20 of the Most Famous Celebrity Rivalries and How They Began

From Hollywood celebrities to pop culture divas, these rivalries highlight the drama that goes on behind the scenes of some of the world’s biggest stages!

Joan Crawford vs. Bette Davis

(Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)

One of the most legendary feuds in Hollywood dates back to 1935. Can you guess what started it?

It was a man. (Sigh).

The feud between two of Hollywood’s greatest silver-screen actresses–Joan Crawford and Bette Davis’–was SO infamous it inspired an FX show called Feud. The feud began when Davis fell in love with her co-star, Franchot Tone, on the set of the movie Dangerous. Soon after she fell in love with him, Crawford swooped him up and married him.

Their feud didn’t dwindle over the years. It actually grew! In 1962 the two were cast together in a movie called Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? The production team on the set reported near-constant tension between the actress. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when Davis got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in their movie. Not to be outdone, Crawford hatched a plan so that she was able to go on stage to accept the very same award, on behalf of the winning actress Anne Bancroft.

The two stars reportedly never amends before they both died.

Paris Hilton vs. Nicole Richie

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Socialites, Paris and Nicole, starred together on the reality show The Simple Life in 2003. They were BFFs at that time.

Unfortunately, their friendship turned sour in 2005. Though their falling out was big news back then, they didn’t spill the tea, choosing instead to keep the reason for their BFF break-up between them. “It’s no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends,” Paris told People that same year. “Nicole knows what she did, and that’s all I’m ever going to say about it.”

According to People, the feud began when Paris failed to invite Nicole to her Saturday Night Live hosting gig. Apparently, Nicole retaliated by screening a private video of Paris’ at a party. Eventually, the pair reconciled at the season 5 premiere of The Simple Life. We love a happy ending!

Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West

(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

How does Kanye do it? He has the ability to upstage even the most powerful and beautiful celebrities. Taylor, the entire Kardashian clan . . . it must be a gift.

The long-lasting feud between Taylor Swift and Kanye West all started when Kanye infamously interrupted Taylor’s acceptance speech at the VMA’s in 2009. It was one of the most cringe-worthy moments in early-2000s pop culture. In response to Kanye’s apology following the incident, Taylor did what she does best–she penned a heartfelt song for the rapper called Innocent, and the two seemed to reach some peace.

Until, of course, Kanye opened the wound! In 2016, Kanye released a song called Famous, in which he wrote some crude lyrics about Taylor. When Taylor publicly denounced the song, Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian released secret recordings of a private phone call in which the pop star seemingly gave approval of the lyrics.

Through her publicist, Tree Paine, Swift denied the reason for Kanye’s phone call. “Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account,” Paine told the New York Times.

The feud continues to this day.

Kim Cattrall vs. Sarah Jessica Parker

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker played BFFs Sex and the City for a total of 94 episodes. Apparently, they were better actors than we realized because they didn’t get along in real life. Rumors of a simmering feud between the two began when Cattrall refused to participate in a third Sex and the City movie. Then, in an interview in 2018, Cattrall called out Parker, “I really think she could have been nicer. I don’t know what her issue is, I never have.”

Things escalated in 2018 when Sarah offered her condolences after Cattrall’s brother passed away, and she responded with a bitter Instagram post dismissing Parker’s words. “I don’t need your love or support at this time @sarahjessicaparker,” she wrote. “You are not my family. You are not my friend.” Yikes.

Parker has dismissed the idea that there was ever a feud in an interview with Vulture, “I’ve always held Kim’s work in high regard and always appreciative of her contributions.”

David Letterman vs. Jay Leno

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The biggest feud in late-night history began when Johnny Carson announced he was leaving NBC’s The Tonight Show in 1992.

David Letterman–who hosted his own show on the same network–expected to be Carson’s replacement. That didn’t happen. Instead, comedian Jay Leno landed the coveted role. As a result, Letterman left NBC to host The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS instead . . . in the same time slot.

This rivalry has its own name: “Late Night Wars.” The two hosts competed for ratings over the next two decades, before both retiring from their respective shows. Leno is reported admitting, “The idea that there was a huge rift between me and Dave — yeah, of course, there was. And our shows were very competitive . . . but it doesn’t mean you don’t respect each other.”

Miley Cyrus vs. Nicki Minaj

(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)

Apparently, the VMAs are routinely a place where celebrities get under each other’s skin. In 2015, Nicki Minaj won the VMA for best hip-hop video. During her speech, she called out Miley Cyrus for having “a lot to say about me the other day in the press.” She finished her call-out with the words, “Miley, what’s good?”

Minaj was getting back at Cyrus for some comments she made in an interview with The New York Times in which she criticized Minaj for not accepting her loss at a previous award’s show. Then, Cyrus answered Minaj’s callout by taking the stage at the VMAs to say, “Hey. We’re all in this industry, we all do interviews, and we all know how they manipulate you.” Sounds like Cyrus was trying to make amends. Until . . . she released her song Cattitude, which includes the lyrics, “I love you, Nicki, but I listen to Cardi.” And the feud continues.

Gwyneth Paltrow vs. Martha Stewart

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This rivalry seems about as unlikely as Martha Stewart’s partnership with Snoop Dogg.

The feud between Gwyneth Paltrow and Stewart started in 2014. It was then that Stewart shared her thoughts on Paltrow’s business, Goop. “She’s a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn’t be trying to be Martha Stewart,” she told Porter magazine.

The drama continued when Martha posted a pie recipe spread called “Conscious Coupling” in the November 2014 issue of Martha Stewart Living. This was a subtle nod to Paltrow’s announcement that she and Chris Martin were planning a “conscious uncoupling,” which meant they were divorcing. A month later, Paltrow posted her own recipe called “jailbird cake,” a dig at Martha’s time in prison for fraud charges back in 2004. Who knew this feud would be so spicy!

Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry

(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)

Welcome back to the list of celebrity rilvalries, Taylor!

These two pop icons–Taylor Swift and Katy Perry–seemed to have been good friends for years. In 2014, however, they got in a fight over some back-up dancers who left in the middle of Taylor’s Red Tour to go work for Katy’s Prismatic Tour.

Doing what she does best, Swift wrote a song about it–Bad Blood. Eventually, she revealed it was about an unnamed female artist who “basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour.” Perry fired back with Swish Swish, a song believed to be a diss track of her own.

Thankfully, the feud between the two seems to have ended. Perry extended an olive branch (literally by sending Swift an actual olive branch!) in 2018, and the feud’s end was confirmed in 2019 when Perry posted an Instagram of cookies from Swift’s kitchen with the words, “Peace At Last.” Soon after, Perry appeared in Swift’s You Need to Calm Down music video, where the two stars hugged while dressed up in matching burger and fries costumes.

Elton John vs. Madonna

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We wouldn’t expect someone with the title “Sir” and someone who named herself after the Virgin Mary to be members of a famous feud. And yet, here we are.

Sir Elton John and Madonna feuded for several years, starting in 2002. The feud began when John criticized Madonna’s track for the 007 film, Die Another Day, as “the worst Bond tune of all time.” Once John got that off his chest, he felt free to continue criticizing Madonna, following up with accusations that she was lip-syncing at her concerts.

Their feud escalated when both were nominated for Best Original Song at the Golden Globes in 2012. John boldly announced that Madonna had no chance of beating him. Whoops! When she did, indeed, beat him Madonna said, “He’s been known to get mad at me, so I don’t know. He’s brilliant, and I adore him, so he’ll win another award. I don’t feel bad.” To this day their decade-long feud still doesn’t seem to have an end in sight.

Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera

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Here we have another classic pop diva rivalry, this time between two alumni of The Mickey Mouse Club. What a shame!

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera’s relationship began on the children’s show in 1993. Once they both became huge pop stars, they were probably destined to be pitted against each other. Then, add rumors of a love triangle between Spears, Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake, the sparks were destined to fly.

The two singers consistently took swipes at one another for years. For example, Aguilera once called Britney, “A lost little girl, someone who desperately needs guidance.” Remarks like these seemed to be kindling to a raging feud, but in 2008 Aguilera put rumors of a feud to rest. “It must have seemed as if we were competing with each other, but, in reality, Britney is someone that I used to hold hands with,” she said. “We were silly little girls together on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club.’ What a journey it has been for both of us!” Today, the women seem to be on good terms.

RocketFACTS


History Facts - The Great Depression

  1. Stock prices took a major plunge on September 4, 1929, signaling the start of the Great Depression in the United States. More than a month after, the stock market crashed, triggering a widespread economic depression that would affect countries worldwide.
  2. Herbert Hoover was US president during the Great Depression. Families would live in shacks in poor neighborhoods known as Hoovervilles. The hungry were given free food items like Hoover Stew and Hoover Hogs. Things were so bad that many were given newspapers to keep warm.
  3. American gangster, Al Capone, became infamous during the Prohibition era when he co-founded the Chicago Outfit. The crime boss, however, to clean up his name and started up a soup kitchen, during the Great Depression, that dished out free food for the hungry.
  4. The stock market crash on September 4, 1929, is referred to as Black Tuesday. The initial market plunge saw $14 billion go down the drain in a single day, with a total of $30 billion within the week.
  5. Then-President Hoover announced in March of 1930 that the worst phase of the Great Depression was over, but in reality, it was only the beginning. Things got so bad that many people committed suicide in the financial district of New York.
  6. Renowned economist Milton Friedman believed that the market crash could not have singularly caused the Great Depression. Instead, it was the panic that ensued which was to blame. This panic saw people withdrawing their cash deposits, heralding in the breakdown of the banking industry.

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