The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Rise of Taylor Swift

The Rise of Taylor Swift

Arguably the biggest celebrity in the world right now is Taylor Swift. With her Eras tour, her re-recordings, her three completely new albums in the last few years, her breakup and public new romance, her concert movie, and her award winning, record breaking last few years, she is the talk of the decade. 

From a music standpoint, she recently set a record for most Grammys for Album of the Year. She is the most streamed female artist on both Spotify and Apple Music. Her awards include 14 Grammys, 40 American Music Awards, 40 Billboard Music Awards, 23 MTV video music awards, and a Primetime Emmy award. She was the 2023 Time Person of the Year. Thanks to her record-breaking Eras Tour, her net worth is now over $1 billion.

The pop star rose to fame after her second album, Fearless. Songs like “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me” put her on the map at just 18 years old, though her first album debuted in 2006, when she was 16. She grew in popularity as she moved from country to full on pop with her album 1989. She has released 10 original albums, and currently has four of her re-recordings out.

Swift is no stranger to controversy. In 2009, Kanye West jumped on stage to interrupt her acceptance speech for video of the year, saying that Beyonce deserved it more. That began a public feud between the two, seemingly lasting for many years after. In 2014, after the release of her pop album 1989, she became even more popular, but that exposure came with a price. She began to experience extreme public criticism and scrutiny, leading to the release of her revenge album, Reputation. This album was different from any music she had produced in the past, but she produced the album to take charge of and embrace the narrative surrounding her. 

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One of the largest controversies surrounding Taylor was the ownership of her albums. The first recording studio that she signed with, Big Machine Records, ended up selling to a group called Ithaca Holdings, managed by Scooter Braun. Braun sold Swift’s music to another company, where he benefits from every stream of that music. Her original six albums, Taylor Swift, Fearless, Red, 1989, Speak Now, and Reputation, are all owned by Scooter Braun. This deal was made in 2019, a move that Swift publicly opposed. This began her journey to re-record all six of those albums with her new studio, so that she, as the artist, reaps all the benefits. Her re-recordings have set records by topping the Billboard 200 charts and making her the woman with the most number one albums. Other albums by Swift include Lover, Evermore, Folklore, Midnights, and her unreleased, just announced album, The Tortured Poets Department. 

Taylor’s relationships have always been very public. From stars like Harry Styles to John Mayer, she has been criticized by many, as the entire world often has an opinion to give. Her current relationship with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has received nearly as much hate as love. Many people feel as though she is taking up too much screen time at NFL games, though she averages only around a minute of airtime. She recently attended the Super Bowl and cheered on the Chiefs as they won the title for the second consecutive year. 

Admittedly, I am a Taylor Swift fan. I am also a Chiefs fan, as I am from Missouri. To hear people tear her down and root against the Chiefs all season because of her was uninspiring. So many young girls look up to Taylor, and while I understand not everyone will like her music, bashing her publicly over simply attending a professional football game only shows immaturity on the public’s part. When I don’t like an artist, I just don’t listen to their music.

Now, Swift clearly has her fair share of people on her side. Seemingly everything she has done in the past year has become popular. NFL viewership in women and young girls rose this season, her movie became the highest grossing concert movie of all time, and her concert itself became the highest grossing concert of all time, and it still has nearly a year left until her last show. Her website sells out her pre-orders on albums in minutes.

It seems as though people either love Taylor or hate her, with very little in between. Where do you stand?

 

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About the Contributor
Sophie Gibbs, Sports Editor

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