship with Rodrigo’s rumoured arch nemesis singer Sabrina Carpenter, having taken selfies with her at the Grammys this February. Joshua Bassett, Rodrigo’s former beau, was said to have moved on with Carpenter, per Stylecaster.

Swift then added Carpenter to her Eras tour line-up as a special guest.

“Vampire” comes out

Olivia Rodrigo promoting her new album. Photo: @oliviarodrigo/Instagram

Rodrigo’s “Vampire” single came out in July, with the artist stating in an Instagram post that the song was about feelings of “regret, anger and heartache”.

Considering its lyrics like “I used to think I was smart, but you make me look so naïve”, “The way you sold me for parts” and “Famef***er”, fans originally thought it was about her ex, Adam Faze, until this rumour was shut down by a source close to Rodrigo. Now, many fans believe that the song is actually about Swift.

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Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2022. Photo: @oscardelarenta/Instagram

Clearly, both ladies are very talented in their own right, and speculation could just be speculation. After all, Swift has been so busy embarking on a mega multimillion-dollar-making global concert tour and Rodrigo’s focused much of her time on the launch of her second album.

But if it is true, you know how the saying goes: sometimes, it’s better not to meet your hero. Or, in this case, for Rodrigo, her “Anti-Hero” …

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