meta-scriptLoving Olivia Rodrigo's "Vampire"? Check Out 15 Songs By Alanis Morissette, Miley Cyrus & More That Reclaim The Breakup Narrative | GRAMMY.com
Miley Cyrus performing in 2022
Miley Cyrus performs in Bogota, Colombia in 2022.

Photo: Ovidio Gonzalez/Getty Images for MC

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Loving Olivia Rodrigo's "Vampire"? Check Out 15 Songs By Alanis Morissette, Miley Cyrus & More That Reclaim The Breakup Narrative

From the soft hums of Carole King's "It's Too Late" to GAYLE's fiery rage on "abcdefu," these 15 songs encapsulate the expansive emotions of women who put problematic exes in their place — far behind them.

GRAMMYs/Jul 27, 2023 - 03:06 pm

Since the 2021 release of SOUR, critics and listeners alike have touted Olivia Rodrigo for her knack to eloquently pen the relatable woes of adolescence and the pitfalls of falling in love too hard. Her latest single, "vampire," is no different.

Despite trading in her "drivers license" teenage loverboy for an older man, the perfectly executed expression of agony remains. As Rodrigo wails on the chorus, "You made me look so naïve/ The way you sold me for parts/ As you suck your teeth into me/ Bloodsucker, famef—er/ Bleeding me dry like a g——n vampire."

But before there was Rodrigo, there was Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift, and Alanis Morissette — none of which would be where they were without pioneers of diaristic songwriting, Carole King and Carly Simon. Thanks to the immortalization of their music, we can relive the shift from poetic disclosures of hurt, which King exemplifies on "It's Too Late," to more unrepentant, straightforward jabs (like Kate Nash says on "Foundations," "Don't want to look at your face 'cause it's making me sick") and harrowing battle cries (as Miley Cyrus roars, "I came in like a wrecking ball"). 

Below, revisit 15 songs by empowered women, from 1971 all the way to 2021, who reclaimed the breakup narrative with their fervent sentences of damnation — because, as the age-old saying goes, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Carole King — "It's Too Late" (1971)

When Carole King released "It's Too Late" in 1971, it marked a new era of songwriting. Discussions about divorce were generally unheard of, but even more so when initiated by a woman. Yet, King carried on to unapologetically release "It's Too Late," which later won a GRAMMY for Record of the Year and is lauded by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

On this folky track, King and her husband's inevitable parting is on the horizon, but she isn't resentful per se. Instead, she's more troubled by the embarrassment of her husband's growing discontent, admitting, "I feel like a fool." And at this point, she's ready to move on and can be grateful for the times they've shared. 

Carly Simon — "You're So Vain" (1972)

In her '70s chart-topper, Carly Simon narrates the tale of an arrogant man who believes every woman is enchanted by his aura. But the folk songstress wants to make it very clear she's not impressed by his embellished stories or luxurious closet.

Usually, it's easy to guess the subject of a breakup song, but "You're So Vain" has led to decades of speculation. Many have assumed it could be about James Taylor, who Simon married in 1972 and divorced in 1983, or Mick Jagger, who provided vocals to the track (a theory that was later debunked). To this day, she has only revealed the track's inspiration to a select few, including Taylor Swift, who names Simon as one of her role models.

Joan Jett And The Blackhearts — "I Hate Myself For Loving You" (1986)

Joan Jett might not give a damn about her bad reputation, but she despises nothing more than her ex-lover making her look like a lovesick fool.

On "I Hate Myself for Loving You," the '80s chanteuse wraps herself around a classic glam rock beat, unveiling her contempt for a man who's neglected her. Stripped of her pride, Jett begins to resent herself for holding onto her feelings — as evidenced by the song's title. 

She tries to hide her dwelling desires ("I want to walk, but I run back to you") but ultimately fails to rid herself of the emotions, leaving her to fantasize about the sweet justice of one day roping him back in, just to leave him. 

Alanis Morissette — "You Oughta Know" (1995)

It's impossible to talk about scathing breakup songs without acknowledging Alanis Morissette's quintessential heartbreak anthem, "You Oughta Know." At the time of its release, the Jagged Little Pill single contained some of the most honest and vitriolic lyrics in existence.

Morissette begins with an illusive statement, "I want you to know that I'm happy for you," which, by the second verse, crumbles into a revelation, "I'm not quite as well, you should know." As she culminates into her most confessional, the instrumental rises into an addicting ruckus, with Morissette revealing the thoughts most of us would be too ashamed to admit: "It was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced/ And are you thinkin' of me when you f— her?"

Shania Twain — "That Don't Impress Me Much" (1997)

Shania Twain has a particular superpower of delivering each of her lyrics with an air of lightheartedness and confidence. So, when you hear a track like "That Don't Impress Me Much," her disappointment and irritation becomes undetectable.

A quick examination of Twain's story proves — despite the song's bouncy melodies — she's jaded by her ex's preoccupation with his vehicle, appearance and intelligence. Sure, he might be perfect on paper, but he lacks the qualities of a forever lover, and his unmerited ego should be reserved for true big shots like Elvis Presley and Brad Pitt.

Michelle Branch — "Are You Happy Now?" (2003)

In the opening verse of "Are You Happy Now?," Michelle Branch pleads, "No, don't just walk away/ Pretending everything's okay, and you don't care about me." At first, she is in disbelief that her once admirer would swiftly brush her off, but as she reaches the chorus, she begins to question whether his actions were a lie all along.

Her mind racing, Branch teeters between shameless questions of "Do you really have everything you want?" and "Could you look me in the eye and tell me you're happy now?" But by the song's end, she gets the most satisfying payback of all — peace without him: "I'm not about to break/ 'Cause I'm happy now."

Avril Lavigne — "My Happy Ending" (2004)

"My Happy Ending" finds 2000s pop-punk maven Avril Lavigne grasping onto the shards of a broken relationship and trying to pinpoint where everything went wrong. She could have said the "wrong" thing, or her partner's misfit friends might have spoken negatively about her. But there is one thing she does know with certainty: there is no way to pick up the pieces.

Coming to terms with the truth, Lavigne repositions her anger toward the other person for stripping her of her fairytale ending, sarcastically acknowledging him for their time spent together over a somber piano: "It's nice to know you were there/ Thanks for acting like you care/ And making me feel like I was the only one."

Kelly Clarkson — "Gone" (2004)

Kelly Clarkson has traversed almost every emotion in love, from her epic breakup anthems like "Behind These Hazel Eyes" to her most recent LP chemistry. But "Gone" may just be her most unrelenting to date.

Introduced by its Breakaway counterpart "Since U Been Gone," the mononymous "Gone" extends Clarkson's journey of healing — this time, with a more explicit and mature diatribe against her ex's character. Rather than using trivial attacks, Clarkson instead chooses to call out his assumption she'd run back into his arms, later declaring an end to her toleration: "There is nothing you can say/ Sorry doesn't cut it, babe/ Take the hit and walk away, 'cause I'm gone."

Lily Allen — "Smile" (2006)

With "Smile," Lily Allen gets her sweet revenge through the sight of her former flame's tears and misfortune. But the lyrics of Allen's breakthrough single doesn't exactly clarify the specifications of her antics, only an explanation for its origins.

After a cheating scandal ends her relationship, her mental health plummets — until he comes crawling back for her mercy. Upon hearing his pleas, she comes to a realization: "When I see you cry, it makes me smile." And as the conniving music video shows, anyone who cheats on her will get their karma — perhaps in the form of organized burglary, beatings, and a laxative slipped into their morning coffee.

Kate Nash — "Foundations" (2007)

Following in the footsteps of her mentor Lily Allen, Kate Nash vividly paints the tragedy of falling out of love, made prismatic by her plain-spoken lyrics ("Your face is pasty 'cause you've gone and got so wasted, what a surprise!") and her charming, thick London accent.

In this story, Nash has not quite removed herself from the shackles of her failing relationship. In fact, she'd like to salvage it, despite her boyfriend's tendency to humiliate her and her irresistible urge to sneer back with a sarcastic comment. By the end of the track, Nash, becoming more restless, packs on new ways to inconvenience him — but in the end, still wonders if there's any saving grace to preserve their once blazing spark out of a fear of loneliness.

P!nk — "So What" (2008)

The year P!nk wrote "So What," she already had a bevy of platinum singles under her belt. With a gleaming social status and peaking career, she was apathetic to the temporary separation from her now husband, Carey Hart. Feeling the highs of newfound singlehood, P!nk was ready to incite personal tyranny, whether that meant not paying Hart's rent, drinking her money, or starting a fight.

Ironically, Hart appears as the antagonist in the music video, which P!nk revealed via her official fan website was a testament of their growth: "Carey hadn't heard the song before he did the video. That's how much he trusts and loves me [...] He gets it. He gets me," she said.

Taylor Swift — "Picture To Burn" (2006)

Taylor Swift has long solidified herself as the reigning queen of love songs, from ballads honoring the most committed relationships to diss tracks of heartbreaking adolescent flings. The latter houses one of the earliest (and most twangy) hits in Swift's sweeping catalog: "Picture to Burn."

In this deceivingly upbeat tune, Swift vows to seek vengeance on a boyfriend after he leaves her to date one of her friends — from getting with his friends to having her father give him a piece of his mind. And along the way, she will gladly dish out a few insults: "You're a redneck heartbreak who's really bad at lying/ So watch me strike a match on all my wasted time/ As far as I'm concerned, you're just another picture to burn."

Miley Cyrus — "Wrecking Ball" (2013)

Closing the door on her Hannah Montana days, Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" saw the childhood pop star in her most grown-up and vulnerable state to date. Months before the release, Cyrus had called off her engagement to her longtime boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth, paving the way for her thunderous performance on the Bangerz single.

Just as affecting as Cyrus' belting vocals is the track's iconic music video. Cyrus climaxes with a deafening cry — "All you did was wreck me" — as she swings across the screen on an actual wrecking ball, breaking down all her physical and metaphorical walls. 

Halsey — "You should be sad" (2020)

By the mid-2010s, the industry had put angst on the back burner in exchange for feel-good EDM and trap beats. Well, that is, at least, until Halsey entered the picture.

After just two years in the limelight, Halsey had cultivated a vibrant assortment of sonic melodrama — from the dirt and grime of toxic, failed love on tracks "Bad at Love" and "Colors" to the Bonnie and Clyde-esque heated passion of "Him & I."

In 2020, Halsey rounded out her discography with the genre-bending, introspective Manic, where a track like "You should be sad" commands your attention with matter-of-fact, vindictive comments: "I'm so glad I never ever had a baby with you/ 'Cause you can't love nothing unless there's something in it for you."

GAYLE — "abcdefu" (2021)

Unlike most love songs, GAYLE refuses to point her fury on "abcdefu" solely toward her heartbreaker. The then-16-year-old singer, instead, rages against his mother, sister and pretty much anyone (and anything) he's associated with — other than his dog — across a searing melody with a bewitching bassline.

Earlier this year, GAYLE revealed to GRAMMY.com that she was "angry at him and was angry at the people who enabled him and his behavior." That animosity was palpable in "abcdefu," creating a magic as empowering as it is cathartic — and, like many songs that came before it, proving that there can be power in pain.

Behind The Scenes Of The Eras Tour: Taylor Swift's Opening Acts Unveil The Magic Of The Sensational Concert

Shakira
Colombian singer Shakira performs with Argentine record producer and songwriter Bizarrap on the Sahara Stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, on April 12, 2024

Photo: VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

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Coachella 2024 Weekend 1 Recap: 20 Surprises And Special Moments, From Billie Eilish & Lana Del Rey To Olivia Rodrigo With No Doubt

Weekend 1 of Coachella 2024 is a wrap, and the internet can’t stop talking about it. Here are 20 surprises and special moments from Coachella so far, including inspired team-ups, wackadoo moments in the clutch, and much more.

GRAMMYs/Apr 15, 2024 - 09:11 pm

It may be hard to believe, but Weekend 1 of Coachella 2024 is already over. Clearly, time flies when you’re having fun — particularly when beholding the world’s leading artists, convened in the Indio desert in California.

If you weren’t there, the festival was filmed, of course. You can enjoy Coachella from the comfort of your own home, sans-sunburn, undrenched with champagne.

As you survey Coachella’s sold-out first weekend, read on for 20 performances, debuts and moments that surprised and touched us from Coachella Weekend 1.

Lana Del Rey's Headlining Set Brought Out GRAMMY Winners Billie Eilish, Jon Batiste & Jack Antonoff

After rolling deep up to her desert set on a fleet of motorcycles for her Friday performance, Lana Del Rey infused her iconic sad-girl pop persona into every facet of her Gatsby-esque performance. 
Her headlining set also included some special GRAMMY-winning guests: Jon Batiste and 2024 Producer Of The YearJack Antonoff both accompanied on piano, while Billie Eilish joined her idol on stage for duet performances of "Ocean Eyes" and "Video Games." Sharing a moment with her hero on stage at the end of the set, Eilish declared, "This is the reason for half you bitches’ existence, including mine.”

Tyler, The Creator Brings Out Childish Gambino, A$AP Rocky, Kali Uchis and Charlie Wilson

Saturday's main stage event kicked off with a ruckus 80-minute set by creative magnet Tyler, The Creator, who transformed the stage into an ever-changing desert scene to host fellow performers.

First up, Childish Gambino hit the stage to perform a duet of "Running Out of Time," before A$AP Rocky joined for a performance of two tracks, "Potato Salad" and "Who Dat Boy."

Tyler admitted he once saw both as rivals, but now considers them friends. Kali Uchis also returned to the desert stage with Tyler for a quick appearance as well as legendary singer/songwriter Charlie Wilson, who made an unexpected appearance to accompany Tyler on a laid-back version of "EARFQUAKE." 

No Doubt Made Their Grand Re-Entrance (With Olivia Rodrigo!)

No Doubt electrified Coachella with their first performance in nine years, featuring all original members and a blend of eclectic hits that defined their career. Their memorable reunion set highlighted their timeless appeal and was punctuated by a surprise appearance from pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo for a duet performance of No Doubt classic, "Bathwater."

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce Show Up To Support Ice Spice And Jack Antonoff's Bleachers

The Queen of Pop, Taylor Swift herself, showed up on Sunday with her boyfriend Travis Kelce among the crowds to support her friends: producer and Bleachers band member Jack Antonoff and Eras tourmate Ice Spice

Will Smith Joined J Balvin For The “Men In Black” Theme

What slap? Last year, Will Smith appeared at “A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip Hop” as one half of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. And at Coachella 2024, the world was treated to another throwback, as he and four-time GRAMMY nominee J Balvin performed the immortal theme to Men in Black.

Doja Cat Brought Out A$AP Rocky, 21 Savage and Teezo Touchdown

GRAMMY winner and 19-time nominee Doja Cat turned in a performance heavy on rap — and also puppet dinosaurs. As per the former, A$AP Rocky, 21 Savage and Teezo Touchdown touched down, collaborating with Doja on “Urrrge,” “N.H.I.E.,” and “Masc,” respectively.

Ice Spice Previewed A New Song Onstage

Something’s stirring in Ice Spiceworld. At Coachella, she wowed with her live debut of a new song that sampled Sean Paul’s 2005 track “Gimme the Light.” (She closed out with “Think U the Shit (Fart).”)

As reported earlier in April, Ice Spice is going to make her acting debut in Spike Lee’s new movie High and Low, starring Denzel Washington

Peso Pluma Made His Coachella Debut

¡Corridos tumbados de por vida! In the wake of his big win at the 2024 GRAMMYs — Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano), for GÉNESIS Peso Pluma lit up Coachella 2024 with that signature fusion of folky guitar ballads and modern hip-hop, with special guests including Becky G and Arcángel.

Lil Uzi Vert Previewed A New Song Onstage

Ice Spice wasn’t the only act to preview new material at Coachella 2024. Enter four-time GRAMMY nominee Lil Uzi Vert, who performed a hypnotic and — again — unnamed track, one that seemed to be tailor-made for Coachella.

A Mini-Fugees Reunion Went Down (Thanks To YG Marley)

Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean are no strangers to reigniting the Fugees spirit onstage — they did so at Essence Fest 2022, while GRAMMY.com was reporting on site. This time, they kept it in the family; during Hill’s son YG Marley’s set, both Fugees came out, playing classics like “Killing Me Softly.” (The embattled Pras wasn’t present.)

Blur Announced This Was Their Last Performance Together

Social media is currently abuzz at the allegedly unresponsive audience for Blur — but what’s a viral, out-of-context clip supposed to prove, anyway? Whatever the case may be, after their rollicking set, Damon Albarn and company declared that the Britpop icons were entering another hiatus.

Bizarrap Brought Out Shakira

Mega-watt Argentine producer Bizarrap brought his BZRP Music Sessions to the Coachella stage and included a surprise appearance from superstar Shakira.

Shakira and Bizarrap won the Latin GRAMMY for Song Of The Year at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs for "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53," a featured track on her fresh-out-the-trap album, Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran

Billie Eilish Threw A Special “Billie & Friends” Party & Hyped Up The Crowd With The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”

After surprising fans during Lana Del Rey's Friday set, Billie Eilish treated fans and special guests to a preview of her new album, Hit Me Hard and Soft at the Do LaB Stage on Saturday night.

The previewed songs were well-received by an enthusiastic set of attendees who were introduced to yet-to-debut tracks "“Lunch,” "L’Amour De Ma Vie," and "Chihiro." 

"Yo Gabba Gabba!" Showed Up To The Aquabats’ Pool Party

Christian Jacobs, lead singer of the Aquabats, co-created the "Yo Gabba Gabba!" TV show — and the colorful cast of costumed characters showed up to their pool party! This marks yet another example of ska picking up at Coachella — see the transcendent No Doubt and Sublime performances.

Sublime Made Their Coachella Debut With Jakob Nowell

As you may have read, Sublime are back, against the odds — not with Rome, but with Jakob Nowell, original Sublime frontman Bradley’s son. (It must be said: Bradley died at 28, ending the band’s original run; as he takes the guitar and mic, Jakob himself is 28.)

Speaking of the guitar — he wielded his old man’s, in an emotional and electrifying set that proved these songs’ durability and beyond.

Vampire Weekend Brought Paris Hilton Onstage To Play Cornhole

Life imitates Mad Libs! The beloved indie rockers are out promoting their new album, 2024’s Only God Was Above Us — and who better to cheerlead than the one and only Paris Hilton, to play the classic bean bag game with the crew?

Dom Dolla Brought Out Nelly Furtado

Dance/electronic sensation Dom Dolla returned to Coachella for a charged set featuring festival first-timer Nelly Furtado who joined to perform their GRAMMY-nominated track, "Eat Your Man."

Furtado gave her all during the rousing performance, a testament to the duo's synergy after Dom Dolla brought the singer out of a six year hiatus to work together on the song.

Sky Ferreira Made A Surprise Appearance With Kevin Abstract

If Sky Ferreira seems like an unlikely candidate to belt out a Lady A hit, think again. The singer/songwriter brought newfound heft to the five-time GRAMMY winners’ classic hit, “Need You Now,” with Kevin Abstract.

Does this foreshadow a reappraisal of the country mainstays’ catalog? Once the dust settles re: the ska revival, we’ll have that conversation.

Kesha Showed Up To Rock With Reneé Rapp (And Diss A Certain Disgraced Rapper)

“Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy,” Kesha once rapped, in her inescapable 2009 hit “Tik Tok.” Well, that didn’t age well, and Kesha knew that. So she changed “P. Diddy” to “me” — and if that’s just going to be the official lyric now, that’s fine by the music industry. Reneé Rapp, of Mean Girls fame, bolstered her.

Mac DeMarco Joined Forces With Lil Yachty

Mac DeMarco’s been a savvy chameleon at this stage in his career, prioritizing brainy collaborations over typical album release cycles.

He has two songwriting credits on Yachty’s game changing 2023 album Let’s Start Here, and during Yachty’s performance, he showed up to perform two of his song songs: “On The Level,” from 2017’s This Old Dog, and “Chamber of Reflection,” from his decade-old album Salad Days.

Additional reporting by Nina Frazier.

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Taylor Swift performing in Kansas City in 2023
Taylor Swift performs on night one of the Eras Tour in Kansas City, Missouri in July 2023.

Photo: John Shearer/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

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Taylor Swift, The 'Tortured Poet': 6 Times She's Used Poetry In Her Work

As Taylor Swift prepares for her next era with 'The Tortured Poets Department,' take a look at some of the ways the pop superstar has displayed her love for poetry in her songwriting, tours and more.

GRAMMYs/Apr 15, 2024 - 07:22 pm

With an ability to write songs that are as timeless as they are universal, Taylor Swift has often been described as the most impressive songwriter of her generation. The pop star's authentic lyrics and knack for storytelling has had fans invested from the start of her career, picking apart each line to better understand them. What is largely overlooked, though, are the poetic tools Swift channels to better understand herself.

From turning short stanzas into songs to categorizing tracks as "quill" or "fountain pen," Swift deftly incorporates her love of poetry and writing into her work. And now, she's conceptualizing an entire album around it.

Swift's aptly titled eleventh album, The Tortured Poets Department, sees the singer/songwriter as the Chairman of the Department who, upon announcing the album, declared "All's fair in love and poetry." Following the release of Midnights, she began working on the record and has since said it was a "lifeline" album — and that she never had a project where she needed songwriting more.

Before The Tortured Poets Department arrives on April 19, GRAMMY.com explores how Swift has incorporated poetry into her career and used it to level her songwriting.

Honoring Poets In Her Work

Much like how her fans find comfort in her work, Swift uses poetry as a main source of comfort and inspiration. Swift begins her album prologue for 2012's Red by quoting the poem "Tonight I Write the Saddest Lines" by Neruda, one she's said has always captivated her. 

The line reads, "Love is so short, forgetting is so long." It sets the theme for the entire Red album, with Swift stating that she relates to the line in her "saddest moments" when she "needed to know someone else had felt the exact same way." It clearly made an impression on her: during the release of Red (Taylor's Version) almost a decade later, she'd quote the line again at the beginning of "All Too Well: The Short Film."

When speaking with NPR about the poem, Swift said that her favorite writers — whether they be poets or authors — have "musical hooks" in their work and have the ability to write about things in a universal, relatable and simple way. "The Lakes," a deluxe track featured on folklore, directly references The Lake Poets, who called the idyllic Lake District in England home. Specifically, the track gives a nod to Romantic poet William Wordsworth: "Take me to the lakes where all the poets went to die/ I don't belong, and my beloved, neither do you [...]/ I've come too far to watch some name-dropping sleaze/ Tell me what are my words worth." 

Compartmentalizing Her Songwriting

During her acceptance speech for NSAI's Songwriter-Artist of the Decade Award in 2022, Swift mentioned the "dorky" way she compartmentalizes songwriting into three categories: "quill," "fountain pen" and "glitter gel." Fun, upbeat songs that don't take themselves too seriously fall under the "glitter gel" category; "fountain pen" lyrics reference modern storylines with a "poetic twist." 

"Quill" lyrics, however, are the ones that weave Swift's poeticism directly into her songs. During the speech, she describes writing them using antiquated words, almost as if she was "inspired to write it after reading Charlotte Brontë or after watching a movie where everyone is wearing poet shirts and corsets." Particularly, she notes evermore's "ivy" as a "quill" track, reciting the lyrics, "How's one to know/ I'd meet you where the spirit meets the bones/ In a faith forgotten land."

Using Poems To Communicate During A Media Blackout

Following the hysteria post-1989 that catalyzed 2017's reputation, Swift leaned into the album's ethos — "There will be no further explanation, there will just be reputation" — Swift avoided most, if not all, interviews during the press campaign. Instead, she opted to use poetry as a form of communication. 

In place of an interview, she submitted a poem to British Vogue to accompany her cover shoot. The poem "The Trick to Holding On" was seemingly written at the tail end of that aforementioned media scrutiny, seeing Swift exploring themes around healing and acceptance, writing, "Let go of the ones who hurt you/ Let go of the ones you outgrow" and "Suddenly you'll know/ The trick to holding on/ Was all that letting go."

As part of the album launch, Swift released accompanying magazines with two different poems titled "If You're Anything Like Me" and "Why She Disappeared," both written by her. In "If You're Anything Like Me," Swift picks apart her own flaws and failings while touching on the aftermath of the scrutiny she experienced ("Each new enemy turns to steel/ They become the bars that confine you/ In your own little golden prison cell"). It ends with Swift recognizing her growth and finding peace: "If you're anything like me, I'm sorry/ But Darling, it's going to be okay."

Reciting Poetry On Tour

On her two most recent tours, Swift has integrated poetry into parts of her sets. Before Swift performed "Getaway Car" during the reputation stadium tour, she recited her poem "Why She Disappeared." Much like "If You're Anything Like Me," the poem explores her tarnished reputation and uses illeism to show the distance she feels from those events. In the poem, she says, "Without your past/ You could never have arrived so wondrously and brutally/ By design or some violent, exquisite happenstance/...here," distinguishing her past self from her present self.

As Swift took a journey through her discography on her Eras Tour, she began the folklore set — the one that fans might describe as her most poetic — with a spoken word version of her song "seven." Alluding to her past and current eras, Swift begins the poem with the line, "If you wish to romanticize the woman I became" followed by interpolating a lyric from 1989's "Wildest Dreams," saying, "Then say you'll remember me/ Standing in a nice dress/ Staring at the sunset." She asks audiences to "begin at the beginning" by picturing her in the trees and continues to recite the first verse and chorus.

Referencing Literature

When Vogue asked Swift what subject she would teach if she was a teacher, it wasn't a surprise that she said English. Her love of literature — both modern and classic — is apparent in her lyrics. Sometimes she compares herself to literary characters, like Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby in the song "happiness," in which she sings, "I hope she'll be a beautiful fool," a direct quote from the novel. Instead of using it in its original context, which was meant to be a blessing, Swift makes it more devastating. 

Other times, she uses specific motifs as a way to express her frustrations, like using Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and its themes of "adultery" and sin in Fearless' "Love Story" ("You were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter") and in 1989 "New Romantics" ("Show off our different scarlet letters").

The concept of fate that Swift explores in "invisible string" was mentioned by English author Charlotte Brontë in Jane Eyre. The novel's "I have a strange feeling with regard to you: as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly knotted to a similar string in you" line is mirrored by Swift's lyrics, "All along there was some/ Invisible string/ Tying you to me."

In a conversation with Paul McCartney for Rolling Stone, Swift said that she read "much more" than she ever did during folklore. Specifically mentioning Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, a story of an unnamed woman who marries a man who she believes is still in love with his wife. Swift found inspiration in the novel's use of flowery and "prettier" words and turned them into song names and lyrics, like "epiphany" and "elegies." Her evermore track "no body, no crime" even alludes to the same death the fictional character faces in Rebecca and "tolerate it" explores the story of a neglected wife and a loveless husband.

Since Swift loves using songwriting and storytelling as a form of escape, it makes sense that she'd also use whimsical children's fairy tales as inspiration. Alice in Wonderland might be the most obvious reference she's used for 1989's "Wonderland," using allusions to falling down a rabbit hole and Cheshire cat grins as a way to explain the frantic and fragile relationship she was experiencing. In "cardigan," Swift puts herself in the shoes of Wendy in Peter Pan to explain her frustrations with the immature and gallless Peter ("I knew you/ Tried to change the ending/ Peter losing Wendy").

Incorporating Poetry Into Songs

Many of Swift's songs began as poems. In conversation with Scholastic in 2014, Swift spoke with students about the books she loved growing up, discussing how journaling helped simplify her feelings which would eventually lead her to discovering her love of poetry. She mentions that "This Love" from 1989 was initially a quick and spontaneous poem she wrote in her journal which read "This love is good/ This love is bad/ This love is alive back from the dead/ These hands had to let it go free and/ This love came back to me." Shortly after, a melody came to mind and she developed the poem into a song.

On Lover, fans found that the penultimate track "It's Nice To Have A Friend" reminded them of a poem. Speaking to Billboard upon the album's release, Swift said the song is more of a poem filled with metaphors with double meanings. "It's Nice To Have A Friend" follows a typical poetic beat — specifically an iambic trimeter — where Swift emphasizes certain syllables to create six syllables per line. 

On her 2022 album, Midnights, Swift directly mentions writing poetry on the love song "Sweet Nothing," penning the lyric, "On the way home/ I wrote a poem/ You say, 'What a mind'/ This happens all the time." Although the themes of pressure and media scrutiny of the reputation poems still appear in her later work, this poetic-sounding track speaks more to a simple gratitude than anything else. 

In late 2023, Swift liked a tweet connecting the lyric to a quote from Paul McCartney about his late wife Linda McCartney, which reads, "I would come back from a run with a poem to share and having listened, Linda would say 'what a mind.'" Whether it's about Paul and Linda or Swift's personal life, poetry helps uncover new ways to inspire her.

As the next chapter in Swift's musical universe begins with the arrival of The Tortured Poet Department, it's clear her love for storytelling is ever-evolving — just like her love for poetry.

All Things Taylor Swift

Gwen Stefani and Olivia Rodrigo perform during No Doubt's set at Coachella.

Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for No Doubt

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No Doubt’s Coachella Comeback: A Night Of Nostalgia With Olivia Rodrigo As A Special Guest

No Doubt's triumphant return to Coachella, marking their first show in nine years, electrified the desert with a dynamic performance that spanned their eclectic hits and featured a surprise appearance by Olivia Rodrigo.

GRAMMYs/Apr 13, 2024 - 12:35 am

On the first Saturday of Coachella, No Doubt made a striking comeback on the festival's main stage for their first performance together in nine years. 

Originating from Anaheim, California in 1986, the band is celebrated for their eclectic sound that defies easy categorization — from the ska-punk vibrancy of their early days to the polished pop anthems that later defined their career. 

Their big breakthrough album, Tragic Kingdom, was released in 1995 and propelled them to fame with hits like "Don't Speak" and "Just a Girl," which dominated the Billboard charts for 16 weeks. 

Featuring all original members — Gwen Stefani, guitarist Tom Dumont, bassist Tony Kanal, and drummer Adrian Young — No Doubt's Coachella performance was a tribute to their iconic past and a reminder of their beloved eccentricity. 

The standout set was filled with unbeatable stage presence, surprise guests, and showcased the band's timeless appeal nearly four decades into their career. Known for blending introspective brooding with a uniquely sardonic edge, the band has significantly influenced a generation of complex female artistry. Highlights from the performance, including Stefani's magnetic stage presence, heartfelt interactions with fans, and a surprise appearance by Olivia Rodrigo, underscore their palpable appeal and lasting influence on contemporary music. 

Read on to discover five key highlights from their hotly anticipated return at Coachella during their 'Weekend 1' set:

Gen Z And OG Fans United As One

As fans converged on Coachella's main stage for No Doubt's set, the diversity of the audience was immediately apparent. Younger fans, clad in social media-ready outfits inspired by Gwen Stefani’s iconic style (some even recreating her most iconic looks) braved the evening's brisk winds. 

Despite challenges, the alleged bad modern concert etiquette was not apparent, especially after Stefani's call for a return to old-school concert vibes before performing a “Simple Kind of Life.” 

“Let’s do this old school!” Stefani said as she confessed missing the days when fans would belt out all the lyrics at the top of their lungs without much care in the world. It was a sentiment that quickly resonated through the audience and a moment that not only bridged generational divides but also highlighted No Doubt's broad and enduring appeal. 

The Night Was Full Of Nostalgia

Outside of the fact that frontwoman Stefani is allergic to aging, for a group returning after nine years performing together, No Doubt’s stage presence was just as powerful as their past, dynamic performances.  

“There’s no f—king comparison!” Gwen Stefani roared during “Underneath it All,” capturing the intensity of the moment as she dropped to her knees, rhinestones sparkling on her eyebrows and a smile breaking through. 

Read more: GRAMMY Rewind: Watch No Doubt Accept Their GRAMMY Award For “Underneath It All” In 2004

The band's passion burned just as brightly when they were playing local college gigs in Orange County. There was no sign of awkwardness or a single misstep as Stefani showcased the same brilliance of her early days as a burgeoning musician.

She shared the spotlight seamlessly. As Dumont delivered a guitar solo during “Different People,” Stefani playfully skipped and ran across the expansive stage, never missing a note. 

No Doubt has always transcended nostalgia, yet they embraced their history at Coachella. Stefani dressed to the nines in a plaid, avant-garde outfit while background videos played personal and rehearsal footage from the '90s, evoking a simpler time for the group. Stefani appeared barefaced in a plain white tee, bouncing around a beat up truck in a video that explained the band's origins and showed the magnetic charisma that manifested a star turned supernova.

Olivia Rodrigo Made A Surprise Appearance

Right before Stefani took a brief water break, she flashed a mysterious smirk to the crowd. 

As the introspective track “Bathwater” thrummed to life, a brunette donning a glittering “I [love] ND” tank top emerged, her face turned from the audience. The murmurs quickly escalated into screams, particularly from the younger fans, signaling the arrival of pop starlet Olivia Rodrigo. Matching Stefani in energy and presence, Rodrigo proved a formidable presence on stage, trading verses and singing in duet through the chorus, their performance culminating in a sweet embrace. 

No Doubt’s influence on Rodrigo's music is palpable. After all, tracks like Rodrigo’s “Get Him Back!” and No Doubt’s “Bathwater” are cut from the same mascara-stained cloth — each with a poetic, vengeful twist. They were just girls! Living in captivity! The revenge? Being able to put into song the diabolical conditions of womanhood, while allowing themselves to truly feel — whether it be anger, delusion, or plain pettiness. 

The Band Members Have A Bond

No Doubt’s historic return to the stage elevated the entirety of the Coachella-going experience, setting a standard and outshining the majority of the other acts. Throughout their performance, the admiration they had for one another became increasingly evident. 

From Stefani frequently calling out “Tony! Tony!” to (Tony) Kanal during the set’s adlibs to the end of their set when the group remained locked in a hug for several moments, the group was clearly overjoyed to be back together again. Before exiting the stage, Stefani leaped onto the back of Young while she excitedly kicked her feet, as though in protest of having to leave. 

A Coachella backstage supervisor working onsite during their rehearsals candidly confessed that he was taken by the band's natural chemistry. During soundcheck, he stated they were so intrinsically confident and overjoyed about their performance it seemed as though they had never stopped performing with one another. 

They Showed Deep Gratitude For Their Fans

There was nothing but gratitude on display from each and every member during the festival set. After almost every other song Stefani would belt an “I love you!” to the crowd. 

During an experimental instrumental-only tribute to ska-pop, Kanal ran across the stage with a huge smile, at-the-ready to riff back-to-back with members of the group. 

“Indio, put your f—king hands up!” Stefani commanded the crowd as they gleefully complied. Then, as smoke filled the air under the brilliantly shining crescent moon, she celebrated the group coming together for the first time in nine years. 

“Isn’t this so crazy?” Stefani yelped during her performance for “It’s My Life.” “This is our life! Singing I love you!” 

It was an epic return for No Doubt as a band and Stefani as their fierce leader, showing up to Coachella naturally, just a girl. A girl who loves to sing, rile up the audience in a fierce sing-along, and remind everyone that self-acceptance is all their music has ever been about. 

10 Must-See Artists At Coachella 2024: Skepta, The Last Dinner Party, Mdou Moctar, Cimafunk & More

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performs during "The Eras Tour"

Photo: Ashok Kumar/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

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Get Ready For Taylor Swift's ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Album Release: Everything You Need To Know

As we count down to Taylor Swift's 11th studio album release on April 19, feast on all the morsels GRAMMY.com has gathered about the Queen of Pop's upcoming "tortured poet" era.

GRAMMYs/Apr 12, 2024 - 03:19 pm

The dawn of Taylor Swift's "tortured poet" era is upon us. The reigning Queen of Pop is set to release her highly anticipated 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, on Friday, April 19. 

Ever since she announced the new album during the 2024 GRAMMYs — while accepting her lucky 13th GRAMMY Award for Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights —- Swifties have been meticulously analyzing every detail of her existence for clues about the release of The Tortured Poets Department.

Fortunately, Swift has been serving a lot of information to snack on. After revealing the cover art in an Instagram post before accepting her record breaking fourth win for Album Of The Year, she didn't stop the feast. From the full track list to a five-stage breakup playlist — and, of course, all the bonus tracks and special editions — here's all the breadcrumbs GRAMMY.com collected in preparation for The Tortured Poets Department

All The Art Is Black And White

The cover art for The Tortured Poets Department displays a black-and-white inset photo of Swift in repose on a stack of white pillows, with the album's title in uppercase white letters above her. The photography accompanying the album, including back covers and special editions, captures Swift in reflective solitude: standing before a body of water wearing an oversized white button-up, and in a pensive self-embrace against a stark black backdrop.

The photography for the album was shot by Swift's photographer since 2020, Beth Garrabrant, who also shot the covers of Swift's folklore, evermore, Fearless (Taylor's Version), Red (Taylor's Version), Midnights, Speak Now (Taylor's Version), 1989 (Taylor's Version). She's known for using a medium-format film photography that evokes an emotional closeness to her subjects — especially fitting for an album titled The Tortured Poets Department.

The Album Features Two Notable Collaborations

On GRAMMY night, alongside the album announcement, Swift posted the complete track list on her Instagram. The post included a photo of the album's back cover, showing a close-up of Swift with her hand on her forehead, overlaid with the text "I love you, it's ruining my life" in all-caps. 

The 16-track release has been split into four sides and also features collaborations with Post Malone on Side A opener "Fortnight" as well as Florence + The Machine on Side B's "Florida!!!" 

Check out the full track list:

**Side A**
“Fortnight” (feat. Post Malone)
“The Tortured Poets Department”
“My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys”
“Down Bad”

**Side B**
“So Long, London”
“But Daddy I Love Him”
“Fresh Out the Slammer”
“Florida!!!” (feat. Florence + the Machine)

**Side C**
“Guilty As Sin?”
“Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”
“I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)”
“loml”

**Side D**
“I Can Do It With a Broken Heart”
“The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived”
“The Alchemy”
“Clara Bow”


Bonus Tracks:

“The Manuscript”

“The Black Dog”

"The Albatross"

The Album Title Hints At Another Ex 

Mere moments after Swift dropped The Tortured Poets Department album name, the internet was ablaze with viral speculation that the title is derived from a play on ex Joe Alwyn's group chat, "The Tortured Man Club" with Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott. 

Alwyn and Mescal revealed their "club name" during an interview with Variety in December 2022 and it didn't take long for fans to connect the dots. Upon unearthing the tie-in, Swifties rushed to share memes and comment on the original interview across various social channels.

There Are Three Bonus Tracks (So Far)

Swift has revealed at least three bonus tracks for different editions of the album, each marked with its own "file name." The initial track list release, referred to as "The Manuscript," includes a bonus track sharing this name.  

On Feb. 23, Swift posted a slideshow on Instagram to promote a special edition named "The Albatross." It featured the bonus tracks and revealed the back cover, which presented a track list alongside a contemplative close-up of Swift overlaid with the question, "Am I allowed to cry?" 

Then, on March 3, she introduced the bonus track “The Black Dog” through a similar post that showcased new cover art, with the album's reverse side portraying Swift and the haunting text, "Old habits die screaming." 

Lyrics Have Already Been Shared

Unlike her previous album campaigns, Swift hasn't unveiled any music ahead of The Tortured Poets Department’s release — but she has dropped plenty of hints at the subject matter to come. Handwritten lyrics first appeared in the album announcement post, in a stack of papers inside a folder tabbed with a monogram of the album's name.

"And so I enter into evidence/ My tarnished coat of arms/ My muses, acquired like bruises/ My talismans and charms/ The tick, tick, tick of love bombs/ My veins of pitch black ink," is written above the sign-off, "All's fair in love and poetry… Sincerely, The Chairman of The Tortured Poets Department."

Then, in an Instagram story posted on April 8 — the date of the total solar eclipse — Swift shared an image of a typewriter loaded with a sheet of paper stamped with the words, "Crowd goes wild at her fingertips/ Half moonshine, Full eclipse." 

Swift Created Five Playlists To Mirror The Stages Of A Breakup

Gearing up for the release, Swift dropped a 5-part playlist series on Apple Music on April 5 featuring previously released work arranged in playlists that reflect the five stages of grief. The playlist for "Denial: I Love You, It’s Ruining My Life Songs," features hits including Midnight's "Lavender Haze," and Lover's "Cruel Summer" and "False God." 

The other playlists run through the emotional gamut with titles like "Anger: You Don’t Get to Tell Me About Sad Songs," the midpoint "Bargaining: Am I Allowed to Cry? Songs," "Depression: Old Habits Die Screaming Songs," and finally "Acceptance: I Can Do It With a Broken Heart Songs." Each one takes listeners on a Taylor Swift escapade through love won and lost, representing what many believe to be a musical voyage through Swift's stages of grief following the end of her relationship with ex Joe Alwyn. 

Each playlist also includes a description from Swift. For "Denial," it says, "This is a list of songs about getting so caught up in the idea of something that you have a hard time seeing the red flags, possibly resulting in moments of denial and maybe a little bit of delusion. Results may vary.”

As April 19 nears closer, take a deep dive into everything Swift has unleashed so far — and get ready for a lot more divulging once The Tortured Poets Department arrives.

All Things Taylor Swift