Olivia Rodrigo has apparently given a huge percentage of royalties amounting to millions of dollars to Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams, among others, after retroactively giving them credits on some of her most popular songs.
Rodrigo's breakout year, which saw her rise to mainstream stardom in January with her debut single, "Drivers License," hasn't shown any signs of slowing down, with the 18-year-old earning multiple No. 1 singles off her first album, Sour.
However, fans claimed to notice similarities between Rodrigo's smash hit "Good 4 U" and Paramore's 2007 single "Misery Business," theories that were only supported by a mashup of the songs, which has since been viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube.
Last week, it was then announced that Paramore's Hayley Williams and Joshua Farro had been retroactively given songwriting credits because of the similarities, something that Williams reacted to in an Instagram story.
But this wasn't the first time that Rodrigo had offered writing credits to other artists for their apparent influence on her work — back in July, it was reported that she'd added Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, and St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) to the credits on "Deja Vu," another one of her top 10 hits.
This addition was apparently down to the interpolation of Swift's song "Cruel Summer" from her 2019 album Lover. The interpolation of a song basically means that parts of that record's composition have been rerecorded and turned into something new. This differs from a sample, which is just lifting a snippet from an original song.
A clearer example of interpolation on Rodrigo's album can be seen on the track "1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back," which re-creates the piano melody from Swift's 2017 song "New Year's Day" and credits both Swift and Antonoff.
"I came up with the '1 Step Forward' concept and I sort of wrote a verse and a chorus," Olivia explained in an interview with Zach Sang. "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, a new report by Billboard claims that as a result of offering songwriting credits on some of her most popular songs, Rodrigo has given up a huge sum of money in royalties.
This amounts to a pretty hefty sum of money. Billboard claims that Williams and Farro could be receiving around $1.2 million following the success of "Good 4 U," while Swift and her writing team could also be cashing in.
One artist who didn't have a problem with Rodrigo taking influence from their work was Elvis Costello, who responded to accusations that a guitar riff from one of his songs had been copied for Rodrigo's album-opener "Brutal."
"This is fine by me," Costello tweeted. "It's how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That's what I did."