10 things we love about Taylor Swift
The progressive, feminist, nice singer is one of the good guys – and not just because she stood up to Apple on behalf of her fellow artists
Move in close: if you’re heading to one of Taylor Swift’s two Dublin shows, get ready to be her friend. Photograph: Sascha Steinbach/Getty
1: She takes a stand Taylor Swift has always championed the underdog, so no one was terribly surprised when she picked a fight with Apple. Swift’s victory proves that she is bigger than both Apple and The Beatles. A biting letter to the tech giant, posted on the singer’s Tumblr page, prompted Apple to change its tune on paying royalties during the free three-month trials it is offering users of its new Apple Music service. “Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it’s unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing,” wrote Swift, prompting a generation of interns to hope that she takes up their cause.
2: She can afford to buy a round The singer took home eight Billboard music awards in 2015 – more than Sam Smith, Hozier and One Direction combined. Born in Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville at 14. Since 2006 she has released five albums and sold 40 million of them. Swift has already earned about €265 million. This year she became the youngest woman to be included on Forbes magazine’s list of most powerful womean listn.
3: She’s straight-talking If you’re heading to one of Taylor’s two Dublin shows, get ready to be her friend. “When I’m doing a concert it’s not like, ‘What’s up, Londonnnnn!’ ” Or Dublinnnnn, in this instance. Swift aims to give her stadium shows the feeling of a sleepover and hopes to talk to fans “as if I’m talking to them across the dinner table”. Prepare to move in close.
4: Haters gonna hate Swift refuses to let celebrity and tabloid intrusion muck up her life. “I am not gonna let them make me miserable when I could be enjoying my life,” she has said. “You can either go crazy and let it make you bitter and make you not trust people . . . Or you can just shake it off and figure that as long as you’re having more fun than anyone else, what does it matter what anyone else thinks.” Quick: write some of that down, Taylor. It would make a great song.
Taylor Swift World Tour in London
5: She dances herself dizzy For her Shake It Off video Swift rounded up 100 fans, as well as “ballet dancers, breakdancers, modern dance, twerkers – and me, trying to keep up with them, sucking.” Taylor really doesn’t care what she looks like. “I feel like dancing is sort of a metaphor for the way you live your life. You know how you’re at a house party and there’s a group of people over there just talking and rolling their eyes at everyone dancing? And you know which group is having more fun.” Swift will always bust a few moves at music award ceremonies while everyone else is being too cool for school.
6: The ‘jackass’ moment At the 2009 MTV awards Kanye West’s actions towards Swift led Barack Obama to call the Glastonbury headliner a jackass. Swift had become the first country-music artist to win an MTV Video Music Award when You Belong With Me was named Best Female Video. Her acceptance speech was interrupted by West, who would have preferred Beyoncé to win. Swift, a fan of West’s music, said that she had no hard feelings towards him.
7: She is a feminist Sightings of Swifty perusing the feminist section of a Manhattan book shop have emerged in dispatches, and Taylor’s quotes are always “she-mazing”. “As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities. What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think, a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening, because they understand what the word means.” Taylor Swift is no female eunuch.
8: She has had boyfriend issues Taylor is no stranger to using boyfriend material in her songs, but she thinks there’s a gender aspect to the scrutiny it inspires. “I really resent the ‘Be careful, buddy, she’s going to write a song about you’ angle, because it trivialises what I do. It makes it seem like creating art is something you do as a cheap weapon rather than an artistic process.” Taylor has fought back with her tongue in her cheek. Her recent single Blank Space pokes fun at the list of boyfriends dragged up in every press biography. “Got a long list of ex-lovers,” she sings. “They’ll tell you I’m insane, cause you know I love the players, and you love the game.”
9: She’s really nice Being nice has always “been important to me”, says Taylor. “Every artist has their set of priorities. Being looked at as sexy? Not really on my radar. But nice? I really hope that that is the impression.” She agrees that “nice” is often not seen as “cool”. “Totally! But I don’t care if that’s not cool to seem nice or not. I’m not that focused on being cool and I never have been.” Cool.
10: Loving Taylor – you are not alone From Gaga to Girls, the world hearts Taylor Swift. The great Stevie Nicks wrote in Time magazine: “This girl writes the songs that make the whole world sing, like Neil Diamond or Elton John. The female rock’n’roll-country- pop songwriter is back, and her name is Taylor Swift. It’s women like her who are going to save the music business.” Last week Taylor Swift proved Stevie Nicks right. It looks as if she might just have saved music.
Taylor Swift plays 3Arena in Dublin on Monday and Tuesday