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Elvis Costello defends Olivia Rodrigo over Brutal copying claim

Written by on 30 June 2021

Elvis Costello has defended teenage star Olivia Rodrigo over an accusation that she copied one of his songs.

Brutal, a track on Rodrigo’s chart-topping album Sour, sounds similar to a riff that featured in Costello’s 1978 track Pump It Up.

Veteran singer-songwriter Costello stepped in to defend the young star after a Twitter user described her track as “pretty much a direct lift”.

Elvis Costello posing for a portrait at The Redbury New York hotel in New York in 2018. Pic: Matt Licari/Invision/AP      Image: Elvis Costello, pictured in 2018, says Rodrigo’s track is ‘fine by me’. Pic: Matt Licari/Invision/AP

“This is fine by me,” Costello replied. “It’s how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy.”

Referencing Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues and Chuck Berry’s Too Much Monkey Business, he added: “That’s what I did. #subterreaneanhomesickblues #toomuchmonkeybusiness.”

Costello’s support for Rodrigo, the young star who recently topped both the singles and album charts in the UK for the third time, came after a comment was made on the songs’ similarities in response to a separate accusation of plagiarism, made by Courtney Love.

Love has pointed out similarities between photos released to promote Rodrigo’s Sour Prom, a new concert film, and the cover artwork for her band Hole’s 1994 album Live Through This.

“Spot the difference! #twinning,” Love said in a post on her social media platforms, sharing the photo of Rodrigo.

“Love u and live through this sooooo much,” the young star replied on Instagram.

But in response to comments on her post on Facebook, Love made it clear she isn’t happy, saying: “Stealing an original idea and not asking permission is rude.”

Rodrigo has not commented on the claims.

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