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Damon Albarn apologizes for saying Taylor Swift doesn’t write her own songs

<i>Hugh Hastings/Getty Images</i><br/>Damon Albarn of Gorillaz performs on the Main Stage during Boardmasters Festival 2021 at Watergate Bay on August 14
Hugh Hastings/Getty Images
Damon Albarn of Gorillaz performs on the Main Stage during Boardmasters Festival 2021 at Watergate Bay on August 14

By Jeevan Ravindran, CNN

British musician Damon Albarn has apologized “unreservedly and unconditionally” to American singer Taylor Swift after claiming she didn’t write her own songs.

Albarn, best known as the frontman of the bands Blur and Gorillaz, made the comments in a Los Angeles Times interview with pop music critic Mikael Wood published Sunday.

Swift quickly replied after the newspaper shared Albarn’s remarks on Twitter.

“I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this,” Swift wrote to Albarn. “I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really f****d up to try and discredit my writing. WOW.”

“PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering,” she added sarcastically.

Writing an apology on Twitter shortly afterward, Albarn said: “I totally agree with you. I had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait,” adding, “The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand.”

In the interview, Wood described Swift as an “excellent songwriter,” to which Albarn quipped that “she doesn’t write her own songs.” When the journalist restated that Swift writes her own songs and co-writes others, Albarn disagreed.

“That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is,” he said. “Co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes.”

Albarn instead said he preferred Grammy-winning singer Billie Eilish, calling her “a really interesting songwriter.”

“I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It’s just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she’s exceptional,” he added.

Eilish co-writes most of her songs with her brother Finneas O’Connell.

It’s not the first time Albarn has come under fire for criticizing other artists, having previously described Adele as “very insecure” in a 2015 interview with the UK’s The Sun newspaper, and criticizing her “25” album as being “middle of the road.”

However, in an interview with BBC Newsbeat later that year, Albarn denied the remark, saying he would “never ever call her insecure,” and that “her openness was her great strength.”

Albarn’s most recent remarks on Swift sparked a backlash on social media, with many on Twitter pointing out that Swift has written several songs entirely on her own across all her albums, including the whole of her 2010 album “Speak Now.” She also has a songwriting credit on every one of her songs.

Several high-profile social media accounts backed Swift on Twitter, including the official Empire State Building account, which tweeted: “No one does it better than you.”

Meanwhile, streaming platform Tidal posted screenshots of Swift’s latest release, a re-issue of her 2012 album “Red,” and circled the credits to two songs which show her as the sole composer and lyricist, adding: “Can confirm Taylor’s pen game is strong.”

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