Elvis Costello defends Olivia Rodrigo over plagiarism claims

Elvis Costello Defends Olivia Rodrigo Over Plagiarism Claims
The Brit Awards 2021 – Show – London, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Singer Elvis Costello has defended chart-topping star Olivia Rodrigo after she was accused of plagiarising one of his songs.

Brutal, a track on Rodrigo’s hit album Sour, uses a chord sequence that also features on Costello’s Pump It Up from 1978.

However, Costello has said that is “fine by me” and he himself was influenced by music by Bob Dylan and Chuck Berry.

Replying to a Twitter user who said Brutal is “pretty much direct lift from Elvis Costello”, the veteran star wrote: “This is fine by me, Billy. It’s how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That’s what I did.”


He added the hashtags #subterreaneanhomesickblues and #toomuchmonkeybusiness, references to Dylan’s 1965 song and Berry’s 1956 record, which influenced Dylan.

Rodrigo has also been accused of imitating Courtney Love with promotional images for her concert film Sour Prom, which are similar to the cover of Love’s band Hole’s album Live Through This.

Both images show the women as prom queen in tiaras holding flowers with heavily smudged mascara.

Love shared the picture of Rodrigo on Instagram and wrote: “Spot the difference! #twinning!”

Rodrigo commented: “love u and live through this sooooo much.”

Copyright claims are a common occurrence in the music industry and Led Zeppelin have been embroiled in a lengthy battle over the claim the 1971 mega-hit Stairway To Heaven violated the copyright of a 1968 song called Taurus by the band Spirit.

Pop stars Lizzo, Ed Sheeran and Shakira are also among the stars who have faced accusations.

Jurors decided in a 2015 trial that Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines copied Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up, and a jury in 2019 found that Katy Perry’s hit Dark Horse copied from a Christian rap song.

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