- 31 Aug 21
After a series of plagiarism claims against Olivia Rodrigo's debut album, Adam Levine shares on his social media that "we should probably meet this with a little more compassion and understanding."
In the months since Olivia Rodrigo's debut album was released, Sour has drawn comparisons to the likes of Taylor Swift, Paramore, and Elvis Costello. After three months of facing criticism after criticism, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine took to his Instagram story to defend the 18-year old pop star.
“There’s all this drama about Olivia Rodrigo,” Levine stated. “Look, these are tricky things, and anyone who’s ever written a song knows that sometimes you rip something off inadvertently, and it makes it to tape, and then it gets released, and then there’s a lawsuit.
“Sometimes it’s not warranted that people take legal action,” he continued. “And I think there’s definitely become more of a gray area. The gray area has reared its ugly head these days. That 'Blurred Lines' case was a landmark case that kind of changed the game. Now, without giving an opinion on what I think as far as how that one turned out, I do think that we should probably meet this with a little more compassion and understanding.”
Both before and after plagiarism accusations surfaced, Rodrigo has formally and informally credited multiple artists on her album. A huge Taylor Swift fan, Rodrigo credited Taylor Swift in '1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back' for interpolating her song 'New Years Day', as well as 'Deja Vu' for sharing DNA with Swift's 'Cruel Summer'.
Last week, the 'Driver's License ' singer added Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams and guitarist Josh Farro to the credits for 'Good 4 U' after fans pointed out its similarities to Paramore's 2007 song 'Misery Business'. According to reports, the two groups were in contact prior to the album's release, despite the credits being added retroactively.
“When you take someone who is a newer artist and she’s doing things that kind of emulate the ones from generations removed, I don’t know how bad that is," Levine continued on social media. "I think it’s kind of a cool thing to introduce a whole generation of young people to different musical ideas. That’s just my opinion, I’m not saying it should be everyone else’s."
“I just hate to see it become this huge thing where people get really aggressive about it. I don’t know — maybe I’m just not as territorial about that kind of stuff. I’m almost flattered when people rip me off. But I’m sure I’ve ripped people off too. ... It’s music. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Elvis Costello appears to share Levine's sentiment as he dismissed fans who accused Rodrigo of stealing a guitar riff from his 1978 song 'Pump It Up' for her teen angst opener 'Brutal'.
“This is fine by me,” Costello tweeted. “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.”
Not everyone is as forgiving. In June, Courtney Love attacked Rodrigo for allegedly copying her 1994 Live Through This album cover while promoting her Sour concert film. In response, Rodrigo took the high road, telling GQ, “To be honest, I’m just flattered that Courtney Love knows that I exist.”
Watch Adam Levine defend Olivia on his social media below.
Adam Levine weighs in on Olivia Rodrigo songwriting controversy:
“I do think that we should probably meet this with a little more compassion and understanding and try to find a way...all this calling out, it's like, music is a creative thing and I just hate to see it crushed," pic.twitter.com/oXGFTr0Uqf
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) August 27, 2021