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Ahh, the early 00s. A time for flip phones, ultra-low rise jeans and a whole lot of ~drama~. But unlike the YouTuber/influencer tea-spillings we encounter in 2020, the drama of the early 00s was an all-out war and honestly, it still lives rent-free in my mind to this day.

So sit down, grab a snack and let’s revisit the sheer madness that was the It Girl War of the early 2000s, and how it was singlehandedly responsible for every early 00s banger we all know and love.

Unlike the beefs we encounter today, the It Girl War was all-encompassing, including Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Ashlee & Jessica Simpson, Hilary & Haylie Duff, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears, among others.

Honestly, Lindsay Lohan could release a makeup palette but James Charles could *never* have this level of petty drama.

Lindsay Lohan & Hilary Duff:

The entire It Girl War was sparked over fucking Aaron Carter and honestly, that’s a story in itself. I mean, could you imagine either Lindsay or Hilary wanting to throw hands over Aaron Carter in 2020? Fat chance.

But alas, they did.

The year was 2004.

Hilary and Aaron dated for a year and a half after meeting on the set of Lizzie McGuire. He then rebounded with Lindsay for a few months before going *back* to Hilary, thus starting a war much bigger than any of us thought possible.

But it didn’t stop there, no.

Somehow certified early 00s daddy Chad Michael Murray got thrown into this shit show because he co-starred with Linsday in Freaky Friday, then Duff in A Cinderella Story. Lindsay (allegedly) called Chad and asked him to help her spread lies about Hilary. It’s messy, but they were also young girls in the early 00s, so can you blame them?

Honestly, I just feel bad for CMM here. The poor dude just wanted to make some cash and ended up becoming a casualty in the It Girl War. RIP Chad (not really, he’s still alive).

This beef gave us Hilary’s song Haters.

Lindsay didn’t release a banger, but she *did* join the It Girl party scene – aka Paris, Nicole, Britney & the Simpson sisters – to stay relevant.

Hilary Duff & Nicole Richie:

After presumably realising that Aaron Carter sucks, Hilary Duff moved on to Joel Madden of Good Charlotte fame in what I like to call her scene boy phase.

They dated for four-ish years when she was 16 (he was 24, it’s a big yikes but that’s a totally different story) until November 2006.

But *then* he started dating Nicole Richie later that year (aka a month later), which obviously started even more beef.

In true 2000s fashion, rather than throwing hands, Hilary threw shade via her new album Dignity (which is basically her just singing about Paris, Nicole and Lindsay).

Multiple tracks are clearly about Richie, including the titular song Dignity, which includes lyrics like:

“Where’s your dignity? I think you lost it in the Hollywood Hills … Can’t buy respect but you can pick up that bill … Always with Mr. Right, but then you have a fight / Run into your friend’s ex, he’s happy to be your next / Tomorrow’s paper’s coming out so kiss him fast, watch the cameras flash.”

Haylie Duff & Paris Hilton:

Somehow, Hilary’s sister Haylie Duff and Nicole’s The Simple Life co-star and BFF Paris Hilton were roped into this mess but honestly, I don’t think this was shade.

Basically, Paris and Haylie both recorded the same song Screwed (not uncommon in the music industry when it comes to pop stars who don’t write their own music). The pair realised they had both recorded the song, but before it could be amicably sorted out with their managers, Paris’ version mysteriously leaked on the radio.

This obviously exaggerated the beef because it was meant to be Haylie’s debut single, but ended up on Paris’ album. Paris went on to give us a number of hits like Stars Are Blind (certified banger) and Haylie, well… she never released an album.

Sorry, but I’m team Paris here.

The Duffs & The Simple Life:

Sorry, but I must get a little side-tracked here to remind you that the Duffs v Paris & Nicole resulted in the iconic film Material Girls (aka the only real time we saw Haylie Duff).

The film is clearly parodying Paris and Nicole (or maybe Paris and Nicky Hilton).  It’s pretty shady when you think about it, but now that we know that Paris was playing a character in The Simple Life and is just a great actress, so no harm, no foul… I guess.

Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie:

Honestly, this is the saddest bit of the whole war, in my opinion. Our beloved The Simple Life gals eventually had a falling out that resulted in them filming the fourth season of the hit show separately.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking and I still cry about it more often than I care to admit. BUT it did give us two great diss tracks as the pair publicly aired their dirty laundry.

Sadly, we lost The Simple Life in the crossfire, but we did gain Paris Hilton’s track Jealousy from her self-titled album and Nicole’s cover of Dandelion on MySpace (RIP).

The Paris and Nicole beef also gave us Paris Hilton: My New BFF, which ended shortly thereafter. But it’s not about the reality TV shows, it’s about the beef we got to enjoy along the way.

Lindsay Lohan & Ashlee Simpson:

At this point, the Simpsons have been awfully quiet in this whole ordeal, but that all changed over, get this, Wilmer Fucking Valderamma.

Yep. The That 70s Show guy who somehow pulls every beautiful woman in Hollywood despite being *kinda* a giant fuckboy.

In my opinion, this is the biggest bombshell of the whole saga. Basically, Linsday and Wilmer dated, but then when they broke up he was rumoured to be dating Ashlee Simpson. However, this was never confirmed.

OBVIOUSLY (being the early 00s), Lindsay felt the burning desire to write a song about it and thus, First was born.

But Ashlee, the token scene girl of the early 00s, responded with an even better banger: Boyfriend, which gave us the hit lyrics:

“Hey how long ’til you look at your own life
‘Stead of looking into mine?
I didn’t steal your boyfriend”

Honestly, it still baffles me that this song is about fucking Wilmer Valderamma, but it’s a banger and I will appreciate it regardless.

Jessica & Ashlee Simpson & Lindsay Lohan:

In true big sister fashion, Jessica Simpson obviously stepped in to bat for Ashlee after the whole ordeal with Lindsay.

The trio had serious beef that resulted in Ash & Jess getting rejected at the door to Lindsay’s MTV Movie Awards party.

But shit *really* hit the fan at Jimmy Fallon‘s party, where Jessica (allegedly) tried to fight Lindsay.

None of this is directly related to a song release, but Jessica Simpson gave us the hit song With You, which deserves an honorable mention.

She also gave us a tonne of hair extensions and is easily the most badass of the early 00s party girls. You go, Jess.

P!nk & The It Girls:

P!NK, who is frankly way too busy doing acrobatics at this point to partake in this bullshit, then took it upon herself to call every single one of the It Girls out in her hit track Stupid Girls. 

Honestly, you have to admire the dedication to the game here. P!nk avoided tarnishing her reputation with the actual war, but still managed to capitalise on it. ICONIC.

Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake:

Britney Spears, bless her soul, ran adjacent to the whole war of the early 00s it girls and managed to escape relatively unscathed.

However, when Justin Timberlake broke up with her, then released Cry Me A River, Britney felt the need to release her own rebuttal. And thus, Everytime was born.

Although Britney ended up having a really rough couple of years, you’ve gotta hand it to her for keeping relatively out of harm’s way when it comes to the It Girl War.

Lindsay Lohan & The It Girl War In General:

This one isn’t really a diss-track to anyone in particular, rather, a diss track to the media amid all of the drama of the It Girl War, but you can’t talk about the early 00s beef without mentioning Rumours.

It was Lindsay’s debut single as a musician, rather than being part of a movie soundtrack and it’s by far her greatest musical accomplishment.

But above anything else, Rumours truly encapsulates the whole early 00s drama, and how it was all fuelled by the tabloids.

Honestly, this is the mic drop moment that could’ve ended the war.

So there you have it, that’s how the It Girl War of the early 00s not only gave us an endless cycle of entertainment, but also gave us some of the best bangers of the decade. Iconic.