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Taylor Swift slams musician Damon Albarn for claiming she doesn’t write her own songs: ‘False and SO damaging’

Taylor Swift with her Grammy on the red carpet at last year’s awards ceremony. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock)
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British singer and musician Damon Albarn has apologized to Taylor Swift after accusing her in a Los Angeles Times interview published Sunday of not writing her own songs — which set off a firestorm on social media when the pop superstar denounced the comments as “completely false and SO damaging.”

Swift, who is listed as a songwriter or co-songwriter on all of her albums, responded to the interview in an expletive-laced tweet, saying “you don’t have to like my songs,” but it’s messed up to “try and discredit my writing. WOW.”

“PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering,” she added.

Albarn, who rose to prominence in the 1990s as lead singer of the rock band Blur and later co-founded the virtual band Gorillaz, tweeted an apology to Swift the same night.

“I had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait,” Albarn said of his interview with Los Angeles Times pop music critic Mikael Wood.

In his apology, Albarn wrote, “I totally agree with you.”

“I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand.”

In the interview, Albarn criticizes modern music, and when asked about Taylor Swift as an example of “an excellent songwriter,” he says, “She doesn’t write her own songs.”

When Wood responds by insisting Swift does write or co-write her songs, Albarn says that co-writing “doesn’t count.” He then praises the lyrics of singer-songwriter Billie Eilish as “less endlessly upbeat” and “way more minor and odd” than Swift’s. “I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift,” he says.

The Washington Post could not immediately reach a representative for the musician for comment.

The exchange has galvanized Swift fans around the world — including in Chile, where President-elect Gabriel Boric tweeted, “Here in Chile you have a huge group of supporters who knows that you write you own songs from the heart. Dont take seriously guys that need to insult or lie to get attention. Hugs from the south Taylor.”

Analysis: Chile’s millennial president-elect is a sign of a very different ‘pink tide’

Some fans responded by tweeting lyrics from Swift songs they saw as relevant to the situation.

The exchange between Albarn and Swift appears to have touched a nerve with the singer, who has frequently advocated for artists owning the rights to their work.

Analysis: Can Taylor Swift really rerecord her entire music catalogue?

She is rerecording several of her old albums as part of a long-running dispute with record executive Scooter Braun, who bought and later sold the rights to six albums Swift produced with the Nashville-based Big Machine Label Group before she signed with Universal Music Group.

In a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Swift said she wrote all the songs on her 2010 album, “Speak Now,” without a co-writer to prove she could. “When I was 18, they were like, ‘She doesn’t really write those songs.’ So my third album I wrote by myself as a reaction to that,” she said.

Read more:

The story behind Taylor Swift’s 10-minute version of ‘All Too Well,’ the song making fans lose their minds

Who wrote Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’? Breaking down the complicated songwriter drama.

The five hardest questions in pop music

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