It’s not uncommon for artists to pay homage to other musicians they admire.
We’ve seen it with the hip-hop duo Camp Lo’s Uptown Saturday Night album cover, which was a reimagining of Marvin Gaye’s I Want You cover. Eminem’s Kamikaze was a sendup Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill cover and Redman reworked Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain for his Dare Iz a Darkside cover.
But fans—on both sides—got riled up over the weekend when Courtney Love accused Gen Z superstar, Olivia Rodrigo, of plagiarizing the artwork from Live Through This, the 1994 album by Love’s band Hole.
What began as a friendly Instagram exchange between the veteran rockstar and pop sensation evolved into a debate over plagiarism when Love criticized Rodrigo for “stealing” Hole’s concept to promote her upcoming concert film, Sour Prom.
“Spot the difference! #twinning,” Love captioned the promotional photo of Rodrigo wearing a tiara and holding a bouquet of flowers as mascara-smudged tears run down her face.
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Rodrigo responded in the comment section, writing “love u and live through this sooooo much.”
The image, shared by Love on Instagram and Facebook, bears a resemblance to the album cover for Hole’s Live Through This, which captured model Leilani Bishop as a prom queen with makeup streaming down her face.
On her Facebook account, Love was more blunt about her thoughts on the artwork, writing, “it was rude of her and geffen [Records] not to ask myself or [Live Through This cover photographer] Ellen von unwerth” for permission. “It’s happened my whole career so I [don’t care]. But manners is manners!”
Some commenters suggested that, by her own logic, Love should apologize to horror author Stephen King for plagiarizing the prom scene from 1976’s Carrie, starring Sissy Spacek. (The Live Through This photographer admitted that the artwork was inspired by the film in a 2019 interview.)
“I’m not angry. It happens all the time to me. But this was bad form. That’s not bullying or bomb throwing,” Love said. “… It was rude And I [have] every right to stick up for my work.”
Rodrigo hasn’t responded publicly to Love’s remarks.
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