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Courtney Love, undaunted by stans, criticizes Taylor Swift and Beyoncé



You probably already know Courtney Love doesn’t give a fuck. But every generation has to figure that out on their own, and now the rabid stan armies are figuring it out firsthand. Of course, in her Evening Standard interview, Love alternately praised and shaded a dozen or more female artists. But the one that’s going to get noticed is her comment on Taylor Swift: “Taylor is not important. She might be a safe space for girls, and she’s probably the Madonna of now, but she’s not interesting as an artist.”

No one except Courtney Love would ever accuse Taylor Swift of being like Madonna (Swift’s never been provocative in the least, and her lyrics are typically circumspect about sexuality), except for being blonde and popular. There’s obviously a kernel of thoughtful critique here—being “a safe space for girls” is as good a reason as any for Swift’s overwhelming popularity—but Love is not really here to do cultural criticism, even if she has a lot of it. This was probably more of an excuse to get in a two-fold dig, since she famously doesn’t like Madonna either (“I loved Desperately Seeking Susan, but for the city of New York as much as her”).

And why stop at Taylor Swift? What about all women? “It’s great that there are so many successful women in the music industry, but lots of them are becoming a cliché. Now, every successful woman is cloned, so there is just too much music. They’re all the same. If you play something on Spotify, you get bombarded with a lot of stuff that’s exactly the same,” Love told the Standard. “I mean, I like the idea of Beyoncé doing a country record because it’s about Black women going into spaces where previously only white women have been allowed, not that I like it much. As a concept, I love it. I just don’t like her music.”

Poking the Beyhive and Swifties in the same interview: that’s what pure, uncut not giving a fuck looks like for an entertainer in 2024. Hilariously, this interview was conducted to promote the Hole rocker’s new BBC radio show Courtney Love’s Women, in which she celebrates the women who have influenced her career. But even the women she likes she doesn’t like, including Lana Del Rey, who was a huge influence on Love’s new album. Nevertheless, she says “I haven’t liked Lana since she covered a John Denver song, and I think she should really take seven years off.” Or this passage from the Standard interview:

“She sings the praises of Patti Smith (whom she listened to in juvenile hall at the age of 11), Nina Simone, PJ Harvey (‘The first four albums, then I’m done’), Julie London and Joni Mitchell (‘The early albums, not the experimental s***’). She likes Deborah Harry, having listened to her when she was in a foster home. She had to quote scripture in order to get breakfast and she played Blondie’s ‘Call Me’ instead. ‘I wasn’t a superfan, but she was very beautiful.’”

The fact is, there’s nothing Love likes more than being a hater. “I always wanted to be known as a bitch,” she proclaims (adding that Kurt Cobain was able to hide behind her unlikability). “I had a bitch capacity and I was cool with not being liked. I saw Bob Dylan in Don’t Look Back and he didn’t want to be liked and I thought, yeah, I want to be like that.” Well, mission certainly accomplished!

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