Taylor Swift vs. Damon Albarn: What to know about their songwriting dispute

Blur frontman Albarn claimed Swift "didn't write her own songs." Swift quickly fired back: "I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this."

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Mark Serrels is an award-winning Senior Editorial Director focused on all things culture. He covers TV, movies, anime, video games and whatever weird things are happening on the internet. He especially likes to write about the hardships of being a parent in the age of memes, Minecraft and Fortnite. Definitely don't follow him on Twitter.
Mark Serrels
3 min read
Taylor Swift
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After the successful re-release of her album Red and the subsequent drama around Jake Gyllenhaal and the scarf, Taylor Swift has hit the headlines again. This time she's defending herself against a strange accusation from fellow singer Damon Albarn. 
Here's everything you need to know. 

What happened?

Damon Albarn, Blur frontman and co-creator of Gorillaz, did an interview with the Los Angeles Times that published on Sunday. In it, he discussed everything from the 25th anniversary of Blur's self-titled album to his latest solo release. 

During the Q&A, he gave his thoughts on a number of current pop stars. He's a big fan of Billie Eilish, but Taylor Swift? Not so much.

"She doesn't write her own songs," he said, which kickstarted the drama.

After being corrected by the interviewer -- Swift writes all her own songs -- Albarn expanded.

"That doesn't count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I'm not hating on anybody, I'm just saying there's a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn't mean that the outcome can't be really great.
"A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother. I'm more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift," Albarn continued. "It's just darker, less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she's exceptional."

Considering Eilish famously co-writes all her songs with her brother -- Albarn even mentions this in his own quote -- it's a strange comparison to make. 

Taylor Swift expressed her disappointment in the comment on Twitter.

"I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this," she wrote. "I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don't have to like my songs but it's really fucked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW."

Then later, Swift followed up in a tweet: "PS I wrote this tweet myself in case you were wondering."

Albarn responded to the tweet with an apology.
"I totally agree with you," he wrote. "I had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait. I apologize unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand."

Who is Damon Albarn?

If you're over 35, Damon Albarn is the frontman of Blur, a band which, alongside Oasis, brought "Britpop" to a global audience in the mid '90s.

If you're under 30 you're probably more familiar with Gorillaz, the cartoon band/project Albarn co-created alongside artist Jamie Hewlett. 

This isn't the first time Albarn has gotten in hot water for talking about female singers. He also had a public back and forth with Adele back in 2015, calling her "insecure." The pair had worked together on music for her 25 album. 

Adele responded in an interview later, saying working with Albarn was a "don't meet your idols" situation.

The reaction

Most have responded in support of Taylor Swift. 

My personal favorite: The mighty Jedward entering the fray:

But others questioned the sincerity of the apology. Albarn mentioned the story was the result of clickbait, in a directly transcribed Q&A interview with not much editorializing.