Taylor Swift and Katy Perry’s Feud Explained: A Timeline

Celebrity Feuds

Taylor Swift and Katy Perry’s Feud Explained: A Timeline

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Taylor Swift and Katy Perry’s Feud Explained: A Timeline

By now, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry aren’t even trying to deny the “Bad Blood” started back in summer 2013 — when Katy convinced three dancers to leave Taylor’s concert tour for her own.

All these years later, they’re still talking about each other… and still trying to take the higher moral ground. Katy certainly seems ready to reconcile, but Taylor’s recent Spotify maneuver may be her pettiest move yet.

Click through the slideshow to see their every low blow, pot shot, subtweet, and shady word in this timeline of their four-year cold war. Caution: Passive aggression ahead.

Taylor Swift and Katy Perry’s Feud Explained: A Timeline
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December 2013: One of the dancers explains his side

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December 2013: One of the dancers explains his side

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“I was with Taylor for the first six months [of her Red tour],” dancer Lockhart Brownlie told The Examiner.

“It was a great experience and she's a great person to work with, but then Katy contacted us.”

Katy asked him and two of the other dancers on Taylor’s tour — Scott Myrick and Leah Adler — if they’d like to dance with her again for her Prism tour.

“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.”

Taylor had blogged about her Independence Day hangout with her dancers just months before — Scott, Leah, and “Locky” included.

But after they decamped, she apparently unfollowed all three on Twitter. Brr, we just felt a chill.

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September 2014: Taylor explains “Bad Blood”

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September 2014: Taylor explains “Bad Blood”

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In her Rolling Stone cover story, Taylor says another female artist inspired her hit song “Bad Blood,” but she declines to name that person (and thus leaves it up to pop culture sleuths, who wasted no time pointing the finger at Katy).

“For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not,” Taylor said.

“She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, ‘Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?’

“[In 2013] she did something so horrible. I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’ And it wasn’t even about a guy! It had to do with business.

“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.

“I don't think there would be any personal problem if she weren't competitive.”

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September 2014: Katy subtweets a Mean Girl

September 2014: Katy subtweets a Mean Girl

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A day after that Rolling Stone interview hit the web, Katy warned her followers about an innocuous-seeming Mean Girl with this shady tweet, the first of many tweets definitely about Taylor.

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January 2015: Katy cries character defamation

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January 2015: Katy cries character defamation

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“If somebody is trying to defame my character, you’re going to hear about it,” Katy told Billboard when asked about that Regina George tweet.

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March 2015: Taylor refuses to talk about Katy

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March 2015: Taylor refuses to talk about Katy

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The Telegraph straight-up asked Taylor about her beef with Katy.

“I’m not giving them anything to write about,’ she replied with a steely smile. “I’m never going to talk about her in my interview. It’s not going to happen.”

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May 2015: Taylor releases the “Bad Blood” music video

May 2015: Taylor releases the “Bad Blood” music video

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Taylor and her famous friends squad-ed up for this action-packed music video, which broke a Vevo record with 20.1 million views in the first 24 hours.

Selena Gomez plays Tay’s nemesis, whose dark hair and blunt bangs looked very Katy.

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July 2015: Taylor criticizes Nicki and backtracks as Katy watches

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July 2015: Taylor criticizes Nicki and backtracks as Katy watches

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When Nicki Minaj observed that the MTV Video Music Awards nominations seemed to reward videos featuring slim women, Taylor took this as a personal affront and got on her high horse about it.

Two days later, she realized the error of her ways.

Meanwhile, in another savage subtweet, Katy accused Taylor of hypocrisy, given the women-vs.-women battle in the “Bad Blood” video.

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July 2015: Taylor (maybe) shades Katy with a shark costume

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July 2015: Taylor (maybe) shades Katy with a shark costume

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At Taylor’s concert in Foxboro, Massachusetts — five months after Katy Perry’s infamous Left Shark dancer got out of sync in her Super Bowl performance — a dancer in a shark costume popped up behind her during her “Bad Blood” performance, cracking her up.

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October 2015: Taylor maintains her innocence

October 2015: Taylor maintains her innocence

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When GQ asked her about “Bad Blood” being linked with Katy, Taylor said, “I never said anything that would point a finger in the specific direction of one specific person, and I can sleep at night knowing that.”

(Flimsy defense, if you ask us!)

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November 2015: Katy takes Taylor’s “Blank Space” guy

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November 2015: Katy takes Taylor’s “Blank Space” guy

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In a holiday-themed ad for H&M, Katy shared the screen with Sean O’Pry, the same hunky guy who played Taylor’s love interest in “Blank Space.”

Katy, don’t you know Taylor’s ex-lovers will tell you she’s insane?

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February 2016: Katy invites Taylor to a pre-Grammys party

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February 2016: Katy invites Taylor to a pre-Grammys party

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A rare olive branch? Katy threw “An Evening to Celebrate the Creators” before the 2016 Grammys and invited only musicians — no entourages allowed.

Taylor was one of the invitees — “It’s just up to their schedules,” Katy told The New York Times — but there’s no evidence she actually deigned to attend the swanky gala.

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May 2016: Selena praises Katy

May 2016: Selena praises Katy

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Taylor’s BFF Selena Gomez reached across the aisle, so to speak, and supported Katy amid speculation Selena was hooking up with Orlando Bloom, Katy’s boyfriend at the time.

Katy called the gossip a “dumb conspiracy,” and Selena retweeted that post with praise hands emoji. (We wonder what emojis T.Swift sent SelGo after that.)

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May 2016: Katy tells Taylor she misses her in sham tweet

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May 2016: Katy tells Taylor she misses her in sham tweet

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“Miss u baby @taylorswift13” Katy tweeted.

(Explanation: Her account had been hacked.)

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July 2016: Calvin criticizes Taylor as Katy watches

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July 2016: Calvin criticizes Taylor as Katy watches

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A month after Taylor’s breakup with Calvin Harris made headlines came the news that Taylor wrote his hit “This Is What You Came For” under the pseudonym Nils Sjoberg.

In a series of now-deleted tweets, Calvin dissed her for trying to “bury” him, accusing her and her team of telling the press Taylor was Nils.

“I figure if you’re happy in your new relationship, you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex-BF down for something to do,” he wrote.

“I know you’re off tour and you need someone new to try and bury like Katy etc., but I’m not that guy, sorry. I won’t allow it.”

That same day, Katy found the perfect Hillary Clinton GIF for the occasion — then retweeted a May 2015 post of hers, one saying, “Time, the ultimate truth teller.”

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September 2016: Katy wants Taylor to apologize

September 2016: Katy wants Taylor to apologize

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Katy told a Twitter user she’d happily collaborate with Taylor Swift… as soon as Taylor asks for forgiveness. (We’re not sure it’d be that easy.)

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October 2016: Taylor and Katy both fete Drake

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October 2016: Taylor and Katy both fete Drake

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You know how it’s always awkward sending out party invitations to warring factions? Drake wasn’t bothered by that, it seems.

That’s how Taylor and Katy both ended up in the same room for his 30th birthday bash in Los Angeles — along with their mutual ex John Mayer, incidentally.

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October 2016: Katy records a “Famous” video

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October 2016: Katy records a “Famous” video

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Katy took a selfie video during Kanye West’s performance of “Famous” at his concert in Inglewood, California — raising her eyebrows and zooming into her face for the Taylor-centric lyric “I made that bitch famous.”

Shots fired.

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May 2017: Katy says there’s no diss track on her new album

May 2017: Katy says there’s no diss track on her new album

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In an Entertainment Weekly interview about her album Witness, Katy said “there is no one thing that’s calling out any one person.”

“One thing to note is: You can’t mistake kindness for weakness and don’t come for me. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone,” she added.

“And that’s not to any one person and don’t quote me that it is, because it’s not. It’s not about that. 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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May 2017: Katy apparently has a diss track on her new album

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May 2017: Katy apparently has a diss track on her new album

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“Swish Swish,” the third single off Witness, certainly sounds like it’s “one thing that’s calling out one person.” Check out Katy’s lyrics:

“Don’t you come for me / No, not today / You’re calculated / I’ve got your number / ‘Cause you’re a joker / And I’m a courtside killer queen.”

The same day, actress Ruby Rose, a friend of Taylor’s, seemed to criticize both Katy and the song on Twitter:

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May 2017: Katy comments on the feud in no uncertain terms

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May 2017: Katy comments on the feud in no uncertain terms

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“There’s a situation,” Katy told James Corden in a Carpool Karaoke bit on The Late Late Show.

“Honestly, it’s really like she started it, and it’s time for her to finish it. It’s about backing dancers, there were three backing dancers. I tried to talk to her about it and she wouldn’t speak to me.

“It was a full shutdown and then she writes a song about me, and I’m like, ‘OK, cool, cool, cool, that’s how you want to deal with it? Karma!’

“I’m ready for that B.S. to be done. Now, there is the law of cause and effect. You do something, there’s going to be a reaction, and trust me, daddy, there’s going to be a reaction.

“It’s all about karma, right? I think personally that women together, not divided, and none of this petty bullshit, women together will heal the world.”

She also told James that if Taylor texted her, the beef would be over “100 percent.” (Again, we doubt it’d be that easy.)

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June 2017: Taylor puts her music back on Spotify the same night Katy’s album comes out

June 2017: Taylor puts her music back on Spotify the same night Katy’s album comes out

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Taylor’s team claims she’s putting her music back on Spotify — for the first time after her November 2014 embargo — “in celebration of 1989 selling over 10 million albums worldwide and RIAA’s 100 million song certification announcement.”

But her music hit Spotify the exact same night Katy’s album Witness dropped. Coincidence this ain’t.

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June 2017: Katy cries character assassination

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June 2017: Katy cries character assassination

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It was character defamation before, now it’s character assassination. Shit just got real.

“I’m not Buddha – things irritate me,” she told NME.

“I wish that I could turn the other cheek every single time, but I’m also not a pushover, you know? Especially when someone tries to assassinate my character with little girls. That’s so messed up!”

She also told the magazine she doesn’t resent her producer Max Martin for working with Taylor.

“I can't speak for him, but he didn't know [who ‘Bad Blood’ was about],” she said.

“I’m not supposed to tell him what he can and can’t do. I’m very fair; I’m super-duper fair, and I’m not one of those people who’s like, ‘You can’t do that because I don’t like that person. Just, like, you do you, make your own choices.”

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June 2017: Katy forgives Taylor (and apologizes)

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June 2017: Katy forgives Taylor (and apologizes)

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Speaking with Thrive Global Podcast’s Arianna Huffington on June 10, Katy said she wants to finally end her three-year feud with Taylor.

“I am ready to let it go!” she declared.

“I forgive, I forgive, I forgive her and I’m sorry for anything I ever did, and I hope the same from her ... If we, both her and I, can be representatives of strong women that come together despite their differences, I think the whole world is going to go like, ‘Yeah, well we can do this.’”

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June 2017: Katy swaps out her lyrics

June 2017: Katy swaps out her lyrics

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Katy performed a YouTube concert in downtown Los Angeles on June 12 — culminating her four-day Witness World Wide live-stream — and improvised a new lyric for her song “Swish Swish.”

Instead of singing the line “Don't you come for me,” she sang, “God bless you on your journey, oh baby girl.” 

In a TODAY interview that aired that morning, Katy used a very similar phrase in direct reference to Taylor, saying, “All I need to say to her is I love her and God bless her on her journey.”

Oh, but “Swish Swish” isn’t about Taylor, huh, Katy?

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By now, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry aren’t even trying to deny the “Bad Blood” started back in summer 2013 — when Katy convinced three dancers to leave Taylor’s concert tour for her own.

All these years later, they’re still talking about each other… and still trying to take the higher moral ground. Katy certainly seems ready to reconcile, but Taylor’s recent Spotify maneuver may be her pettiest move yet.

Click through the slideshow to see their every low blow, pot shot, subtweet, and shady word in this timeline of their four-year cold war. Caution: Passive aggression ahead.