Elvis Costello defends Olivia Rodrigo amid plagiarism claim
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  • Post published:30/06/2021
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Credit: Ray di Pietro

Elvis Costello defends Olivia Rodrigo amid plagiarism claim

    Elvis Costello has come to the defence of Olivia Rodrigo after the teenage sensation has found herself at the centre of a plagiarism storm.

    The debate started after Courtney Love posted a picture of Olivia Rodrigo‘s Sour Prom concert film release alongside the artwork for Hole’s Live Through This and accompanied it with the caption “spot the difference”.

    Rodrigo then replied, “Love u and live through this sooooo much.” To which Love replied, “Olivia—you’re welcome. My favourite florist is in Notting Hill, London! DM me for deets! I look forward to reading your note!” However, Love then started responding to questions on Facebook by fans and it was quickly evident that her initial niceties weren’t quite what they first seemed.

    The former Hole singer viciously commented: “[sic] Stealing an original idea and not asking permission is rude. There’s no way to be elegant about it. I’m not angry. It happens all the time to me. But this was bad form. That’s not bullying or bomb throwing. This persons music has nothing to do with my life. Possibly never will. It was rude And I gave every right to stick up for my work. Don’t gatekeep me! I’m honourable as fuck to my fellow artists, and I expect the same.”

    Love’s comments have put Rodrigo’s debut album, Sour, under a microscope, and a fan then got in touch with Elvis Costello to notify him of the similarities between her track ‘Brutal’, and his song ‘Pump It Up’. However, Costello is refreshingly blase about the situation.

    “This is fine by me,” Costello responded. “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. #subterreaneanhomesickblues #toomuchmonkeybusiness,” he added.

    Costello’s hashtag reference the Bob Dylan song ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, which influenced ‘Pump It Up’ and Chuck Berry’s ‘Too Much Monkey Business’, which helped Dylan mould his creation.

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