Katy Perry joined James Corden for a special edition of Carpool Karaoke this week, providing the perfect opportunity for some televised intel regarding her feud with Taylor Swift. Perry's latest Witness single "Swish Swish," featuring Nicki Minaj, has inspired a wave of speculation regarding its lyrical content. Naturally, fans have since been burdened with concern about the current status of the pop titans' relationship.
In that spirit, I have been paid actual American dollars to compile all the important moments in the history of Perry vs. Swift into a vaguely digestible format. Dive into that below.
Sept. 2014 - Taylor Swift drops clues in Rolling Stone interview.
For pop enthusiasts, September 2014 was a banner month. Though Taylor Swift didn't mention anyone by name in her 1989-promoting Rolling Stone interview, the response to her "Bad Blood" commentary had many fans pointing a finger at Katy Perry. "For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not," Swift 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?'" Swift also accused the unnamed artist of "basically" trying to "sabotage an entire arena tour."
Then Perry, who also refrained from naming names, tweeted a seemingly relevant Mean Girls reference:
Sept. 2014 - TMZ claims the disagreement is due to tour dancers.
Just days after the Rolling Stone story and Perry's tweet, TMZ published an article claiming that Swift considered a Perry a "thief" due to a business issue circa 2013. Three of Swift's touring dancers were said to have joined Perry's tour after giving Swift a 30-day notice. Swift, TMZ claimed, responded to the notice by firing the dancers. TMZ's report also mentioned "Bad Blood."
Oct. 2014 - 1989, featuring "Bad Blood," is released.
On Oct. 27, Swift's fifth album 1989 was released to the masses.
The album debuted atop the Billboard 200, predictably, and included that little "Bad Blood" song that had been heavily discussed in the press prior to its release.
***Note: The video above is for the "Bad Blood" remix, released in 2015.
July 2015 - Katy Perry references an unnamed artist who "capitalizes on the takedown of a woman."
Nicki Minaj criticized the MTV Video Music Awards nominations on Twitter, saying that any video celebrating "women with very slim bodies" will score a nomination:
Swift, though not specifically named in Minaj's comments, responded by saying she's done "nothing but love and support you."
Merely a day later, Perry—also refraining from naming names—seemingly referenced Swift as someone who ironically "capitalizes on the takedown of a woman."
Minaj and Swift later set aside their differences.
July 2016 - Perry shrugs vicariously through a Hillary GIF.
When Swift and Calvin Harris officially entered the RIP phase of their relationship, the songwriter previously known as Nils Sjoberg was revealed to be none other than Swift herself. This is significant in the Harrisverse due to the fact that "This Is What You Came For," his 2016 hit with Rihanna, was co-written by
Sjoberg Swift. Harris wasn't thrilled with this disclosure.
"Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though," Harris said in a tweet that's since been deleted. "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. I know you're off tour and you need someone to try and bury like Katy ETC but I'm not that guy, sorry. I won't allow it."
Perry, around the same time, tweeted this:
Sept. 2016 - Perry tells a fan she's down for a Swift collab, but only under one condition.
Tweeting at public figures who have millions of followers is rarely a good idea, but in this instance things worked out quite well. Perry, in response to a fan inquiry regarding a Swift collab, said she'd be down under one condition only: an apology from Swift.
May 2017 - "Swish Swish" is released.
"Swish Swish," which recently got the Saturday Night Live treatment, is considered by many fans to be a straight-up diss track. Perry told Entertainment Weekly that "no one thing" is calling out "any one person" on her new album, but Ruby Rose had a different theory:
In "Swish Swish," Perry tells an unnamed individual "Don't you come for me" and makes a (possibly!) self-referential "sheep" reference:
May 2017 - Perry confirms (most of) TMZ's 2014 tour dancers report.
I've about had enough of Carpool Karaoke being fucking everywhere all the time, but this week's edition—part of Corden's Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special—was actually worth a spin. When Corden brought up "Taylor beef" during the ride, Perry got candid about their feud. "There's a situation," Perry said. "Honestly, it's really, like, she started it, and it's time for her to finish it." According to Perry, the disagreement (as TMZ claimed three years earlier) started with backing dancers.
"I tried to talk to her about it, and she wouldn't speak to me," Perry said. "I do the right thing anytime that it feels like a fumble. It was a full shutdown, and then she writes a song about me. And I'm like, okay, cool cool cool, that's how you wanna deal with it? Karma."
Perry added that she's over the "petty bullshit" and is ready for it be done for good. "Women together will heal the world," she told Corden.
At the time of this article's publication, Swift hadn't publicly addressed these most recent developments. However, Swift's new album is expected by the end of the year.