In my quest to become the very best entertainment journalist ever there ever was, I recently made the decision to reset my thoughts on two of the biggest pop chanteuses today, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.
Truth be told, it wasn’t that difficult to do: Both Swift and Perry, despite my annoyance of their attitudes regarding their petty feud over a common music business practice, and certain problematic actions that kiss-and-tell Taylor, 24, and Katy, the oft-criticized cultural appropriator, 32, have been behind in the past, neither singer has offended me to the point of running to Spotify (for Katy) or my personal music playlist (for Taylor) to delete their music.
Incidentally, those separate libraries of pop sounds connect to the latest twist in the ongoing saga between the young performers that began, as previously mentioned, when Perry picked up several dancers attached to Swift’s Speak Now tour in 2014, to sign on for her then-upcoming Prismatic World Tour that same year, as TMZ reported.
On Friday, after once raising a major stink regarding music streaming app Spotify and coincidentally, to the heartbreak of many of her “Swifties,” removed all works with her name attached from the service in 2014, Taylor willingly abandoned her position as Apple Music’s biggest draw and once allowed her entire discography, including 2014’s still-phenomenal 1989 album, to be re-streamed through Spotify and other streaming music services.
“In celebration of 1989 selling over 10 million albums worldwide and the [Record Industry Association of America’s] 100 million song certification announcement, Taylor wants to thank her fans by making her entire back catalog available to all streaming services tonight at midnight,” Swift’s rep said on Instagram, as Billboard provides.
As it just so happened, as even non-fans of either artist know by now, midnight was also the allotted time the latest offering from Katy Perry, Witness, would be dropping worldwide.
Was it shady? Maybe. But it also was, dare I say it, a necessary and well-played move from Ms. Swift, even if a certain cat-titled collective strongly thinks otherwise. And here’s why.
For starters, when it comes any kind of feud; be it fictional, non-fictional or even non-existent (sort of like the one legendary “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin dredged up with Dionne Warwick a few months back who, as the kids say nowadays, “remained unbothered” about the situation) is based around one major, unspoken rule: No unfounded or unwarranted attacks, whatsoever — or “fight fairly,” if you will.
When Swift recorded and released “Bad Blood” in 2014, her first shot at Perry after news of Katy’s supposed stealing of her dancers came to light publicly, Taylor had more or less done what most had expected her to: She responded to the offense, just as she’s done many times with her self-proclaimed “long list of ex-lovers,” and promptly channeled her inner Elsa of Disney’s Frozen fame to, more or less, “let it go, let it go” once she got it off her chest.
And for those who are about to interject the Rolling Stone interview from October 2015 where Swift touches on the subject matter of “Bad Blood,” bear in mind that Taylor never once mentioned Katy by name, whereas Katy has continually spoken the name “Taylor Swift,” every single time she’s brought the issue up in the media.
As of matter of fact, it would be Katy herself who, essentially, outed herself as the person who did Taylor wrong with a Twitter post that was said to be a response to Swift’s Rolling Stone sit-down.
Watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing...— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) September 9, 2014
If that wasn’t enough, in the shaky lead up to the release of Witness — which music publication Spin noted as a “spectacular failure” point in Katy’s career — Perry has brought up the matter with Swift more times than Taylor even spoke on the song it’s supposedly based on itself.
“I wish that I could turn the other cheek every single time, but I’m also not a pushover,” Perry proclaimed to NME just recently.
“Especially when someone tries to assassinate my character with little girls. That’s so messed up!”
Except Taylor did no such thing to Katy (although she may have, incidentally, given Swift actual legal standing to sue her for defamation of character).
In fact, last we all checked, Perry was still in good standing enough with the industry and her fans to book filled-to-the-brim seated arenas for her concerts, and go on press media tours to promote Witness, an album that features work from Max Martin; the same producer who helped Swift co-pen “Bad Blood” — so that’s two personal shots right there from Katy (the comment and the Max Martin collaboration) to Taylor’s assumed two (the reveal of the issue and “Bad Blood”).
But let’s keep going, shall we?
“Honestly, it’s really like, she started it, and it’s time for her to finish it,” Katy remarked to James Corden about Swift on Carpool Karaoke this May to, in part, promote “Swish Swish,” a Witness album cut with Nicki Minaj, who once also went head-to-head with Swift over a private matter, but cleared the air with Taylor not too long after the mix-up occurred.
That would be five to two, by the way.
And the “Regina George” tweet technically, logically makes six on a chain of events that Katy, once again, started when she plucked a handful of Taylor’s dancers from her tour, without so much as a, “do you mind if I use them?” to someone who considered her, at the most basic level, a “friend.”
But really, no matter the tally or how many fans of either Swift and Perry choose to look at this entirely unimportant thing that they’ve both created and side with their “fave” without question anyway, think of it in this fashion:
No matter how or when the two women decide to have their “come to Jesus” moment over who was more wrong over whichever grievance, understand that Taylor Swift will enter the ring knowing that her 2006 album is still more desired by listeners than the 2017 Perry offering that holds three failed, mainstream singles that Katy’s label is now playing off as “promotional releases.”
Taylor Swift didn’t actually start this battle, but Katy Perry still ended up losing the war. Go figure.
[Featured Image by Mark Davis/Getty Images & Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]