A Brief History Of The Katy Perry & Taylor Swift Feud

Kevin Mazur / Wireimage
If you're looking for evidence of the feud between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, you won't have to search for long. By now, tension between the singers has been broiling for a good four years. With thinly veiled Twitter digs and pointed song lyrics, Swift and Perry have both scattered clues throughout the internet. Now, we're determined to collect all the evidence — especially since the feud might be entering a new phase.
With Katy Perry set to release a new album, people are speculating whether she wrote a reaction to Swift's song "Bad Blood." Surely when the album drops — whenever that is — fans will be poring over sentence structure to read the Swift between the lines.
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By tracing the singers' acts of "mad love" on Twitter, to their "bad blood" interviews years later, we can paint a holistic picture of the falling out. Here's proof that Swift and Perry are following in a long line of larger-than-life figures with larger-than-life rivalries.
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2008-2011: The Era Of Mad Love

Before there was bad blood, the singers fawned over one another on Twitter and made surprise appearances at each other's concerts. Here's proof of the good ol' days.
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Kevin Mazur / Contributor
September 7, 2008: Their Friendship's First Photo

Bask in this mid-2000s gem, snapped at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.
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May 4, 2009: Perry Deems Swift Angelic

Ah, a saccharinely sweet friendship.
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@taylorswift13
May 19, 2009: Swift Jams Out To Perry's Music Publicly

Alas, Perry didn't respond.
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July 5, 2009: Swift Reaches Out Again

This time, Swift thanked Perry for providing her interior decoration inspo. And we all know how seriously Swift takes her house.
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@katyperry
July 6, 2009: Perry Responds With A Collab Proposal

The singers' collaboration never happened — though later on, Swift would sing about Perry in a song.
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@taylorswift13
August 28, 2009: Swift Bonds With Her Fellow Cat-Lover

But Perry didn't reciprocate the kitty luv.
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@taylorswift13
October 25, 2009: Happy Birthday, Miss Perry

Swift humblebragged about her social life, and called Perry "pretty."
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@taylorswift
December 13, 2009: Happy Birthday, Miss Swift

Perry called Swift "beautiful" and says she deserves "it all," whatever "it" might be.
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Greg Allen/REX/Shutterstock
November 2009-February 2010: Swift Dates John Mayer

While the cause of this feud is not that both women dated John Mayer, it's worth earmarking the relationship's place in the chronology.
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April 15, 2010: Perry Surprises Swift's Fans At A Concert

Perry got on stage and sang "Hot 'n Cold" with Swift. That "Hot 'n Cold" is a classic feud song should've been a clue.
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@taylorswift13
April 16, 2010: Swift Pulls A Celine Dion...

...and proclaims that she'd always love Katy Perry.
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November 20, 2011: The Hug Is Real

At the 2011 America Music Awards, Swift and Perry were PDA-ing all over the place. By comparison, their 2013 handshake at the Grammys will seem positively sterile.
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2012-2016: Perry & Mayer Date

Their relationship's many breakups and reconciliations constituted four years' worth of tabloid stories.
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2013-2017: Now We Got Problems

There's trouble afoot. As Swift said in her now-famous Rolling Stone interview in 2014, "I know people will make it this big girl-fight thing. But I just want people to know it's not about a guy. The beef was purely professional."

So, you ask, what was this purely professional beef? Come with us.
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February 10, 2013: Do Friends Even Shake Hands?

Perry attended the 2013 Grammys with Swift's ex-boyfriend Mayer.
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March 13, 2013: Meet The Dancers

March 13 was the first day of the Red Tour — appropriate, since Swift loves the number 13. Joining Swift on tour were Lockhart Brownlie, Leah Adler, and Scott Myrick, dancers who also toured with Perry in 2011.
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@katyperry
March 23, 2013: Close-Reading Cakes

For Myrick's birthday in 2012, Perry bought him a cake with a Barbie doll in the middle. After Myrick tweeted a side-by-side comparison of Perry's cake and Swift's Red Tour cake, Perry retweeted and wrote: "Mothers [sic] always watching." Make of it what you will.
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A post shared by Leah (@onlyleah) on

@onlyleah
September 2013: Six Months Into The Red tour, The Three Dancers Jump Ship

Adler, Myrick, and Brownlie were asked to join Perry's upcoming Prismatic World Tour. They agreed, even though it meant leaving Swift's tour early.

In December 2013, Brownlie explained to The Examiner, "It was a great experience and [Taylor]'s a great person to work with, but then Katy contacted us. Obviously we were with Katy for two and a half years, she's like family to us, so we were, like, 'Absolutely.' We weren't really dancing in Taylor's tour anyway so I had got a little bored and I really wanted to do a promo tour.''

Given Brownlie's nonchalant tone, you'd think this was NBD. Right? Wrong.
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September 8, 2014: "Bad Blood" Drops

Clearly, Swift's song off her 1989 album was inspired by someone. And in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2014, Swift indicated the subject of the song.

Swift said, “She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I’m surprisingly non-confrontational — you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It’s awkward, and I don’t like it.”

And, okay, maybe the feud isn't purely professional, though Swift wouldn't address it. The Rolling Stone article reads, "Pressed, Swift admits there might have been a personal element to the conflict. 'But I don't think there would be any personal problem if she weren't competitive,' she says." It seems there's only a drop of Mayer blood.
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@katyperry
September 9, 2014: Perry Claps Back

Not so subtle, really.
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September 2014: Swift Avoids "Evil Pop" On 1989

In 2013, Swift brought Sara Bareilles on stage to perform Bareilles' song "Brave," which, as you'll recall, was often compared to Perry's similar anthem, "Roar." Swift called the song "so beautifully written."

Cut to 2014, when 1989 publicity was everywhere. In a Time interview, Swift's writing collaborator Jack Antonoff (who happens to be dating Swift's friend Lena Dunham) said, "I like working with Taylor or Sara Bareilles or Tegan and Sara — where you're just in the room, talking about what stuff is going to feel like and sound like, and working from that perspective. It's not any of this bullshit of, 'Let's write a hit Katy Perry song.'"

Swift herself said in the Rolling Stone interview that she veered away from including "brainless" and "evil pop" on 1989.
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January 30, 2015: Perry Gets A Word In

In an interview with Billboard magazine, Perry said, "If somebody is trying to defame my character, you're going to hear about it."
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May 17, 2015: The "Bad Blood" Video Drops

Selena Gomez plays Arsyn, the video's antagonist. For the part, Gomez donned a black bob, which happens to look a lot like Katy Perry's hair at the time. Coincidence? We think not.
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May 23, 2015: Bad Blood No Longer?

Well, there might be bad blood — but Swift declared she wasn't talking about it anymore. In an interview with The Telegraph, Swift said, "I'm not giving them anything to write about... I'm never going to talk about her in my interview. It's not going to happen."
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July 22, 2015: Perry Chimes In On Another One Of Swift's Feuds

When her video for "Anaconda" wasn't nominated for a VMA, Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to express her frustration. Thinking Minaj's comments were directed at her, Swift tweeted, "I've done nothing but love & support you. It's unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot.." Minaj questioned why Swift was getting involved, since the tweets weren't about her.

The following day, Katy weighed in with her own take, a clear reference to her history with the singer.
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February 21, 2016: A Gesture Of Peace?

Before the 2016 Grammys, Perry decided to throw the "Met Ball of music" in the form of a pre-party at her house. Perry confirmed Swift was invited, but Swift never showed up.
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@shoppersdrugmartofficial
June 22, 2016: Perry Launches A Fragrance With A Very Conspicuous Name

Following her first fragrance "Mad Potion," Perry introduced the fragrance "Mad Love." Thinking back to the "Bad Blood" lyrics, "Cause baby now we got bad blood / You know it used to be mad love," this definitely seems like more than a coincidence.
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July 13, 2016: Perry Comments On Swift's Relationship Drama

After Swift and Calvin Harris broke up, Swift claimed a writing credit on his song, "This Is What You Came For." Harris criticized Swift in a Twitter rant, writing, "You need someone new to try and bury like Katy." Perry employed Hillary Clinton's very expressive face as a response.
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July 13, 2016: Then, Perry Resurrects An Old Tweet

Perry originally posted this in May 2015, around the time the "Bad Blood" music video first dropped.
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May 8, 2017: Did Perry Pen A Response To "Bad Blood"?

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the interviewer asked Perry whether she'd written a lyrical reaction to "Bad Blood." Perry responded, "Well that’s not my question to answer — if it’s about me. I think [my new album is] a very empowered record. There is no one thing that’s calling out any one person."

And, as if she couldn't resist, Perry continued, "Honestly, when women come together and they decide to unite, this world is going to be a better place. Period end of story. But, let me say this: Everything has a reaction or a consequence so don’t forget about that, okay, honey. [Laughs] We got to keep it real, honey."
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@CalvinHarris
May 9, 2017: Calvin Harris Announces A Katy Perry Collaboration

Harris announced his upcoming album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. Amongst the album's many collaborators is none other than Katy Perry. We smell a revenge plot.
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