A Look Back at Katy Perry and Taylor Swift’s Complicated Feud

After years of bad blood, Us Weekly looks back at how the Katy Perry and Taylor Swift went from friends to, as Swift once put it, “straight-up enemies.”

Yes, There Used to Be Mad Love

Perry and Swift once professed their love for one another via Twitter in 2009. “Watching the Waking up in Vegas video. I love Katy Perry. I think I’m going to hang her poster on my wall now,” Swift wrote, to which Perry replied, ”@taylorswift13 You’re as sweet as pie! Let’s write a song together about the subject we know best… for my new record. It’ll be brilliant~”

That same year, Swift, who attended Perry’s 25th birthday celebration in October, also gushed over the California Gurl’s party-throwing skills. “@Katyperry knows how to throw a birthday party!” she tweeted. “I would even go as far as to say it was party-licious. Best EVER. Happy bday, pretty girl!!”

Lester Cohen/AMA2011/WireImage

Awkward Alert

But then things started to get weird. Though Swift previously insisted to Rolling Stone that her beef with Perry was never about a man, it should be noted that both women dated John Mayer.

Swift briefly dated the musician in 2009 and she allegedly wrote her 2010 song “Dear John,” from her 2010 album Speak Now, about their failed romance. Then, after Perry pulled the plug on her marriage to now-ex-husband Russell Brand, the “Teenage Dream” songstress started dating Mayer, now 39, in 2012. They broke up after less than a year of dating, but momentarily rekindled their relationship in 2014 before calling it quits for good.

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Tour de Drama

As Swifties and Katycats know, the crux of the entertainers’ conflict is centered on backup dancer drama. Swift told Rolling Stone in 2014 that a fellow singer poached several of her dancers, but didn’t name-drop Perry. One year earlier, one of the dancers, Lockhart Brownlie, explained what allegedly happened when he and two other dancers — Scott Myrick and Leah Adler — were asked to jump ship.

“Obviously we were with Katy for two and a half years, she’s like family to us. So we were, like, ‘Absolutely,’” he told Australia’s The Examiner in December 2013. “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.”

ROBERT ROSANO/startraksphoto.com; INFevents.com

She Couldn’t Shake It Off

While she didn’t directly name Perry, Swift also told Rolling Stone in 2014 that her track “Bad Blood” — from her fifth studio album, 1989 — was written about another well-known artist who she no longer got along with.

“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,” Swift told RS, referring to the dancer ordeal. “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.”

Not long after the interview was published, Perry seemingly compared Swift to the ultimate Mean Girl: Regina George. “Watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing…” she cryptically tweeted.

Rolling Stone

She Who Cannot Be Named

In March 2015, Swift told The Telegraph that she will never mention Perry’s name in public again. “I’m not giving [the press] anything to write about. I’m never going to talk about her in my interview. It’s not going to happen,” she said. “It’s not real if someone appears to never have any issues with anyone. I have my friends. I have enemies.”

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Her Minajesty Pipes In

In summer 2015, Nicki Minaj and Swift sparred over MTV Video Music Awards nominations. Minaj, now 34, tweeted that she believed her “Anaconda” video wasn’t nominated for Video of the Year because she isn’t “white” or “very slim.” Swift clapped back by writing, “I’ve done nothing but love & support you. It’s unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot..”

Minaj later said that her tweet had “nothing” to do with Swift. Still, Perry seemingly commented on the situation via Twitter. “Finding it ironic to parade the pit women against other women argument about as one unmeasurably capitalizes on the take down of a woman…” she wrote.

At the time, Swift had recently released her star-studded video for “Bad Blood,” in which Selena Gomez played a villainous Perry-lookalike forced to battle Swift and her expansive squad.

Michael Tran/FilmMagic; Inset: Courtesy of Taylor Swift/Instagram

Confirmation From Calvin

Shortly after splitting from Swift, Calvin Harris name-checked Perry during a heated July 2016 Twitter rant against the former country starlet. “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,” he wrote, accusing Swift of trying to make him “look bad” after it was revealed that she helped pen his hit, “This Is What You Came For.”

Earlier this month, Harris, 33, told fans that he and Perry recorded new music for his fifth studio album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.

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Ask Taylor

In a May 8 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Perry, who is currently promoting her upcoming fifth studio album, Witness, was asked if she believes “Bad Blood” was indeed written about her.

“Well that’s not my question to answer — if it’s about me. One thing to note is: You can’t mistake kindness for weakness and don’t come for me. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. 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,” she told the publication. “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, OK, honey.”

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Swish Swish

The reaction or consequence Perry was talking about? Probably, “Swish Swish,” the Nicki Minaj-assisted single she dropped on May 19. “You’re about as cute as an old coupon, expired … Karma’s not a liar, she keeps receipts,” Perry sings in the tune. “So keep calm, honey. Imma stick around for more than a minute. Get used to it! … Funny my name keep coming out your mouth, ’cause I stay winning.”

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Carpool Confession

Most recently, Perry candidly discussed her squabble with Swift when Corden pressed her about it on Monday night’s The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special.

“There’s a situation. Honestly, it’s really like she started it, and it’s time for her to finish it,” she said of the 10-time Grammy winner. “I tried to talk to her about it and she wouldn’t speak to me. I do the right thing any time that it feels like a fumble. 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!”

Despite their past, Perry is more than ready to let it go. “What I want to say is that I’m ready for that BS to be done,” she added. “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 bulls–t — women together will heal the world.”

Corden asked, “Would it be enough to just receive a text from Taylor Swift that just said ‘the beef is off the grill?'”

Leaving the ball in Swift’s court, Perry replied, “100%.”

Terence Patrick/CBS

Calling a Truce?

The long-running feud between the “Chained to the Rhythm” singer and the “End Game” crooner seemingly ended in May 2018 after Perry sent an actual olive branch to Swift’s dressing room. Swift shared a video of the gesture on her Instagram Story and said in the clip that the gift “means so much to me.” 

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Public Show of Support

Five months after sending Swift her mea culpa, Perry made a very public show of support for the “Me!” singer when she “liked” Swift’s Instagram post supporting two Democratic candidates in Tennessee in the midterm elections. When asked about it at the amfAR gala in Beverly Hills on October 18, 2018, Perry replied, “Of course. Because she’s setting such a great example.”

Kevin Tachman/amfAR/Getty Images for amfAR

Opening Herself Up

In March 2019, Perry said she would definitely consider collaborating with her former rival. “I mean, I’m making music with Zedd. I’m open,” she quipped.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia; Presley Ann/WireImage

A New Track

Swift indicated that her former “Bad Blood” with Perry was behind her in May, when she added the singer’s “Never Really Over” track to her playlist on Apple Music in May 2019.

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Peace at Last

More evidence mounted that the pair’s feud was just a distant memory in June 2019, when Perry revealed that the Grammy winner had baked her a peace offering. “Feels good,” she captioned an Instagram photo of a plate of cookies resting on a plate that had been decorated with the words, “Peace at Last.” She added, “Let’s be friends” to the shot’s location.

Courtesy of Katy Perry/Instagram

The Big Reveal

The women proved they were pals once again with the debut of Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” music video on June 17, 2019, in which Perry, dressed as a hamburger, embraced the former country star, who was dressed in a French fry costume.

Secret Hangouts

Swift revealed in a June 2019 interview on Capital FM’s Capital Breakfast that she and Perry had been secretly hanging out for quite some time. “We saw each other at a party and walked up to each other and hugged it out and talked about things and then saw each other again at another party,” she shared. “She and I have been fine for a while, like, really on good terms … We wanted to make sure that was solid between us before we ever, you know, made the public aware.”

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