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The Largest Controversies Surrounding Taylor Swift That Made Headlines

The Largest Controversies Surrounding Taylor Swift That Made Headlines

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Pop sensation Taylor Swift is currently ruling over the music industry. Not only in the US, but the star has rightfully achieved global acclaim and has become a household name worldwide. The level of brilliance Taylor uses to capture even the most intimate emotions is truly commendable. The journey to reach the pinnacle of success was far from smooth for Miss Swift. Controversies, rumours, and feuds never left her side. But with an unwavering commitment to her craft and headstrong attitude, she always came out victorious.

Taylor Swift began her career in country music at the age of 16 in 2006 and this year she is Spotify’s most-streamed artist of the year. She became the only singer to achieve billionaire status exclusively via her songs and performances. Currently, she also has the highest-grossing concert and the highest-grossing concert film in her name. Despite her tremendous success, Taylor Swift has not been immune to the controversies and rumours that have haunted her career. She has faced a variety of obstacles, including plagiarism claims and assault charges. Today, we look at the significant disputes that have shaped Taylor Swift’s Reputation.

13 Taylor Swift controversies we’ve heard over the years

Kanye interrupting Taylor’s VMA speech

This is where it all started — the infamous Kanye-Taylor feud. In 2009, Taylor won a VMA for her song “You Belong With Me” music video in the Best Female Music Video category. Out of nowhere, when little 20-year-old Swift was giving her acceptance speech, Kanye stormed on stage took the mic from her and announced Beyonce deserved that award. Cue the booing from the audience, and Taylor stands there, perplexed. Netizens criticised his behaviour and later he did apologise for his action in an interview.

Writing songs about her Exes

It’s no news that Taylor loves to write songs about her own experiences and often writes about her love life. So, people accused her of dating famous men to get new album materials. Memes and controversies like this around Taylor Swift were always a hot topic on the internet.

But the wind turned into a storm when she released “Dear John”. Fans were quick to speculate that the song is about her former flame John Mayer. Taylor kept mum, but she never said anything to deny it either. Mayer received a huge backlash from the Swifties. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he revealed that he felt “humiliated” – “I will say as a songwriter that I think it’s kind of cheap songwriting. I know she’s the biggest thing in the world, and I’m not trying to sink anybody’s ship, but I think it’s abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, ‘Wait till he gets a load of this!’ That’s bulls**t.” But Taylor remains the unapologetic queen.

And John wasn’t the only inspiration. “All Too Well” is said to be about Jake Gyllenhaal, while “Style” from 1989 is about her time with Harry Styles among many others. Taylor’s love life is literally a playlist.

Taylor and Katy’s drama

Katy and Taylor were BFFs in the early days of their careers. Even when Katy started dating John Mayer, who allegedly had a past with Swift, their friendship did not suffer. The friendship train crashed when three backup dancers opted to cross sides and join Katy’s tour from Swift’s.

Remember the smash hit from Taylor Swift’s 1989 album “Bad Blood”? Reportedly, it’s all about Katy Perry. The rumour mill even stated that Perry’s “Swish Swish” is her reply to “Bad Blood.” But the pop queens decided to patch things up after years of not-so-subtle shade and some not-so-nice statements. And, after burying the hatchet, Perry appeared in Taylor’s “You Need to Calm Down” music video.

Taylor ditches Spotify

Taylor Swift controversy
Image Credit: Screenshot/Spotify

Taylor Swift is the most-streamed artist of the year on Spotify this year and Spotify has even tweaked their seek bar exclusively for her music. But wasn’t always sunshine and roses. In 2014, due to her dissatisfaction with small royalties, Swift pulled her entire music catalogue from Spotify and moved to Tidal.

In 2015, She had a similar issue with Apple Music. The streaming platform wasn’t planning to pay the artists during the free trial period. But after Swift threw a fit, they changed their tune and decided they would pay artists royalties throughout the trial time. And she put her music back on Apple Music.

After 3 years of Spotify hiatus, she made her music available again in 2017. Coincidentally, (or not), she reappeared on the streaming platform the same day Katy Perry released her new album Witness. The “Bad Blood” between these two wasn’t exactly a thing of the past at that point.

“Shake it Off” lawsuit

Sean Hall and Nathan Butler claimed that her hit song “Shake It Off” from her 1989 album plagiarised their song, 3LW’s Playas Gon’ Play. The lyrics “players gonna play, play, play, play” and “the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate” breached the copyright of their 2000 song, which included the lines “Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate.” On the other hand, Swift claimed in a filing: “Until learning about Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017, I had never heard the song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW.” In 2022, the case was dismissed with no final ruling after five years of judicial drama.

Kim-Kanye Drama

After the VMA incident, Kanye and Taylor somehow reconciled but this time he set the stage for a colossal betrayal. Kanye West released his track “Famous” in 2016 featuring the lyrics “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that b**ch famous.” Upon hearing these controversial and misogynistic lyrics Taylor’s team released a statement saying “Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, “I made that bi**h famous.’”

But West’s then-wife Kim Kardashian got involved and she released an edited version of the phone call footage which insisted Taylor heard the lyrics and approved them. #KimExposedTaylorParty started trending, and Swift was portrayed as a snake. Kim’s sister Kendall who used to be good friends with Swift took Ye and her sister’s side. After constantly getting bullied on social media due to this controversy, Taylor Swift went on a hiatus for a year. But when the full footage of the phone call surfaced, it was clear as day that Taylor was right all along.

Even though Kim claims she and Swift are over this, Taylor Swift in Time magazine’s Person of the Year interview addressed this controversy, stating it was more than just a dispute; it was a career ambush. “Make no mistake—my career was taken away from me,” she said.

The DJ assault lawsuit

Swift’s lawsuit against DJ David Mueller in 2017 was tragic. She discussed the situation and how it affected her in her Netflix documentary Miss Americana. David Mueller groped Swift while they were posing for a picture together before her Red World Tour show. Swift’s security team swooped in immediately after the snap and informed his employer. As a result, he got banned from her concerts and fired from his radio job. But then he flipped the script and sued Swift for $3 million in defamation. Swift stated in Miss Americana that Mueller’s claim and lawsuit were full of lies. “There were seven people who saw him do this, and we have a photo of it happening,” she said.

Swift refused to back down. She countersued for assault and battery, seeking a symbolic $1 in damages. Swift received her dollar when the jury convicted Mueller guilty. “You don’t feel any sense of victory when you win, because the process is so dehumanising,” she said in her documentary. “This is with seven witnesses and a photo. What happens when you get raped and it’s your word against his?” she added.

Lover lawsuit

Swift was sued for more than $1 million in August 2022 by a lady named Teresa La Dart, who claimed Swift copied from her 2010 poetry book Lover while constructing the booklet that accompanied her 2019 album of the same name. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, La Dart alleged that Swift and her team drew uncredited inspiration from her book, pointing to similarities in the colour scheme, photography style, and overall content of the album booklet. Both books were described as a “recollection of past years memorialized in a combination of written and pictorial components.”

Billboard reported the lawsuit was abruptly withdrawn in July 2023 after Swift’s attorneys said it was “legally and factually baseless” and “never should have been filed.”

Private jet usage

A study was released in the summer of 2022, calling out celebrities for their carbon footprint caused by private jets. Taylor Swift topped the list, accumulating an astounding 8,293 tonnes of CO2. With 170 private jet flights, that’s more than 22,923 minutes in the air, or 15.9 days. According to one Reddit user, Taylor emits more CO2 in a year than you could in 500 years.

One of Taylor’s reps responded to the data saying “Taylor’s jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals. To attribute most or all of these trips to her is blatantly incorrect.”

The ‘Folklore’ logo

A small business owner, Amira Rasool called out Taylor Swift’s team in 2021 for plagiarising her company logo, that was on Swift’s Folklore album merchandising. Rasool stated Swift’s Folklore logo was remarkably similar to her business, The Folklore. Rasool took the issue to social media, urging the public to be aware of the alleged imitation. She pointed out the similarities on Instagram and emphasised her opposition to the practice of large corporations or celebrities imitating the work of small, minority-owned enterprises.

Swift did not dwell on the controversy. She quickly responded, appreciating Rasool’s work, and offering to help her company. Taylor also decided to replace the items affiliated with the Folklore album to address the situation.

Evermore legal dispute

Evermore Park filed legal action in Utah on February 2, 2021, against Taylor Swift. Swift’s December album release and associated merchandise, according to the park, violated their trademarks. They claimed Swift’s use of the moniker “Evermore” caused misunderstanding and violated the park’s intellectual property rights.

In response to that, Taylor Swift’s TAS Rights Management company filed a countersuit against Evermore Park on February 22, 2021. According to the counterclaim, the park featured costumed actors singing Swift and other artists’ hits without getting the relevant licences. This legal battle highlighted the conflict between the pop diva and the amusement park over the use of the “Evermore” name and intellectual property concerns. At last, both parties dropped their lawsuits and lived happily.

See Also

‘The Master of Spin’ — Scooter Braun

Image credit: Scott “Scooter” Braun/@scooterbraun/Instagram

Taylor Swift’s life was turned upside down in 2019 when her former label owner, Scott Borchetta of Big Machine, sold the masters to celebrity manager Scooter Braun. Scott was well aware that Taylor wasn’t exactly Scooter’s biggest fan. But that didn’t stop the transaction. And this created one of the biggest controversies of Taylor Swift’s life.

Taylor found out about the whole situation after it made headlines, leaving her blindsided. Frustrated, she resorted to social media to share her “worst-case scenario.” She didn’t hold back, calling Scooter Braun a “bully” and a “manipulator,” and she sought help from other musicians. However, things took a turn for the worse when Braun, with his newfound power, sold Taylor’s masters to an investment firm, further putting them out of reach. She spoke out about how she was denied the chance to purchase her masters.

Swift, ever the savvy strategist, chose to seize command. She announced that she intends to re-record all of her albums, giving her entire ownership. And has already released four out of six of her re-recorded albums.

Accusation of being ‘fatphobic’

Taylor was previously vocal about her eating disorder and how she got criticised for her body image over the years. ‘Anti-Hero’ music video which was directed by her featured a controversial clip where Swift stands on a scale featuring the word “fat,” while her counterpart looks at it disapprovingly.

Taylor tried to explain that the video represented her “nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts.” But this sparked a controversy and people even started calling Taylor Swift a ‘fatphobic’. The reaction on social media, was fast and negative, with campaigners and health professionals criticising the scene. In reaction to the public criticism, Taylor decided to edit the entire video and remove the problematic part.

(Main and featured image credit: Christopher Polk/MTV1415/Getty Images)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is Taylor Swift controversial?

Her dispute with celebrity manager Scooter Braun, excessive private jet use, writing songs about her exes and many other controversies have always surrounded Taylor Swift.

What happened to Taylor and John Mayer?

Taylor and John Mayer dated for only two months in 2010.

What happened with Taylor Swift’s Masters?

Taylor’s former label owner Scott Borchetta of Big Machine sold her masters to Scoot Braun. And Braun sold the old masters to the Disney family’s investment firm, Shamrock Holdings.

Who were all of Taylor Swift’s boyfriends?

Taylor has dated Joe Jonas, John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles, Calvin Harris, Tom Hiddleston, and Joe Alwyn previously. Currently she’s dating American football player Travis Kelce.

Source: Prestige Online

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