Taylor Swift and Matty Healy dating rumors and his podcast controversy, explained

Are Taylor Swift and Matty Healy dating?

It's a question that's been running through Swifties' minds in recent weeks as the singer continues to travel the country performing in her Eras tour. Swift was previously romantically linked to actor Joe Alwyn, but reports surfaced in April that the two split after six years together.

So has Swift moved on to dating The 1975 frontman? Neither she nor Healy have officially confirmed, though they've been spotted together holding hands. USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Swift and Healy for further comment.

Here's everything we know about the romance rumors – and why Healy has been facing controversy.

Are Taylor Swift and Matty Healy dating?
Are Taylor Swift and Matty Healy dating?

Who is Matty Healy?

Healy, 34, is an English singer-songwriter and lead vocalist of the pop rock band The 1975. Through the band, Healy has deployed a provocative persona, eating raw meat and consensually kissing fans onstage.

In 2002, Healy and his schoolmates Ross MacDonald, Adam Hann and George Daniel formed the band. "The only reason we had a name was because we needed (one) to do a gig," Healy previously told USA TODAY. When it came time to put out music, "We were like, 'OK, if we're going to actually do this, what are we going to call ourselves?' "

They settled on The 1975, inspired by a date scribbled in the back of one of Healy's old books. After a handful of EPs, The 1975 released its self-titled debut album in 2013.

More: Taylor Swift, Joe Alwyn and why we're so invested in celebrities' love lives

What have Taylor Swift and Matty Healy said about their rumored romance?

So far, nothing, though the tabloid The Sun and Page Six reported in early May the two are officially an item. Since then, Healy has been spotted in the audience as well as performing at Swift's ongoing Eras tour. Page Six also published a photo of Swift and Healy holding hands while out together with their frequent music collaborator Jack Antonoff in New York City.

During her Eras Tour stop at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on May 21, Swift gave concertgoers a life update during a candid conversation before playing the “Midnights” track “Question…?”, one of two surprise songs she performed during her set.

"I've just never been this happy in my life in all aspects of my life ever," Swift told fans, according to video shared on social media. "And I just want to thank you for being a part of that."

She added: "It's not just a tour. I just sort of feel like my life finally feels like it makes sense. So, I thought I'd play this song, which brings me a lot of happy memories."

Healy also took time to address fans while performing at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Dundee, Scotland on May 29, saying: "Is it all a bit? Is it sincere? Will he ever address it? All of these questions and more will be ignored in the next hour. Ladies and gentlemen, this is The 1975."

More: Visualizing Taylor Swift Eras Tour's epic 44-song set list and tracking its surprise songs

Why is Matty Healy controversial?

In February, Healy came under fire for his appearance on the podcast "The Adam Friedland Show," during which hosts Friedland and Nick Mullen mocked the rapper Ice Spice, making disparaging comments about her body and ethnicity. Later in the episode, Healy asked the hosts for their impressions of Japanese people working in concentration camps.

USA TODAY has reached out to Healy and Ice Spice's representatives for comment.

Months later, Ice Spice collaborated with Swift on a remix of the singer's song "Karma," released May 26, and was brought out on the singer's Eras tour to perform the remix.

In a social media post announcing the collaboration, Swift praised the "Munch (Feelin' U)" artist, saying she's a "massive fan of this brilliant artist" and "can confirm: she is THE ONE to watch."

More: Taylor Swift and Ice Spice perform new 'Karma' remix on stage for Eras Tour

What has Healy said about the controversy?

Healy offered an apology to Ice Spice while performing onstage in Auckland, New Zealand, according to a fan video of his comments posted on Twitter in late April.

"It’s not because I’m annoyed that me joking got misconstrued. It’s because I don’t want Ice Spice to think I’m (mean)," he said. "I love you, Ice Spice. I’m so sorry. I don’t want anything like that to be misconstrued to be mean."

He continued: "I am genuinely sorry if I upset her because I (expletive) love her.”

In a New Yorker profile, published Monday, Healy downplayed the podcast controversy.

"It doesn’t actually matter," he said. "Nobody is sitting there at night slumped at their computer, and their boyfriend comes over and goes, ‘What’s wrong, darling?’ and they go, ‘It’s just this thing with Matty Healy.’ That doesn’t happen.

“If it does,” he continued, “you’re either deluded or you are, sorry, a liar. You’re either lying that you are hurt, or you’re a bit mental for being hurt. It’s just people going, ‘Oh, there’s a bad thing over there, let me get as close to it as possible so you can see how good I am.’ And I kind of want them to do that, because they’re demonstrating something so base level.”

More: Taylor Swift shares personal update during concert: 'Never been this happy in my life'

Contributing: Patrick Ryan, Edward Segarra

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Taylor Swift, Matty Healy and the Ice Spice controversy: What we know