At the stroke of midnight on June 9, Katy Perry was set to release her latest album, Witness, online. The singer had been hyping up its big premiere this week, asking fans on Twitter to count down until the exact moment until Witness dropped. Then, just a few hours before its release, Taylor Swift's official fan Instagram account announced that she would finally be releasing her entire catalog of songs on all streaming services at midnight as well. Coincidence? We think not.
Those who've kept up with these two pop stars would know the timing of Swift's decision was conspicuously shady (and maybe savvy). If you recall, back in 2014, Swift pulled all of her music from Spotify, making her songs almost impossible to stream for free. But then on June 9, her fan page claimed she had finally decided to release her complete catalog to all streaming platforms in celebration of selling more than 10 million 1989 albums around the world and more than 100 million songs. As an extra bonus, Swift also discounted the price on all of her existing albums on iTunes. The Internet immediately cried foul.
Taylor is puttin all her music on Spotify at 12am to ruin Katy's album release, so now Beyoncé must give birth at 12am to eclipse them both😭
Swift's latest move is only the most recent petty exchange between the two artists, who have been engaged in a long-standing feud. For those who aren't aware of all the drama throughout the years, here's an explainer of when, why, and how this rivalry evolved.
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SANTA MONICA, CA - APRIL 06: Katy Perry attends Caroline De Maigret and Pharrell Williams dinner in celebration of CHANEL's Gabrielle Bag at Giorgio Baldi on April 6, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for CHANEL)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 25: Katy Perry celebrates Elton John's 70th Birthday and 50-Year Songwriting Partnership with Bernie Taupin benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the UCLA Hammer Museum at RED Studios Hollywood on March 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 18: Katy Perry attends the Human Rights Campaign's 2017 on March 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 18: Katy Perry attends the Human Rights Campaign's 2017 Los Angeles Gala Dinner at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on March 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 05: Katy Perry attends the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Forum on March 5, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 05: Katy Perry attends the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Forum on March 5, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 05: Singer Katy Perry performs onstage at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards which broadcast live on Turner's TBS, TNT, and truTV at The Forum on March 5, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 05: Musician Katy Perry performs onstage at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards which broadcast live on Turner's TBS, TNT, and truTV at The Forum on March 5, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 26: Katy Perry (R) and Derek Blasberg (L) pose as they arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California, Los Angeles on February 26, 2017. (Photo by Philip Rock/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Singer Katy Perry arrives at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 22: Katy Perry attends the Universal Music BRIT
Awards After-Party 2017 hosted by Soho House and BACARDI Rum at 180 The Strand, on February 23, 2017 in London, England.
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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Ellie Goulding and Katy Perry attend (R) the Universal Music BRIT Awards After-Party 2017 hosted by Soho House and BACARDï¿½at 180 The Strand on February 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/ Getty Images for Universal, Soho House & Bacardi Rum )
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. Katy Perry attends The BRIT Awards 2017 at The O2 Arena on February 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/Redferns)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. (L) Katy Perry and Skip Marley perform on stage at The BRIT Awards 2017 at The O2 Arena on February 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Katy Perry seen at BBC Radio One on February 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Katy Perry attends at the Christopher Kane show during the London Fashion Week February 2017 collections on February 20, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Katy Perry seen at Christopher Kane at Tate Britain on Day 4 of London Fashion Week February 2017 on February 20, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by SAV/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16: Singer-songwriter Katy Perry is seen arriving at the Marc Jacobs Fall 2017 Show at Park Avenue Armory on February 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Katy Perry arrives at the 59th GRAMMY Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 12: Katy Perry performs during THE 59TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS, broadcast live from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Sunday, Feb. 12 (8:00-11:30 PM, live ET/5:00-8:30 PM, live PT; 6:00-9:30 PM, live MT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer-songwriter Katy Perry arrives at the Universal Music Group's 2017 GRAMMY After Party at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Katy Perry attends the Universal Music Group's 2017 GRAMMY After Party at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Katy Perry attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)
WESTWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 07: Singer Katy Perry arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'Office Christmas Party' at Regency Village Theatre on December 7, 2016 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
WESTWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 07: Katy Perry and Jennifer Aniston attend the Premiere of Paramount Pictures' 'Office Christmas Party' at Regency Village Theatre on December 7, 2016 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Katy Perry and Tony Winner Cynthia Erivo pose backstage at the hit musical 'The Color Purple' on Broadway at The Jacobs Theatre on November 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Cindi Jaliher, Katy Perry (C), and Carol Edwards attend the 12th annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball at Cipriani Wall Street on November 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for UNICEF )
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Singer Katy Perry attends the 12th Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball at Cipriani Wall Street on November 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Katy Perry attends the 12th Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball at Cipriani Wall Street on November 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
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Was it always this way?
No, not at all. When they first began their rise to fame, everything was just peachy between the two burgeoning pop stars. They fawned over each other on Twitter and even shared the stage once at one of Swift's concerts in 2010.
When did the beef start?
Things took a turn around 2013, when Swift was in the middle of her Red world tour and three of her backup dancers reportedly left to go work with Perry on her Prismatic tour. The dancers had reportedly already worked with Perry in the past, and when she launched a new album in the middle of Swift's tour, she reached out to them to ask if they would like to join her once again. "We were with Katy for two and a half years, she's like family to us," said Lockhart Brownlie, one of the dancers, in an interview. "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."
Who talked about the feud first?
Swift was the first to publicly acknowledge things were not exactly rosy between her and Perry, even though she never mentioned her name directly. In a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Swift opened up about a rift with a former friend. "She did something so horrible," she said. "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 later confirmed her song "Bad Blood" was indeed about that same nemesis. "I know people will make it this big girl-fight thing," she said. "But I just want people to know, it's not about a guy."
Katy responded the day after the profile came out online with a cryptic yet pointed tweet, which even included a reference to Mean Girls:
Watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing...
LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Country singer Taylor Swift arrives at the 41st Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Taylor Swift accepts Breathrough Video of the Year award for 'Tim McGraw' (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS - MAY 14: Music artist Taylor Swift performs during the Academy of Country Music New Artists' Party for a Cause show at the MGM Grand Conference Center May 14, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 07: (LtoR) Singer/songwriters Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley and Kellie Pickler perform on stage at the 41st Annual CMA Awards at the Sommet Center on November 7, 2007 in Nashville TN. (Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage)
ï¿½2009 RAMEY PHOTO LOS ANGELES, 7/30/09 TAYLOR SWIFT, TAYLOR LAUTNER, EMMA ROBERTS AND HER BOYFRIEND, FILMING VALENTINE'S DAY' IN LA. GV (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
CHELMSFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 22: Taylor Swift performs on the main stage on day 1 of the V Festival on August 22, 2009 at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 03: Singer\songwriter Taylor Swift arrives at the 46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards RAM Red Carpet held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ACMA2011/Getty Images for ACM)
FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 11: Taylor Swift performs onstage during the MTV EMA's 2012 at Festhalle Frankfurt on November 11, 2012 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Taylor Swift attends The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards - press room held at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 12: Singer Taylor Swift officially opens the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 12, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. Seven-time GRAMMY winner Swift's $4 million gift to endow the center is the largest individual artist gift in the Hall of Fame's history. (Photo by Royce DeGrie/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 12: Taylor Swift is seen on April 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by David Krieger/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 28: Taylor Swift performs on the Late Show With David Letterman, October 28, 2014. (Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 31: Taylor Swift performs onstage during Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015 on December 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/DCNYRE2015/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 17: Musician Taylor Swift poses in the press room with her eight Billboard Music Awards; Swift won Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album for '1989,' Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, Top Streaming Song (Video) for 'Shake It Off,' and Billboard Chart Achievement Award during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: Taylor Swift performs on stage during 'The 1989 World Tour' at the Mercedes-Benz arena on November 10, 2015 in Shanghai, China.
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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 03: Taylor Swift arrives at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on April 3, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 04: Musician Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2017 DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert at Club Nomadic on February 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for DIRECTV)
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How did Nicki Minaj become involved?
A year later, after the MTV Video Music Awards nominations were announced, Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to express her frustration that her videos for "Anaconda" and "Feeling Myself" had been shut out of the Video of the Year category. "If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year," she said. Swift apparently felt Minaj's dig was directed at her and responded with a tweet that read: "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." Perry quickly jumped into the social media spat with a post that all but openly called Swift a hypocrite—but again, no direct mention of her name. Swift never responded back.
Finding it ironic to parade the pit women against other women argument about as one unmeasurably capitalizes on the take down of a woman...
In the summer of 2016, the breakup between Swift and her ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris started to get a little messy. Not only had Swift already moved on with Tom Hiddleston, but soon after, it was revealed that she had ghostwritten one of Harris's hits, "This Is What You Came For," even though he had never spoken of a collaboration together. Harris felt offended by the PR stunt and, like most of the cast of characters in this soap opera, took to Twitter to vent. "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 in a since-deleted tweet. "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."
Katy once again jumped in the ring with another cryptic subtweet.
During Perry's busy promotional tour of her new album, Witness, her feud with Swift has come up over and over again. And while in the past Perry has rarely directly commented on it, this time around, she's openly discussing the long-running rivalry. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Perry was asked about her connection to "Bad Blood." "Well, that's not my question to answer—if it's about me," she responded. "One thing to know is: You can't mistake kindness for weakness and don't come for me."
Then came her appearance on Carpool Karaoke, in which host James Corden openly asked her: "There's Taylor beef . . . And when are we going to clear that beef up?" "That's true, there is a situation," she replied. "Honestly, it's really like she started it and it's time for her to finish it." Perry then went on to give her side of the story about what happened with the great backup dancer defection in 2013 and explained how she tried to call Swift to talk about it. "I do the right thing any time that it feels like a fumble," she said. "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 want to deal with it? Karma."
Cue up to Perry ramping up for her big release and Swift pulls the ultimate power move by freeing up all of her songs on Spotify. Neither of the two singers have publicly commented on that event, but if the past is any indication, we should probably keep our eyes on Twitter or the much-rumored new album by Swift, which presumably drops later this year.
Could a truce be nearing?
The weekend after the release of her album, Perry seems ready to let bygones be bygones with Swift. During an interview with Ariana Huffington, the singer surprisingly extended an olive branch. "I am ready to let it go," she said. "I forgive her and I'm sorry for anything I ever did, and I hope the same from her. I think it's actually time. There are bigger fish to fry, and there are real problems in the world." Taylor, ball's in your court.