We feel understood by Taylor – in our heartbreaks and crushes. And when even a great woman like Taylor has relationship problems, it doesn’t feel quite as terrible when we’re suffering ourselves. This narrative closeness between Taylor and her fans not only has advantages for the artist: it also means that her fans have a certain sense of entitlement towards her – and are convinced, for example, that they have a say in Taylor’s relationships. That was most recently evident when throngs of fans urged Taylor to end her alleged romance with The 1975 singer Matty Healy.
My best friend the millionaire
Despite her immense wealth (she was the highest-earning female entertainer in 2022) and the fact that her private jet made her the most CO2-emissions among all stars to appear approachable and to maintain a comparatively close relationship with their fans.
And that sets her apart from many other superstars like Beyoncé, who is also on tour. Beyoncé seems almost surreally perfect, the title of her song “Alien Superstar” says it all. With Beyoncé, you immediately sense that she’s different from us, and most likely has no idea about our heartbreak issues or situationships. And if she does, she doesn’t let any of it shine through. This is not to say that one of these concepts is better than the other. They’re just fundamentally different.
Taylor Swift balances life as a millionaire with the sense of connection and friendship she brings to her fans. “Taylor Swift doesn’t have a stage persona, Taylor Swift is just that,” Swifties often read on social media defending their idol. With a lot of imagination that might be true. The chance that Taylor is just really good at projecting a carefully curated image is a little bit more likely.
Taylor’s struggle for independence
However, Taylor Swift is more than the woman whose life and songs revolve around the question of when she will finally find the man of her life. She’s a businesswoman who fights for her independence — and in doing so, captivates her Swifties.
In 2019, a dispute arose with her former record label and its owner, Scooter Braun, over who owns the sound master recordings of Taylor’s first six albums. The answer: not her. In order to regain the rights to her music, Taylor eventually re-recorded her albums “Fearless”, “Red” and “Speak Now” and released them with the suffix “Taylor’s Version” – the other albums are yet to come consequences.
Taylor markets the whole thing (rightly!) as a lesson in female independence, which has also brought her great chart success. The 10-minute version of “All Too Well” became the longest song to top the Billboard Hot 100.
Easter Eggs as Swiftie secret language
Speaking of marketing: Taylor Swift is not only a musical genius, but also unbeatable when it comes to buzz. The vinyl for their latest album “Midnights” was available in four different versions, from which you could make a working wall clock. A real swiftie had to buy the record four times. Pretty simple, pretty smart.