Billboard published a column from contributor Andrew Unterberger on Monday comparing the legacies of Amy Winehouse and Taylor Swift. Parts of the piece theorized how the late Winehouse would ostensibly relate to some of Swift's breakup ballads.
"It's not hard to imagine Winehouse relating to the bloodiness of a Swift breakup song like 'Dear John' or 'Forever and Always,' while it's equally easy to picture Swift losing herself in the open despair of 'Love Is a Losing Game' or 'Wake Up Alone,'" Unterberger wrote. "At the end of the day, both artists were really just great singer-songwriters."
Assuming how the artist would react to contemporary Swift music is one thing, but the Twitterverse was unkind in its response to Billboard's attempt to make any comparison at all. Put simply, many believe that Swift shouldn't be mentioned in the same piece, let alone the same headline as Winehouse. The shade came swiftly, edging into outright venom in some cases.
If the backlash proves anything, it's how much devotion Amy Winehouse continues to inspire five years after her death. The fact that she's not here to object to seeing her legacy's pinned to Swift's simply because they released albums in the same week in 2006 definitely only adds to detractors' vitriol.
Swift has had a particularly contentious 2016, one that's involved lying about giving Kanye West approval to reference her in his song "Famous" and attempting to remove herself from the narrative when things started to get dicey. Since then, she's made avoiding Paparazzi into somewhat of an art form, and she got dragged by Demi Lovato for her faux brand of feminism. These stories seem to be top of mind for some responders to the piece, who have had the privilege of watching Swift grow from the delightfully awkward girl next door to the empire-builder she is today.
Mic has reached out to Billboard and the author of the piece and will update this story if we receive a response.