Taylor Swift Sang That She'd Cry Herself To Sleep When A Young Artist Like Olivia Rodrigo Joins The Music Industry, And People Think It's The Root Of Their Rumored Feud

Reflecting on her fame at just 22 years old, Taylor asked: "Are we only biding time 'til I lose your attention and someone else lights up the room?"

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On Saturday, speculation surrounding Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift's relationship once again reached fever pitch thanks to a new interview.

You may recall that back in 2021, the same year that Olivia entered the music scene, Taylor released her version of her 2012 album Red, complete with previously unheard tracks "from the vault."

Taylor Swift in a red dress playing a blue guitar

"Lord, what will become of me once I've lost my novelty?" Taylor questions in "Nothing New," before singing in the chorus: "I've had too much to drink tonight / And I know it's sad, but this is what I think about / And I wake up in the middle of the night / It's like I can feel time moving. / How can a person know everything at 18 but nothing at 22?"

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"I know someday I'm gonna meet her, it's a fever dream / The kind of radiance you only have at 17 / She'll know the way, and then she'll say she got the map from me / I'll say I'm happy for her, then I'll cry myself to sleep," she sings.

"Anyway, I wrote a song on it called 'Nothin New' and it's about being scared of aging and things changing and losing what you have," Taylor goes on. "It says 'I'm getting older and less sure of what you like about me anyway.' And in the chorus it says, 'How can a person know everything at 18, and nothing at 22? And will you still want me.. when I'm nothin new.' It's a really vulnerable song, but I think it's important to say."

Twitter @coveredinsnoww / Via Twitter: @coveredinsnoww

And it's perhaps unsurprising that Olivia was the first person to pop into listeners' minds when they heard the song for the first time, with the parallels hard to ignore. 

After all, with Taylor being in the industry for 17 years, Olivia, now 20, spent most of her life being a dedicated fan of the star's before embarking on her own career. 

In fact, Olivia has always been incredibly open about the way that Taylor inspired her, and even credited her as "the reason" she is a songwriter.

The newly-established star began her career as a Disney actor in the late 2010s, but transitioned into music in 2021 at the age of 17. That same year, she said in an interview that she was "the biggest Swiftie in the whole world."

A closeup of Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia was clearly overwhelmed by the attention from her idol, and showed off a ring that Taylor had sent her during an interview with Ryan Seacrest. “She gave me this ring because she said she wore one just like it when she wrote Red and she wanted me to have one like it and all of this amazing stuff," Olivia said. "She’s like hand-wrapped these gifts.”

Olivia shows the ring Taylor gave her

In an interview with Zach Sang, Olivia explained that she wrote her lyrics over the chords for Taylor's 2017 album track and that she felt "lucky" to have had the interpolation approved.

Olivia performing with a guitar

While neither Taylor, Hayley, or Olivia publicly commented on the situation, many expressed their discomfort at the way that an up-and-coming new artist had seemingly been targeted by more established stars, and other musicians came to Olivia’s defense.

A closeup of Olivia

And even though the credit debacle was handled incredibly privately by all teams involved, there was a palpable change in Olivia and Taylor's public relationship afterward.

A closeup of Taylor Swift

Looking back on her early success, Alanis told the singer: “There was a lot of bullying and a lot of jealousy and a lot of people whom I’d adored my whole life being mean girls,” to which Olivia replied: “Same!”

A closeup of Alanis and Olivia together

While neither Taylor or Olivia's albums won the Album of the Year Grammy, Olivia did walk away with three accolades that evening: Best Pop Vocal Album, Best New Artist, and Best Pop Solo Performance.

Olivia holding her three Grammys

Just days before the release of "Vampire" in June, Taylor announced that Sabrina — who she referred to as a “sweet angel princess” — would be joining her on her international Eras tour as a special guest.

Taylor and Sabrina hugging

In the opening lyrics, Olivia accuses the subject of her song of building a “castle” out of people that they “pretend to care about,” which could easily be correlated to the royalties that Taylor banked after feigning friendship with Olivia. “I loved you truly,” Olivia recalls. “Gotta laugh at the stupidity.”

Olivia's subsequent lyric: “Went for me and not her / Cause girls your age know better” could then be a reference to her being an easy target because she is a young and inexperienced artist compared to veterans in the industry who may be harder to manipulate.

And fans have argued that the way that Taylor and Olivia’s relationship seemingly fell apart indisputably ties into Taylor’s own frank admission in "Nothing New."

A closeup of Taylor singing

Someone else claimed that Taylor only appears to be comfortable supporting young artists if they stay in their lane, and don't show signs that they may surpass her.

Taylor performing during her Eras tour

During an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers ahead of Red (Taylor's Version)'s release, Taylor explained why she asked Phoebe to sing on the "really special" song.

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