By David T. Farr
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Taylor Swift and the Country Music Association may never ever, ever get back together after Swift’s bold new move early last week.
Swift made it known that her next album, “1989,” would, indeed, not be country. And, that her new music would reflect her newfound love for ’80s pop music.
Shortly after Swift revealed the news on her Yahoo live stream, CMA reacted by tweeting “goodbye” to the star. They said, “Good luck on your new venture @taylorswift13. We’ve loved watching you grow.”
“1989” will be Swift’s fifth studio album and the one to officially make her a pop star. Not to say she isn’t one already. Swift is arguably the biggest music star on the planet.
I find it odd CMA would tweet such a thing about Swift. Sure, she got her start in country music, but her music has straddled the fence between pop and country starting with the first bars of “Tears On My Guitar” from her self-titled debut album.
Swift did capitalize on her country roots, but to say “goodbye” to her for doing what every country star would love to do is ridiculous. She is not the first to go astray, nor will she be the last either. If anything, the CMA ought to applaud her for the amount of attention she has brought the genre from all over the world.
Hearing Swift’s news made me think of another former country artist who went awol back in the ’70s and never looked back. Does Olivia Newton-John ring a bell? She ruled the country music genre in the mid-’70s, earning a slew of awards including the ACM and CMA Top Female Vocalist 1974 and American Music Awards for Favorite Female Country Artist and Favorite Country Album 1974 and 1975.
Olivia Newton-John beat out the likes of Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Donna Fargo, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette for those country honors, but she was also winning the awards for Favorite Female Pop Artist in 1975 and 76.
Olivia was poised to conquer bigger and better things and staying strictly country would have kept her from going on to make “Grease” and becoming one of the biggest female pop stars of all time. Swift is not wrong for wanting more.
CMA should have seen this coming with Swift’s “Red” album from last year. It was clearly a full on pop album. Every song on the album popped.
I wasn’t on the Swift bandwagon at first, but I’ve since become a part of the love story. She’s not a flash in the pan as many of her pundits would like for her to be. Instead, she’s a girl on a mission, one that knows no boundaries when it comes to her talent.
“Shake It Off” is the song of songs at the moment. It’s the first single from the new album. In just four days, the song is perched high atop the Billboard Hot 100. I’m not sure it’s a record, but sure is impressive no less.
Email David T. Farr at email@example.com.
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