Why is Courtney Love calling Olivia Rodrigo a "rude" copycat?

By Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles, California - Someone is sour!

Courtney Love (l) and Olivia Rodrigo have some new beef.
Courtney Love (l) and Olivia Rodrigo have some new beef.  © Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/courtneylove & oliviarodrigo

Courtney Love has accused pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo of plagiarizing artwork from Live Through This, the 1994 album by Love’s band Hole.

What began as a sweet Instagram exchange on Thursday between the veteran rocker and the Gen Z superstar spiraled into allegations of intellectual-property theft over the weekend when Love accused Rodrigo of "stealing" her band Hole’s concept to promote her upcoming concert film Sour Prom.

"Spot the difference! #twinning," Love captioned a promotional photo of Rodrigo holding a bouquet of flowers while wearing a tiara and smudged mascara.

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The image, shared by Love on Instagram and Facebook, bears a resemblance to the album cover for Hole’s Live Through This, which sees the lead singer in a similar costume and pose.

"love u and live through this sooooo much," Rodrigo replied to Love’s Instagram post highlighting the similarities.

"Olivia—you’re welcome," Love wrote back. "My favorite florist is in Notting Hill, London! Dm me for deets! I look forward to reading your note!"

She added some emojis for extra shade.

Many commenters replied to Love and came to Rodrigo's defense, saying both photos were inspired by the film Carrie (1976), and she was unfairly gunning for the 18-year-old star.

Things then turned sour when Love elaborated on Facebook that the photo shoot for Rodrigo’s forthcoming YouTube special gave her more than just a little déjà vu.

"Manners is manners!" said Love

Courtney Love (l) slammed Rodrigo (r) on her Facebook and Instagram.
Courtney Love (l) slammed Rodrigo (r) on her Facebook and Instagram.  © Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/courtneylove & oliviarodrigo

"It was rude of [Rodrigo and her label] not to ask myself or [Live Through This cover photographer] Ellen von unwerth" for permission, Love replied on Facebook to a fan’s comment that Rodrigo’s artwork was "a total rip-off."

"It’s happened my whole career so [I don’t care]. But manners is manners!"

"Stealing an original idea and not asking permission is rude. There’s no way to be elegant about it," Love added in response to a Facebook user who shamed her for getting mad about "a silly thing" and "sniping at someone paying homage" to her.

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"I’m not angry. It happens all the time to me. But this was bad form. That’s not bullying or bomb throwing. This person's music has nothing to do with my life. Possibly never will. It was rude And I [have] every right to stick up for my work. Don’t gatekeep me! I’m honorable as f--k to my fellow artists, and I expect the same," she continued.

In yet another reply, Love clarified that she does actually expect flowers from the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star for allegedly lifting Hole’s work.

"I’ve informed her I await her flowers [and] note," Love wrote on Facebook. "I sure hope it’s long. Does Disney teach kids reading and writing? God knows. Let’s see. Yes this is rude. Rage inducing? Honey if I had a dollar for everyone this happens? I’d be real rich!"

Rodrigo has not responded publicly to Love’s Facebook remarks.

Sour Prom to debut on Tuesday

This is not the first instance that Rodrigo has been accused of lifting other people's ideas.
This is not the first instance that Rodrigo has been accused of lifting other people's ideas.  © Screenshot/Instagram/oliviarodrigo

Around the same time Love attacked Rodrigo on social media, a handful of others accused the Drivers License hitmaker of copying another band’s artwork for her chart-topping single Good 4 U.

On Twitter, some compared a photo of Rodrigo posing in a blue cheerleading uniform and black latex gloves to an image of Pom Pom Squad frontwoman Mia Berrin modeling a red cheerleading uniform and red latex gloves.

Pom Pom Squad’s defenders also presented, as evidence, side-by-side photos of Rodrigo and Berrin holding red pom poms — though that particular image of Rodrigo hails from a pre-Drivers License photo shoot that isn’t tied to her recent music.

Neither Rodrigo nor Pom Pom Squad have responded publicly to the comparisons.

The majority of fans, however, believe that the cheerleader look from Rodrigo’s Good 4 U photo shoot and music video was inspired by the 2001 film The Princess Diaries, in which Mandy Moore’s mean girl character wears almost the exact same costume.

Representatives for Rodrigo did not immediately respond Monday to requests for comment.

Last week, Rodrigo announced on social media that a pre-recorded virtual concert – featuring songs from her smash debut album Sour – was coming soon.

"Since i never got to go to prom, I wanted to throw a little prom party with my fav ppl (you guys obvs)," the singer-songwriter tweeted, along with a link to set a reminder for the event.

Rodrigo’s Sour Prom debuts Tuesday on YouTube at 8:30 PM PST.

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/courtneylove & oliviarodrigo

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