New research says there’s nothing America loves more than a good dose of drama, particularly in the form of song.

In fact, almost three-quarters of Americans say they either like it (36%) or love it (38%) when musicians write about their lives, breakups included. 

In our recent survey of 2,000 people, forty-six percent found Beyoncé’s fans to be the “most intense” online, while Kanye “Ye” West’s fans ranked second (35%) and Ariana Grande’s fans were a close third (34%).

West has been no stranger to drama lately between his recent relationships with Julia Fox and Chaney Jones, public reconciliation attempts with estranged wife Kim Kardashian West and ongoing personal beef with “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson. 

West is facing backlash this week after posting a new song and claymation video, “Eazy,” on his Instagram page Thursday night, which depicts Davidson being kidnapped and buried alive.

Not all fans mind though — most respondents (41%) strongly believe anyone who breaks up with a musician is “fair game” for potential song fodder, and 71% enjoy it when an artist reveals who their songs are about.

While that can certainly lead to some unwanted attention from diehard fans (as was the case for Jake Gyllenhaal upon the release of Taylor Swift’s short film, “All Too Well”), 36% of respondents said they don’t feel bad for celebrities who get harassed online. 

Gyllenhaal’s first official comments on all the heat he’s gotten since Taylor Swift released her nine-minute version of “All Too Well,” detailing their brief romance in 2010 have only recently been published.

In a December interview with Esquire, Gyllenhaal said the renewed criticism from Swifties didn’t bother him. He later added,

“At some point, I think it’s important when supporters get unruly that we feel a responsibility to have them be civil and not allow for cyberbullying in one’s name.”

Though Gyllenhaal is still feeling the heat for a three-month fling that occurred a decade ago, more than one third (36%) of respondents said it’s not OK to hold a grudge against someone who wronged your favorite celebrity — although 25% say it’s only OK for up to six months and 23% say it’s acceptable for up to one year after. 

But, not everyone is so willing to forgive and forget. In fact, nearly one in 10 (9%) said they’ll sometimes hold grudges for five years. Four percent said they would hold a grudge against someone who wronged their favorite celebrity for the rest of their lives.

Artists with most intense fans online

  • Beyoncé, 46%
  • Kanye West, 35%
  • Ariana Grande, 34%
  • Britney Spears, 32%
  • Taylor Swift, 31%
  • Adele, 31%
  • Olivia Rodrigo, 26%
  • Drake, 24%
  • Harry Styles, 23%
  • Selena Gomez, 23%

Best breakup songs

  • “Someone Like You” by Adele, 12%
  • “Heartless” by Kanye West, 11%
  • “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus, 9%
  • “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande, 8%
  • “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood, 8%
  • “Sorry” by Beyoncé, 7%
  • “Cry Me A River” by Justin Timberlake, 6%
  • “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber, 6%
  • “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrissette, 6%
Infographic: key survey results of a poll asking if fans like musicians using real-life drama in their songs

This OnePoll general population online survey was conducted from Nov. 22-23 2021, with 2,000 Americans. As members of AAPOR – the American Association for Public Opinion Research, OnePoll researchers adhere to the principles and actions set out in the AAPOR Code.