DiscoverRivals: Music's Greatest Feuds
Rivals: Music's Greatest Feuds
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Rivals: Music's Greatest Feuds

Author: iHeartRadio

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Beatles vs. Stones. Biggie vs. Tupac. Kanye vs. Taylor. Who do you choose? And what does that say about you? Actually, what do these endlessly argued-about pop music rivalries say about us? Music opinions bring out passionate debate in people, and music journalists/critics Steven Hyden and Jordan Runtagh know this firsthand. They’re both obsessed with the biggest (as well as the most obscure) rivalries in music history. Each week, they’ll break down the details of a different colorful feud, and attempt to figure out why many of our favorite pop and rock stars can’t seem to get along.

27 Episodes
In the late '90s, a time of peace and prosperity for America, two of this country's biggest bands were Creed and Limp Bizkit. In retrospect, they seem like perfect signifiers for a decadent, bored nation on the verge of a major fall. But at the time, these groups ended up raging against each other, with their respective frontmen, Scott Stapp and Fred Durst, almost coming to blows over a misunderstanding at a music festival. What was it about these bands that so enchanted people once upon a time? And why did they come to hate each other? Learn more about your ad-choices at
Joan Baez was the undisputed queen of folk in the early ‘60s when she began sharing the stage with her new boyfriend, a Woody Guthrie-worshipping up-and-comer from Duluth who went by Bob Dylan. Thanks in no small part to Baez’s early support, Dylan quickly ascended to the height of fame and cultural influence. As his career eclipsed her own, Baez grew frustrated that he wasn’t as generous with the spotlight as she had been in his early days. Dylan, for his part, resented Baez’s pressure to use his platform for overt political statements and sought to distance himself from the “protest singer” movement she represented. Their romance ended by the mid-‘60s, but their time together would inspire some of their best late-era work. Learn more about your ad-choices at
VladTV is the world's leading source of celebrity interviews and urban news. Our exclusive content provides the hard-hitting interviews from your favorite urban artists, actors, athletes and cultural figures. If it's making noise in the culture, we're providing the information, education, and commentary from unique voices in the community - past or present. Find The VladTV Podcast on the iHeartRadio App or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at
For much of the 2010s, Nicki Minaj was the most successful female rapper on the planet, selling more albums than any woman in hip-hop ever. But then a former exotic dancer, reality show star, and political science major named Cardi B exploded on the scene, stealing much of Minaj's thunder in the process. Nicki, of course, was not about to take this lying down, sparking a war of words that culminated with an infamous shoe-throwing incident. In the end, however, is this feud really about the sexism of an industry in which only one female MC is allowed to succeed at once? Learn more about your ad-choices at
In the early '70s, Neil Young wrote two classic songs about the south — "Southern Man" and "Alabama" — that annoyed one of his biggest fans, Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd. So Ronnie co-wrote "Sweet Home Alabama," which became a hit song and a defining southern rock anthem. Among the song's fans was Neil Young, who formed a mutual appreciation society with Van Zant. So ... where's the rivalry? In this episode, we talk about how the larger culture seized upon the Neil Young vs. Lynyrd Skynyrd binary as part of a larger, ongoing culture war, simplifying what was otherwise a friendly, complex dynamic between two legendary artists. Learn more about your ad-choices at
“Imma let you finish but…” When Kanye West crashed Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, he ignited one of the most compelling and complex music rivalries ever. More than a decade later, their feud continues to captivate because it’s multi-faceted. It’s a discussion of an older man publicly disrespecting a talented younger woman — but it’s also a discussion of white privilege and how people of color are treated in the United States. Over the years their public personas have swung from victim to oppressor, idol to pariah. The beef explores the fickle nature of public tastes, the weaponization of social media, and the way “reality culture” impacts our actual reality. And it also examines some of the biggest hits of the 2010s. Learn more about your ad-choices at
There's a long history of sibling rivalry infecting some of the biggest acts in pop and rock. But there is perhaps no greater example than the brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis. From the time they broke out in the mid-'90s, these British bad boys have been at each other's throats. The core of their argument boils down to a simple philosophical disagreement about the value of art vs. rock 'n' roll chaos. Is Oasis all about the music or the mayhem? Learn more about your ad-choices at
As co-founders of blink-182, Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge produced some of the most joyous and gleefully immature pop-punk of the ‘90s. But behind the rapid-fire riffs and plentiful dick jokes, creative tensions between the pair escalated. DeLonge’s desire to pursue a wide variety of musical and professional avenues led to lengthy hiatus in the mid ‘00s. A high profile reunion was going fine for a time, until DeLonge was again sidelined by other interests. Blink carried on without him as DeLonge performed intermittently with his new band, Angels & Airwaves, but the man who one sang “Aliens Exist” has devoted most of his energy to the study of UFOs. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Pink Floyd is one of the greatest and most successful bands of all time, and that is due mostly to the lyrics and ideas of Roger Waters and the guitar-playing and musical acumen of David Gilmour. Together, they guided the band through masterworks like "Dark Side Of The Moon" and "Wish You Were Here." But just as they achieved massive popularity, their partnership came undone by a destructive power struggle that ultimately sent Waters packing. He thought he was Pink Floyd by himself, but Gilmour later proved him wrong — or did he? Learn more about your ad-choices at
In 1994, Stephen Malkmus of Pavement wrote a snarky song called "'Range Life" in which he made a few snide remarks about one of the world's most popular alternative rock bands, Smashing Pumpkins. Little did he know that this song would spark a rivalry that would last for decades. Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan interpreted "Range Life" as yet another example of "elite" people looking down on him, a worldview that has curdled over time in strange and unexpected ways. In the end, Corgan's ire for Malkmus is a parable about how assuming the world is against you is a good way to turn the world against you. Learn more about your ad-choices at
In the late 1990s, there were no bigger boy bands than the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. They might have ended up as rivals anyway given that they operated in the same lane of sweet ballads and synchronized dances. But the tension between was ratcheted up because they had the same "Big Poppa," the infamous impresario Lou Pearlman. Eventually, however, their sniping ceased once the groups realized they were both being ripped off. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Together, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel formed one of the most popular and critically acclaimed duos in rock history, producing classic songs like "Mrs. Robinson" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." But from the time they met as children, they were also competing with each other — for credit, for attention, and even for money. As the years went on, and they continued to reunite and then swiftly fall apart, their initial gripes never seemed to go away. Paul thought Artie never worked hard enough, and Artie thought Paul had a "Napoleon complex." In the end, their gentle music masked a lot of interpersonal aggression. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Guns N' Roses were the biggest rock band in the world by 1991 — but that didn’t mean they were impervious to criticism. Their double-barreled smash ‘Use Your Illusion’ featured the song “Get in the Ring,” in which the notoriously thin-skinned Axl Rose struck back against those he felt had wronged him in the press. The track is notable for its complete lack of ambiguity. He specifically names music journalists and challenges them to fight. But when they accept his challenge, Axl never shows. “Get in the Ring” crystalizes the dichotomy between the singer’s brawling bad boy reputation and his actual actions, and raises questions about how celebrities defend themselves against critics. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Slim Shady enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the all time greatest rappers, but in 2015 Machine Gun Kelly made a play for his “Blonde MC from the Midwest” crown — and hit on his teenage daughter in the process. Subliminal lyric disses sparked a nuclear response from Em, resulting in a war of words in songs and interviews that has continued sporadically ever since. Learn more about your ad-choices at
It’s the second part of our series about the power struggles inside the greatest rock band ever! Within the Beatles, the unquestioned power couple was John Lennon and Paul McCartney. But in the band’s later years, George Harrison emerged as a major creative force, writing hit songs like “Something” and “Here Comes The Sun.” And yet he struggled to gain respect from his two big brothers in the Fab Four, even after the band broke up. Learn more about your ad-choices at
It’s our two-episode arc on the intra-band beefs that occurred inside the greatest rock band of all time! In this episode, we look at the partnership at the heart of the Beatles between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. After they bonded as boys in Liverpool over shared childhood tragedy and common artistic ambitions, their friendship slowly frayed as the Beatles grew more and more popular. John was the adventurous wit and Paul was the canny romantic — or at least that’s what the archetypes are. But in reality, their difficult dynamic is far more complicated. Learn more about your ad-choices at
The almost oppressive ubiquity of Imagine Dragons’ songs like “Radioactive” and “Thunder” made the band an easy target for criticism, even from fellow musicians. In 2017, The 1975 lead singer Matty Healy accused Dan Reynolds and Co. of singing songs about “nothingness” and not taking advantage of their global platform to enact positive change. Reynolds, a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community, took offense and slammed Healy for adding to the negativity prevalent in the music industry. This episode of Rivals examines their feud and explores why one band became an object of ridicule and the other a critical favorite — despite the fact that they’re more similar than they are different. Learn more about your ad-choices at
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, country superstar Toby Keith released “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).” Some embraced the song as the perfect rallying cry for an angry and traumatized nation. Others felt it was a crude, hateful, jingoistic anthem about putting your boot in someone’s ass. Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks fell squarely in the latter camp, and denounced the hit tune in interviews. Months later, when the Dixie Chicks were blacklisted from the country music community following their onstage criticism of President Bush and the invasion of Iraq, Keith was quick to peg the band as unpatriotic traitors. Though they eventually buried the hatchet with Keith, the Dixie Chicks remain exiled from the country scene and their once-thriving career has never recovered. Their feud gets to the complicated truth of what happens when an artist publicly takes a political stance.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
Before they started their own successful bands, Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar were boyhood friends who formed a group called Uncle Tupelo in the 1980s. Uncle Tupelo wasn't all that famous or successful in their time, but historically they would prove hugely influential on a generation of alt-country acts. Farrar was the creatively dominant force in that band, but Tweedy quickly came into his own, which created tension that eventually boiled over. Even after the success of Tweedy's band Wilco and Farrar's band Son Volt, fans continue to debate over who was in the right. Learn more about your ad-choices at
At the heart of the Beach Boys, one of America's biggest bands ever, are two men: Brian Wilson and Mike Love. Brian is the songwriter and resident genius, and Mike is the cocksure frontman. For most of the 1960s, their partnership worked as the Beach Boys scored dozens of hits. But a conflict over the magnum opus "Pet Sounds" revealed that Brian was out to pursue high art at all costs, while Mike prefered to stick with "the formula." For the next 50 years, this battle has raged over what truly constitutes the "real" Beach Boys. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Comments (9)

julie dodge

how about the Killers vs the Bravery

Jun 20th

joseph flynn

how about Liam vs Noel Gallagher

May 9th
Reply (2)


love their vast knowledge... I dont think they are douches

Apr 8th

Jonas Grumbie

great story, douche hosts.

Apr 3rd

Yasmine C

Remember when we all thought MJ was the normal one, and Prince was the weirdo? This was a fun episode.

Mar 24th
Reply (1)

Yasmine C

why anyone would fight over p.o.s John Mayer is completely beyond me.

Mar 11th
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