Olivia Rodrigo accused of plagiarism by Courtney Love and others

Artwork for Sour Prom, which has similarities to Hole album Live Through This, criticised as ‘rude’ and ‘bad form’ by Love

Olivia Rodrigo has been accused by Courtney Love and others of plagiarism in her artwork and a music video.

Love highlighted similarities between the album cover to Live Through This by her band Hole, photographed by Ellen von Unwerth, and the image used to promote Sour Prom, an Olivia Rodrigo concert film airing on 29 June. Each image features a prom queen in a tiara holding flowers, wearing smeared mascara. Love posted the Sour Prom artwork to Instagram with the caption “Spot the Difference! #twinning”, and later wrote on Facebook: “Stealing an original idea and not asking permission is rude. There’s no way to be elegant about it. I’m not angry. It happens all the time to me. But this was bad form.”

Olivia Rodrigo’s new promo pics are giving me very much Hole’s Live Through This album cover and I’m here for it!<3 pic.twitter.com/ER33Co9N2A

— Annette❣︎ (@annettelourdess) June 25, 2021

Rodrigo wrote as a comment to the original post: “love u and live through this sooooo much”.

The accusation follows another last week, where users on TikTok and Twitter drew comparisons between Rodrigo’s artwork and video for her No 1 single Good 4 U and the aesthetic used by US indie-rock band Pom Pom Squad. Both Rodrigo and the band’s frontwoman Mia Berrin are pictured wearing cheerleader outfits with long latex gloves, among other similarities.


— Honey Cutt (@HoneyCuttband) June 24, 2021

Rodrigo has not responded to the latter comments. The Guardian has requested comment.

Rodrigo is 2021’s biggest breakthrough pop star, whose debut album Sour has topped charts in the UK and US. Pop-punk track Good 4 U is currently in its fifth week at No 1 in the UK singles chart, the longest-running rock chart-topper since Babylon Zoo’s Spaceman in 1996. Debut single Drivers License spent nine weeks at No 1 earlier this year, and two other songs, Deja Vu and Traitor, have also reached the UK Top 5.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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