Taylor Swift on creating “the same but better” version of ‘Fearless’

During a recent conversation with People, Swift explained of recreating ‘Fearless’ (2008): “In terms of production, I really wanted to stay very loyal to the initial melodies that I had thought of for these songs.

“And so we really did go in and try to create a ‘the same but better’ version. We kept all the same parts that I initially dreamed up for these songs. But if there was any way that we could improve upon the sonic quality, we did.”

Swift once again teamed up with her collaborators Jack Antonoff and The National’s Aaron Dessner – who both worked on last year’s ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ – for the project, while also bringing in the musicians involved in the original ‘Fearless’ as well as her touring band.

“But yeah, I did go in line by line and listen to every single vocal and think, you know, what are my inflections here,” Swift continued. “If I can improve upon it, I did. But I really did want this to be very true to what I initially thought of and what I had initially written. But better. Obviously.”

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In a four-star review of ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’, NME wrote: “Swift never cringes away from her younger self. Instead, she revisits the songs with kindness and affection, celebrating the success of her teenage releases.”

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Taylor Swift recruits her “two kids” Olivia Rodrigo and Conan Gray to share new ‘Fearless’ snippets

The 15-second clip is soundtracked by Swift’s new version of the single, the third to be lifted from her second studio record ‘Fearless’ (2008). You can watch the video below.

You ok? NO cause I sent my two kids @Olivia_Rodrigo and @conangray my new version of You Belong With Me and THEY ARE SO CUTE IT PHYSICALLY HURTS ME
((Album out at midnight!)) pic.twitter.com/yDJusP8TAs

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) April 8, 2021

conan and olivia rodrigo teasing an unreleased clip of “white horse (taylor’s version)from @taylorswift13’s new fearless album! (4/8) pic.twitter.com/7Icmf6um74

— conan gray updates (@conanupdating) April 8, 2021

.@GMA EXCLUSIVE: @taylorswift13 shares a clip from her new album's title track #FearlessTaylorsVersion along with a message for all you fans!https://t.co/8jmpk5lalq pic.twitter.com/bO5oVActs3

— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 8, 2021

 

“You ok? NO cause I sent my two kids Olivia Rodrigo and Conan Gray my new version of ‘You Belong With Me’ and THEY ARE SO CUTE IT PHYSICALLY HURTS ME ((Album out at midnight!)),” Swift wrote.

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Posting a Reel on Instagram, Rodrigo also gave a glimpse of ‘White Horse (Taylor’s version)’ over a tongue-in-cheek visual of herself and Gray in cowboy hats. Elsewhere, Swift shared a portion of the re-recorded ‘Fearless’ title track during an appearance on today’s Good Morning America.

Last month, Olivia Rodrigo revealed that Taylor Swift sent her a ring matching the one she wore around the time of her album ‘Red’ (2012), along with numerous other gifts. The ‘Drivers License’ singer hailed Swift “the kindest individual in the whole world” following the gesture.

‘Fearless’ (Taylor’s Version)’ is set for release tomorrow (April 9), with Swift posting the record’s tracklisting last week after setting a cryptic puzzle for fans.

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Taylor Swift shares cryptic new video hinting at a new collaboration: “Happy decoding!”

“The vault door is about to be as unhinged as you’ll think I am after you watch this video,” she captioned the post. “Level: Expert. Happy decoding!”

The vault door is about to be as unhinged as you’ll think I am after you watch this video.

Level: Expert

Happy decoding! pic.twitter.com/xBXBXGVcdb

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) April 2, 2021

The star recently shared a previously unheard collaboration with Maren Morris called ‘You All Over Me’, which will serve as one of the bonus tracks on the upcoming ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’. Some of the letters in the clip spell out Morris’ name and the song title.

Other words unscramble to Keith Urban’s name, suggesting that he could feature on the next ‘From The Vault’ release. Some of the remaining letters also spell out the words “baby”, “were”, “happy” and “when”.

Swift has already released two tracks in her re-recordings project – the single ‘Love Story’ and the collaboration with Morris. ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ will be released on April 9.

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Meanwhile, a new preview of Swift’s ‘Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)’ was shared yesterday (April 1) in the latest trailer for the forthcoming animated movie Spirit Untamed.

A first snippet of the ‘1989’ track was released last month when a first-look was given at the DreamWorks film.

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Taylor Swift shares preview of ‘Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)’

Swift shared footage from the trailer on her Instagram Story earlier today (March 12), captioning it: “Thank you #SpiritUntamed for using ‘Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)’ in your new trailer!!”

Watch a fan-captured recording of Swift’s Instagram Story below.

 

‘Wildest Dreams’ will be the second re-recorded song Swift has released this year. Last month, she shared a new version of her 2008 single ‘Love Story’, marking the beginning of her project to re-record her back catalogue.

The musician has re-entered the studio to create new versions of her old songs after music manager Scooter Braun and his media holding company, Ithaca Holdings LLC, acquired Swift’s old label, Big Machine Label Group, back in June 2019. The story hit the headlines again back in November after Swift confirmed that the ownership of her back catalogue had changed hands again for the second time within two years.

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Swift confirmed earlier this year that she had finished re-recording her album ‘Fearless’ and that it would be “with you soon”. The new version will come with six “never before released songs from the vault”.

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BTS, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and more confirmed to perform at Grammys 2021

BTS, Swift, Eilish, and Megan will be joined by the likes of Bad Bunny, Black Pumas, Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, DaBaby, Doja Cat, and Haim in performing at the 63rd Grammys. Mickey Guyton, Brittany Howard, Miranda Lambert, Lil Baby, Dua Lipa, Chris Martin, John Mayer, Maren Morris, Post Malone, Roddy Ricch and Harry Styles will also appear.

It's going to be dynamite!

Watch BTS (@BTS_twt) bring the fire and set the night alight at the #GRAMMYs. You don't want miss their performance March 14th at 8pm ET/5pm PT on @CBS: https://t.co/FSYA126ROz #ARMY pic.twitter.com/YNzbFlVBzq

— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) March 7, 2021

The Recording Academy has also confirmed that the ceremony will also pay tribute to independent venues, which have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. People who work at those venues, including bartenders and box office managers, will present some of the categories on the night.

The nominations for the Grammys 2021 were announced last year. Dua Lipa has the most nominations with five nods, including Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Album Of The Year.

Big news for #Swifties!@taylorswift13 will be performing at the #GRAMMYs. Watch her performance March 14th at 8pm ET/5pm PT on @CBS: https://t.co/FSYA126ROz pic.twitter.com/cbOzqtyw4H

— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) March 7, 2021

Swift is in the running for four awards, while Eilish and Beyoncé are both up for three categories.

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The Grammys 2021 was originally scheduled to be held at the end of January, but was postponed at the start of the year due to the surge in coronavirus cases in LA.

The ceremony is traditionally held at the Staples Center. Interim Recording Academy chief Harvey Mason Jr. said earlier this year the 2021 ceremony would instead be held “in and around Downtown Los Angeles”.

Meanwhile, BTS have also been added to the lineup for Music On A Mission, a virtual concert and fundraiser by the Grammys’ MusiCares Foundation. The event will take place this Friday (March 12) and will also feature performances from Haim, H.E.R., Jhene Aiko and John Legend.

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Christian Lee Hutson covers Taylor Swift, ABBA and more on new EP

“We put out Volume 4 of The Version Suicides in August for Bandcamp Day and people seemed to like it so we’re putting out Volume 1 on Friday” (January 15).

Last year, I started recording quiet demo versions of songs I like on my phone just to send to friends.

We put out Volume 4 of The Version Suicides in August for Bandcamp Day and people seemed to like it so we’re putting out Volume 1 on Friday pic.twitter.com/fv6UcfdWuF

— Christian Lee Hutson (@chrisleehutson) January 13, 2021

Listen to Volume 1 of ‘The Version Suicides’, which sees Hutson cover Swift’s ‘Betty’, ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ and Vanessa Carlton’s ‘A Thousand Miles’, below.

The new EP follows Hutson’s debut album ‘Beginners’, which came out last June and was produced by his frequent collaborator Phoebe Bridgers, who also starred in Hutson’s video for ‘Get The Old Band Back Together’ alongside her Better Oblivion Community Center bandmate Conor Oberst.

“I went with ‘Beginners’ as the title because that’s where I feel like I am in my life,” Hutson said of his debut album, “like I’m still just learning and trying to figure out how to navigate the world”.

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Taylor Swift’s ‘Betty’, covered on Hutson’s new EP, features on her first 2020 lockdown album ‘Folklore’, which NME called “an extraordinary indie-folk makeover” upon its release last August.

It was followed in December by another record called ‘Evermore’, which saw Swift working once again with The National‘s Aaron Dessner and regular collaborator Jack Antonoff.

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Taylor Swift says her diaristic songwriting style was “unsustainable” for her future

“It felt too hot of a microscope. On my bad days, I would feel like I was loading a canon of clickbait, when that’s not what I want for my life.

“I think that when I put out ‘Folklore’, I felt like if I can do this thing where I get to create characters in this mythological American town or wherever I imagine them, and I can reflect my own emotions onto what I think they might be feeling and I can create stories and characters and arcs, I don’t have to have it feel like when I put out an album I’m just giving tabloids ammunition and stuff.”

She continued to explain that this new style of writing made her feel that she would be able to “maintain a place of good mental health and emotional health and all that”. “I saw a lane for my future and that was a real breakthrough moment of excitement and happiness,” she said.

Swift also described releasing ‘Evermore’ as giving her a “feeling of quiet conclusion and this weird serenity of we did what we set out to do”. Watch the preview above ahead of the full interview on December 15.

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Earlier today (December 13), the musician marked her 31st birthday by sharing a remix of ‘Evermore’ track ‘Willow’. Dubbed the “dancing witch” version, the reworking was produced by Elvira Anderfjärd.

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Ryan Reynolds uses Taylor Swift re-recording to soundtrack dating app advert

Premiering the commercial, Reynolds tweeted the video with the caption “A match made in hell is still a @match. Latest work from @MaximumEffort #2020LoveStory”.

Watch the Match video here:

A match made in hell is still a @match. Latest work from @MaximumEffort #2020LoveStory pic.twitter.com/kGL02PIqin

— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) December 2, 2020

The advert sees Satan and 2020 meet on Match.com, and live out a romance in a range of unlikely scenarios. “So where are you from?” 2020 asks Satan, who replies “Hell.” 2020 then says: “Me too.”

The couple are seen stealing toilet paper and posing for a romantic photo in front of a burning dumpster. Later in the video, they sit in front of a sunset while Satan says of this year, “I just don’t want this year to end.” 2020 then replies: “Who would.”

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Last week, Taylor Swift released Folklore: The Long Pond Sessions on Disney+. The concert film-documentary hybrid saw Swift and her collaborators, namely Jack Antonoff and The National‘s Aaron Dessner, perform the record in full for the first time.

In a four-star review of the film, NME said the movie “focuses on gifting fans a rare glimpse behind the scenes” and added that “self-isolation with Swift is a perfect (if unexpected) early Christmas present.”

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Taylor Swift confirms the identity of ‘Folklore’ song co-writer William Bowery

Speaking about the true identity of Bowery, Swift said:“There’s been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity because it’s not a real person.

Taylor Swift CREDIT: Beth Garrabrant/PressShe added: “So, William Bowery is Joe, as we know.”

Swift went on to reveal that the pair wrote ‘better’ together after she heard him singing the chorus to the song during lockdown. She explained: “It was a step that we would never have taken because why would we have ever written a song together?

“So this was the first time we had a conversation where I came in and I was like, ‘Hey, this could be really weird, and we could hate this, so because we’re in quarantine and there’s nothing else going on, could we just try to see what it’s like if we write this song together?’”

Swift also revealed that Alwyn wrote the first verse and piano accompaniment on ‘Exile’.

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Taylor Swift has now also shared a new ‘Folklore’ live album on streaming services, in line with her new Disney+documentary.

Reviewing the singer’s quarantine album, NME wrote: ‘Folklore’ feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest. The glossy production she’s lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation.

“It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different. Swift disappeared into the metaphorical woods while writing ‘Folklore’, and she’s emerged stronger than ever.”

In other news, ‘Folklore’ has been nominated for a number of 2021 Grammy awards. The singer has been nominated for Album of the Year for the album she created in lockdown. Among three other nods are Best Pop Solo Performance for ‘Cardigan‘, which is also up for Song of the Year.

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Grammys nominations 2021: Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Billie Eilish lead the way

Taylor Swift, meanwhile, has been nominated for Album of the Year for the album she created in lockdown, ‘Folklore‘. Among three other nods are Best Pop Solo Performance for ‘Cardigan‘, which is also up for Song of the Year.

Dua Lipa CREDIT: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for dcp

There are multiple nominations too for Billie Eilish’s ‘Everything I Wanted’ (Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance) and Beyoncé’s ‘Black Parade‘ (Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best R&B Performance).

Post Malone and Justin Bieber have also seen their work recognised, including an Album of the Year nod for ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ (Post Malone) and Best Pop Solo Performance nod for ‘Yummy’ (Justin Bieber).

And in the Best New Artist category are: Megan Thee Stallion, Phoebe Bridgers, Ingrid Andress, Chika, Noah Cyrus, D Smoke, Doja Cat and Kaytranada.

See the list of nominations below (complete list here):

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Record of the Year

‘Black Parade’ – Beyoncé
‘Colours’ – Black Puma
‘Rockstar’ – DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
‘Say So’ – Doja Cat
‘Everything I Wanted’ – Billie Eilish
‘Don’t Start now’ – Dua Lipa
‘Circles’ – Post Malone
‘Savage’ – Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé

Album of the Year

‘CHILOMBO’ – Jhené Aiko
‘Black Pumas’ (deluxe edition) – Black Pumas
‘Everyday Life’ – Coldplay
‘Djesse Vol.3’ – Jacob Collier
‘Women In Music Part III’ – Haim
‘Future Nostalgia’ – Dua Lipa
‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ – Post Malone
‘Folklore’ – Taylor Swift

Best New Artist

Ingrid Andress
Phoebe Bridgers
Chika
Noah Cyrus
D Smoke
Doja Cat
Kaytranada
Megan Thee Stallion

Song of the Year

‘Black Parade’ – Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk & Rickie “Caso” Tice, songwriters (Beyoncé)

‘The Box’ –  Samuel Gloade & Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Roddy Ricch)

‘Cardigan’ – Aaron Dessner & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)

‘Circles’ –  Louis Bell, Adam Feeney, Kaan Gunesberk, Austin Post & Billy Walsh, songwriters (Post Malone)

‘Dont Start Now’ – Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick, Dua Lipa & Emily Warren, songwriters (Dua Lipa)

‘Everything I Wanted’ – Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)

‘I Can’t Breathe’ – Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. & Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.)

‘If The World Was Ending’ – Julia Michaels & JP Saxe, songwriters (JP Saxe Featuring Julia Michaels)

Best Pop Solo Performance

‘Yummy’ – Justin Bieber
‘Say So’ – Doja Cat
‘Everything I Wanted’ – Billie Eilish
‘Don’t Start Now’ – Dua Lipa
‘Watermelon Sugar’ – Harry Styles
‘Cardigan’ – Taylor Swift

Best Pop Vocal Album

‘Changes’ – Justin Bieber
‘Chromatica’ – Lady Gaga
‘Future Nostalgia’ – Dua Lipa
Fine Line’ – Harry Styles
‘Folklore’ – Taylor Swift

Best Dance Recording

‘On My Mind’ – Diplo & SIDEPIECE
‘My High’ – Disclosure feat. Aminé, and Slowthai
‘The Difference’ – Flume feat. Toro y Moi
‘Both Of Us’ – Jayda G
‘10%’ – Kaytranada feat. Kali Uchis

Best Rock Album

‘A Hero’s Death’ – Fontaines D.C.
‘KIWANUKA’ – Michael Kiwanuka
‘Daylight’ – Grace Potter
‘Sound & Fury’ – Sturgill Simpson
‘The New Abnormal’ – The Strokes

Best Rock Performance

‘Shameika’ – Fiona Apple
‘Not’ – Big Thief
‘Kyoto’ – Phoebe Bridgers
‘The Steps’ – HAIM
‘Stay High’ – Brittany Howard
‘Daylight’ – Grace Potter

Best R&B Performance

‘Lightning & Thunder’ – Jhené Aiko feat. John Legend
‘Black Parade’ – Beyoncé
‘All I Need’ – Jacob Collier Featuring Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign
‘Goat Head’ – Brittany Howard
‘See Me’ – Emily King

Best R&B Album

‘Happy 2 Be Here’ – Ant Clemons
‘Take Time’ – Giveon
‘To Feel Love/D’ – Luke James
‘Bigger Love’ – John Legend
‘All Rise’ – Gregory Porter

Best Rap Album

‘Black Habits’ – D Smoke
‘Alfredo’ – Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist
‘A Written Testimony’ – Jay Electronica
‘King’s Disease’ – Nas
‘The Allegory Royce’ — Da 5’9″

Best Country Album

‘Lady Like’ – Ingrid Andress
‘Your Life Is a Record’ – Brandy Clark
‘Wildcard’ – Miranda Lambert
‘Nightfall’ – Little Big Town
‘Never Will’ – Ashley McBryde

Best Jazz Vocal Album

‘Ona’ – Thana Alexa
‘Secrets Are the Best Stories’ – Kurt Elling Featuring Danilo Pérez
‘Modern Ancestors’ – Carmen Lundy
‘Holy Room: Live at Alte Oper – Somi With Frankfurt Radio Big Band
‘What’s the Hurry’ – Kenny Washington

Best Folk Album

‘Bonny Light Horseman’ – Bonny Light Horseman
Thanks for the Dance’ – Leonard Cohen
‘Song for Our Daughter’ – Laura Marling
‘Saturn Return’ – The Secret Sisters
‘All the Good Times’ – Gillian Welch & David Rawlings

Best Latin Pop or Urban Album
‘YHLQMDLG’ – Bad Bunny
‘Por Primera Vez’ – Camilo
‘Mesa Para Dos’ – Kany García
‘Pausa’ – Ricky Martin
‘3:33’ – Debi Nova

Best Metal Performance

‘Bum-Rush’ – Body Count
‘Underneath’ – Code Orange
‘The In-Between’ – In This Moment
‘Bloodmoney’ – Poppy
‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing Of The Axe) – Live’ – Power Trip

Best Music Film

Beastie Boys Story – Beastie Boys — Spike Jonze, video director; Amanda Adelson, Jason Baum & Spike Jonze, video producers

Black Is King — Beyoncé

We Are Freestyle Love Supreme — Freestyle Love Supreme — Andrew Fried, Video Director; Andrew Fried, Jill Furman, Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sarina Roma, Jenny Steingart & Jon Steingart, video producers

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice — Linda Ronstadt — Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman, video directors; Michele Farinola & James Keach, video producers

That Little Ol’ Band From Texas — ZZ Top — Sam Dunn, video director; Scot McFadyen, video producer

This is a developing story – check back for further updates

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Taylor Swift talks to Paul McCartney about her songwriting pseudonym for Rihanna and Calvin Harris

Taylor Swift CREDIT: Dave Hogan/ABA/Getty Images

McCartney added to the discussion: “Yeah, it also proves you can do something without the fame tag. I did something for Peter and Gordon; my girlfriend’s brother and his mate were in a band called Peter and Gordon. And I used to write under the name Bernard Webb.”

Swift’s co-write on Harris’ single was revealed a few months after its release in April 2016. She reportedly first used the pseudonym, Nils Sjöberg, for that song in order to keep the attention on the music and not on her relationship with Harris, whom she dated for 15 months between 2015 and 2016.

Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift were set to headline Glastonbury 2020 alongside Kendrick Lamar. Credit: Getty Images.

Elsewhere in the interview, McCartney revealed that he wanted to invite Swift on stage with him at Glastonbury 2020 to play ‘Shake It Off’ together.

The pair were set to headline the Pyramid Stage at this year’s festival before it was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The duo also talked about their two quarantine albums. In July, Swift surprise-released new album ‘Folklore’, which she made largely with The National‘s Aaron Dessner during lockdown.

McCartney, meanwhile, recently announced new solo album ‘McCartney III’, ending the 40-year wait for the completion of his trilogy of self-titled albums.

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Taylor Swift shares new message encouraging fans to vote: “Tomorrow is your last chance to make your voice heard”

“But allow me to be the 1 millionth person to remind you that tomorrow is your last chance to make your voice heard and to make your vote count. So if you haven’t voted yet, please do. Stay safe, take care of yourselves, wear a mask, happy voting.”

https://t.co/BrTBvXb08b pic.twitter.com/nXKdykG7eG

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 2, 2020

 

The clip ended on an illustration of Biden and his Vice Presidential running mate Kamala Harris. Watch it above now.

The new message follows the pop star allowing her music to be used in a political advert for the first time last week (October 30). Her song ‘Only The Young’, which featured in her 2020 documentary Miss Americana, soundtracked the commercial from Eric Swalwell, which urged people to vote for the Democratic Party.

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Swift officially endorsed Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris last month. She posted a photo on Twitter of her holding a plate of Biden-Harris 2020 cookies and shared a new interview with V Magazine in which she spoke about her reasons for supporting the pair.

“The change we need most is to elect a president who recognises that people of colour deserve to feel safe and represented, that women deserve the right to choose what happens to their bodies, and that the LGBTQIA+ community deserves to be acknowledged and included,” she said in the interview.

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Taylor Swift lets her music be used in political advert for first time

“Up there’s the finish line,” Swalwell wrote underneath the video on YouTube. “Our future is worth our fight. Thank you, Taylor Swift, for voicing what #OnlyTheYoung can do. Let’s run!” Watch the video below now.

‘Only The Young’ featured in Swift’s 2020 documentary Miss Americana and addresses gun violence and US school shootings in the lyrics.

Swift officially endorsed Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris earlier this month. She posted a photo on Twitter of her holding a plate of Biden-Harris 2020 cookies and shared a new interview with V Magazine in which she spoke about her reasons for supporting the pair.

“The change we need most is to elect a president who recognises that people of colour deserve to feel safe and represented, that women deserve the right to choose what happens to their bodies, and that the LGBTQIA+ community deserves to be acknowledged and included,” she said in the interview.

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Watch Yungblud mash up Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne songs for BBC Live Lounge

Yungblud’s appearance was part of the month long annual celebration which ends tomorrow (September 30).

Speaking of his involvement in the series, Yungblud said: “Playing the Live Lounge was always a massive dream of mine – I used to have the CDs as a kid. To do it last year was so insane, but this time I have eight months of repressed energy and a whole lot of fire to get out. So bring your petrol!”

He also announced earlier today (September 29) a new podcast that will air on BBC Sounds.

The Yungblud Podcast will cover “everything young people go through, the fun stuff and the hard stuff”, according to a press release.

“From tough choices as you become an adult, to important conversations with friends and family. First loves, first heartbreaks, first gigs, first times…”

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Yungblud (Picture: Getty)

Applicants who are selected to feature on the podcast will have a conversation with Yungblud recorded via phone and/or video call, and fans can submit their stories here until Thursday (October 1).

An introductory episode to The Yungblud Podcast will be available on BBC Sounds today (September 29) before the series itself begins in October.

Yesterday (September 28) Yungblud also announced his ‘Weird Time of Life’ virtual tour in support of his upcoming new album ‘Weird!’.

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Taylor Swift sends 40 signed copies of ‘Folklore’ to Edinburgh record store

Assai owner Keith Ingram said he only was offered the sleeves by Swift’s record company on Wednesday (September 16), with the delivery arriving the following day.

“The last 24 hours have just been bonkers,” he told the BBC. “We’ve had Twitter messages from people all over the world saying they wish they were able to visit the shop and warm wishes about being able to get a signed CD.”

Not sure why his shop received the CDs, Ingram said: “We don’t know if we’re the first UK record shop because we begin with an ‘A’.”

The CDs were made available to personal callers only and could not be reserved online or over the phone.

“They went on sale yesterday about two o’clock and it just went crazy,” Ingram said, explaining that he split the signed CDs between his two shops.

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Last month, Swift surprised a number of independent record stores in the US by shipping them signed CD copies of ‘Folklore’.

Released last month, ‘Folklore’ features collaborations with Bon Iver and The National‘s Aaron Dessner. It became the first album in four years to top the Billboard 200 for six weeks in a row.

Meanwhile, Kanye West has said he will “personally” help Taylor Swift get her master recordings back as he continued to discuss rights issues in the music industry on Twitter.

The rapper began the conversation around record deals and artists’ rights earlier this week (September 15) when he shared his own contracts with Sony and Universal.

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Taylor Swift to give debut live performance of ‘Betty’ this week

The performance will mark the star’s first appearance at the ACM Awards in seven years. Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line will also perform, while Keith Urban will host the event.

The ACM Awards will be broadcast on CBS in the US at 8pm ET (1am BST).

In a four-star review of ‘Folklore’, NME’s Hannah Mylrea said of ‘Betty’: “Despite the bold new direction, there are moments of nostalgia for Swift albums gone by, too. ‘Betty’, a sweet tune about high school romance written by Swift and the enigmatic Bowery, fuses this new folk-rock sound with moments of country we’ve not heard for several albums.”

The album recently became the first record in four years to top the Billboard 200 for six weeks in a row. In achieving the feat, Swift scored the most weeks at Number One since Drake’s ‘Views’ held the top spot for 13 non-consecutive weeks in 2016.

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Meanwhile, Katy Perry is set to release an all-access documentary inspired by Swift. Perry said she was “really impressed” by Swift’s 2020 Netflix film Miss Americana, saying: “That whole time she’s just been documenting intense amounts of footage and that’s not over one tour or one record cycle.”

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Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ becomes first album in four years to top charts for six weeks in a row

‘Folklore’ now also holds the record for most weeks at Number One for any non-R&B or hip-hop album or album by a woman since Adele’s ’25’ stayed in pole position for 10 non-consecutive weeks between December 2015 and March 2016.

It has also obtained the most weeks in a row at the top for a non-R&B or hip-hop album or an album by a woman since ’25’ held onto the Number One spot for its first seven weeks on the chart.

The album’s chart dominance means that Swift now ties with Whitney Houston for the most weeks at the top of the Billboard chart by a woman. Both artists have spent 46 weeks at Number One across their careers. Swift’s only album to not take the top spot was her 2006 self-titled debut.

While ‘Folklore’ is no longer Number One in the UK, earlier this year it became the only album in the UK to spend three consecutive weeks at the chart’s peak in 2020. That feat made Swift the only international artist to hold that position since May 2019.

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In a four-star review of ‘Folklore’, NME said: “[Swift’s eighth album] feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest. […] It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different. Swift disappeared into the metaphorical woods while writing ‘Folklore’, and she’s emerged stronger than ever.”

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Taylor Swift sends gifts and handwritten note to a fan completing his PhD

“I saw how supportive you’ve been of my music over the years and was so touched. Thank you so much.  I’m also so proud of you for the bravery you’ve shown in your personal life, choosing to live and love honestly even when it isn’t easy.

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Thank you @taylorswift for taking the time to write such a beautiful message. You have been an inspiration to me for so many years and I can’t put into words how much this means to me. You have changed my life. Thank you to my best friend @rlb_1 for making this happen and proving that at least I did one thing right. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by Andrew Mooney (@andymooney13) on Aug 29, 2020 at 9:27am PDT

“I hope you’re doing well in and amongst the chaos we’re all living through right now. In these times, I think it’s important to revel in the great moments when we can, and this is a moment worth celebrating! Sending you my love and best wishes, Taylor.”

On the back of the envelope, Swift said the message was arranged by Mooney’s friend Rachel Byrne, and told him “I hope you like the gifts!”

As seen in Mooney’s Instagram story, the presents included a signed vinyl copy of Swift’s 2019 album ‘Lover‘, an array of merchandise as well as a cardigan similar to the one worn by the singer in her ‘Cardigan’ music video.

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Earlier this week, meanwhile, an independent record store owner in Wisconsin almost lost a box of signed Taylor Swift albums after a delivery issue saw them being handed over to one of the singer’s fans.

The singer provided a welcome boost to independent record stores in the US last week by sending autographed copies of her latest album ‘Folklore’ to a selection of stores.

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Someone’s mashed up Cardi B’s ‘WAP’ with Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’

“TikTok took this down at 1M views so it’s for you guys now (WAIT FOR IT),” she captioned the clip when she reposted the viral mash-up to Instagram. Watch it below now.

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TikTok took this down at 1M views so it’s for you guys now (WAIT FOR IT) @taylorswift @iamcardib

A post shared by Niamh (@niamhadkins) on Aug 30, 2020 at 5:15am PDT

 

Cardi B has since responded to the video, sharing it on her Twitter page. “I ain’t saw that coming,” she wrote.

I ain’t saw that coming https://t.co/idurLgrvBC

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) August 31, 2020

 

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Last week, Cardi unveiled a range of merchandise based on ‘WAP’. The water-themed merch includes umbrellas, raincoats and spandex bras along with a biker shorts set, a sweater, cropped t-shirts and more.

When it was released earlier this month (August 7), ‘WAP’ drew attention from several US conservative figures. Ben Shapiro of The Daily Wire was mocked by Cardi for his reading of the song’s lyrics, while she later came forward to say she hadn’t expected “conservatives and Republicans to be talking about ‘WAP’”.

Meanwhile, Swift released her latest album ‘Folklore’ in July. In a four-star review, NME said: “[It] feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest. The glossy production she’s lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation. It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different. Swift disappeared into the metaphorical woods while writing ‘Folklore’, and she’s emerged stronger than ever.”

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Biffy Clyro end Taylor Swift’s three-week reign at Number One with ‘A Celebration Of Endings’

Biffy’s previous Number One albums are ‘Opposites‘ (2013) and ‘Ellipsis’ (2016).

The band spoke to NME recently for its In Conversation With….video series. Neil told NME‘s Andrew Trendell that they already have a “sprawling” sister record coming.

Speaking about the forthcoming new songs, Neil said: “Some of them are like, right electronic. There are a few that just BIG. We’ve got this song called ‘Slurpy Slurpy Sleep Sleep’, that’s just one of those rhythms you can listen to all night and makes me feel so good. There will be a different aim to that record from ‘A Celebration Of Endings’. I want it to be a bit more sprawling and a little bit less, song-y.”

In other news, the band shared their memories of late NME writer Dan Martin in a special ‘Infinity Land’ listening party held earlier this week.

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Martin was considered to be “one of the loudest champions” of the rock trio, and avidly followed their rise from their humble beginnings to becoming one of the biggest rock bands in the UK.

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Taylor Swift calls out Donald Trump for “calculated dismantling” of US Postal Service

She continued: “Donald Trump’s ineffective leadership gravely worsened the crisis that we are in and he is now taking advantage of it to subvert and destroy our right to vote and vote safely.”

Swift also warned: “Request a ballot early. Vote early.”
Over the last few months, Trump has made exaggerated and inaccurate claims about mail-in voting, saying that the election will be “rigged” and “fraudulent” if Americans use the practice. Experts have insisted that there is no meaningful evidence suggesting mail-in voting contributes to voter fraud.

….living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020

Meanwhile, Trump’s new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, a prominent Trump and GOP donor, is being reviewed by the agency’s inspector general for a series of changes he implemented that Democrats say could slow mail delivery and impact mail-in voting in the fall.

Other disruptions to the US Postal Service have included the removal of physical mail boxes and the actual dismantling of mail-sorting machines.

Last week, Donald Trump ordered a ban of “transactions” with the owners of the Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat.

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The orders – which come into force in just over a month – remain vague but could potentially involve the removal of the apps from the Apple and Google app stores.

The US President previously threatened a deadline of September 15 to “close down” the app unless Microsoft or “somebody else” purchased it.

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Taylor Swift stays at Number One in the UK album chart for a third week with ‘Folklore’

When ‘Folklore’ was released last month (July 24), it became one of the biggest-selling records of 2020, shifting more than 2 million copies worldwide. The album sold 37,060 copies in its first week in the UK alongside 24,050 streams and 12,152 album downloads, earning Swift the top spot in the charts. It also meant Swift was the first female artist to score five UK Number One studio albums in the 21st century.

In a four-star review of ‘Folklore’, which boasts contributions from Bon Iver and The National‘s Aaron Dessner, NME wrote: “The glossy production [Swift’s] lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation. It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different.”

Elsewhere in the UK singles chart, Cardi B has and Megan Thee Stallion scored the highest new entry going in at Number Four with ‘WAP’.

Cardi recently admitted that she was “really surprised by” the reaction conservatives and Republicans gave to the raunchy song.

“I knew it was gonna have a big impact, I guess, because of me and Megan. But I didn’t know it was going to be so controversial,” she said. “I never expected that, you know, conservatives and Republicans were going to be talking about the song.

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“I didn’t think the song was as vulgar as they said it was, you know? Like, I’m so used to it. I’m such a freak that I didn’t think it would be a big deal. I didn’t think people would think it was so out of this world…”

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Taylor Swift beats Fontaines D.C. to UK Number One album

‘A Hero’s Death’ is at Number Two in the Official UK Albums Chart this week, although the album has topped both the Official Vinyl Albums Chart and the Record Store Albums Chart.

When ‘Folklore’ was released last month (July 24), it became one of the biggest-selling records of 2020, shifting more than 2 million copies worldwide. The album sold 37,060 copies in its first week in the UK alongside 24,050 streams and 12,152 album downloads, earning Swift the top spot in the charts. It also meant Swift was the first female artist to score five UK Number One studio albums in the 21st century.

In a four-star review of ‘Folklore’, which boasts contributions from Bon Iver and The National‘s Aaron Dessner, NME wrote: “The glossy production [Swift’s] lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation. It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different.”

Meanwhile, ‘A Hero’s Death’ was also rated at four stars, with the NME review reading: “In aiming to examine the self rather than please others, Fontaines D.C. have exerted a knack for writing anthems that are at once self-excoriating and intimately relatable. As the title track finishes with a clatter, Chatten drives one final wedge between his old and new selves. “That was the year of the sneer,” he spits. “Now the real thing’s here.”

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Taylor Swift responds to fan who missed ‘Folklore’ release

Welcome back from your trip! We are all somber woodland fairies now. Feel free to grab a wicker basket and join us! 🧚‍♀️ 🧚‍♂️😄

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 30, 2020

By the time she switched her phone back on yesterday (July 30), she was inundated with messages adding: “So I see I went viral while I didn’t have my phone. I can’t believe Miss Swift really dropped a whole album anyway I’m gonna listen to it now.”

That tweet then prompted Swift to respond to the fan. “Welcome back from your trip! We are all somber woodland fairies now. Feel free to grab a wicker basket and join us,” the singer replied.

taylor alison swift finding out about my existence because i went on a camping trip is probably the most me thing to EVER happen to me i’m shaking

— camping girl (@seeitinmymind) July 30, 2020

Delphine then responded and gave her verdict on the record. “Wait I forgot to tweet about my conclusion LMAO. But I think for now my Top 3 is ‘Cardigan’, ‘Better’ [‘Betty’] and ‘Invisible String’. There’s not a single skip though and even though it’s probably too early to decide, I think this is definitely Taylor’s best album and also my favourite.”

NO i can’t believe this has a typo i obviously meant betty

— camping girl (@seeitinmymind) July 30, 2020

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Upon release last Friday, ‘Folklore’ broke a slew of first-day streaming records. “‘Folklore’ feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest. The glossy production she’s lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation,” NME said in a review of the album.

“It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different. Swift disappeared into the metaphorical woods while writing ‘Folklore’, and she’s emerged stronger than ever.”

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Taylor Swift sends ‘Folklore’ cardigan to Kobe Bryant’s daughter Natalia

Natalia’s mother, Vanessa Bryant also thanked Swift for the gift on her Instagram page.

Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in late January of this year. Bryant was traveling in his private helicopter when it went down and a fire broke out, with all five people onboard confirmed dead, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant.

Names from across the entertainment world including Drake, Bruno Mars, Kanye West, Travis Barker, Flea and Cardi B paid tribute to Bryant upon news of his death, with Taylor Swift writing: “Kobe meant so much to me and to us all. Sending my prayers, love, and endless condolences to Vanessa and the family and anyone who lost someone on that flight.”

Kobe joined Swift on stage at her Los Angeles show during the ‘1989’ tour in 2015. Other cardigans the star has sent included recipients such as Kesha.

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Aaron Dessner says he kept Taylor Swift collaboration secret from 8 year-old daughter

“I was so glad that we kept it [a secret] because I didn’t want to be the one that spilled the beans,” Dessner said of the secrecy surrounding the album. “I have a eight-year-old daughter, and one day she asked me. She’s just like, ‘Daddy, do you know Taylor Swift?’ It was the morning after we’d written one of these songs.

“And every time we would write a song, it was like a weird lightning bolt, getting this struck by lightning or something, just exhilarated with electricity. I just looked her straight in the eye and said, ‘No’. I honoured my confidentiality.”

Dessner has also recently said that his creative relationship with Swift “feels like an ongoing collaboration,” hinting that more music may arrive in the future.

Giving ‘Folklore’ a four-star album review, NME wrote: “‘Folklore’ feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest. The glossy production she’s lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation.

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“It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different.”

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Taylor Swift breaks first day streaming records with ‘Folklore’

‘Folklore’ has now set the global record for first day album streams on Spotify by a female artist with 80.6million streams. It is also the most streamed album on Apple Music in 24 hours with 35.47million streams, and has set the indie/alternative streaming record in the US and worldwide on Amazon Music (no figures have been shared).

In a four-star review of the album, NME said: “‘Folklore’ feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest […] Swift disappeared into the metaphorical woods while writing ‘Folklore’, and she’s emerged stronger than ever.”

Much of the album was co-written with The National’s Aaron Dessner, who said Swift had texted him in April to ask if he wanted to collaborate with her. “We were pretty much in touch daily for three or four months by text and phone calls,” he said in a recent interview.

“Some of it was about production and restructuring things but a lot of it was just excitement. We both felt that this was some of the best work we have done.”

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Taylor Swift says US census erases transgender and non-binary people

“And when you don’t collect information on a group of people, that means that you have every excuse in the world not to support them. When you don’t collect data on a community, that’s a really, really brutal way of dismissing them. So obviously we all need to exercise our right to vote this year, we need to check out our absentee ballot policy in our states, and we need to make sure that we elect people who care about all communities.”

Earlier in her speech, Swift had highlighted some progress for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as emphasising the work still to be done. “We had a really good step forward recently with the Supreme Court ruling based on discrimination based on sex,” she said. “But we still have so far to go in terms of equality and protections for LGBTQ people and people in the trans community. The Equality Act has still not been passed and that needs to happen.”

Watch Swift’s speech in full above, from approximately 1:07:04.

Swift has been outspoken on a number of issues lately, including the need to dismantle statues to racist figures, the Black Lives Matter movement and more. Earlier this month, she announced she would be giving her employees Juneteenth off “from now on” and pledged to “never let privilege lie dormant”.

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Meanwhile, the pop star recently shared a video of her performing ‘Cornelia Street’ at her ‘City Of Lover’ concert, which took place in Paris in September 2019. The entire gig was previously released as a concert film on Hulu and Disney+.

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Taylor Swift promises to be “loudly and ferociously anti-racist” and to “never let privilege lie dormant”

 

“For my family, everything that has transpired recently gives us an opportunity to reflect, listen, and reprogram any part of our lives that hasn’t been loudly and ferociously anti-racist, and to never let privilege lie dormant when it could be used to stand up for what’s right,” Swift added.

For my family, everything that has transpired recently gives us an opportunity to reflect, listen, and reprogram any part of our lives that hasn’t been loudly and ferociously anti-racist, and to never let privilege lie dormant when it could be used to stand up for what’s right.

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 19, 2020

In recent weeks, the musician has been very vocal on recent events, speaking out on Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter, the recent LGBTQ+ Supreme Court ruling and the removal of statues of “historical racist figures”.

On the latter, Swift called on the Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to “consider the implications of how hurtful it would be to continue fighting for” monuments to white supremacist Edward Carmack and former KKK grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest.

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“Taking down statues isn’t going to fix centuries of systemic oppression, violence and hatred that black people have had to endure but it might bring us one small step closer to making ALL Tennesseans and visitors to our state feel safe – not just the white ones,” she wrote. “We need to retroactively change the status of people who perpetuated hideous patterns of racism from ‘heroes’ to ‘villains.’ And villains don’t deserve statues.”

Meanwhile, Usher has written a powerful essay calling for change on Juneteenth and pushing for the day to be made a national holiday. “Let’s support black-owned businesses today and every day,” he wrote. “Let’s uplift our resilient history. Let’s honour our people.”

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Taylor Swift calls for permanent removal of statues of “historical racist figures”

 

Carmack’s statue was pulled down by protesters last week, but is set to be replaced by Tennessee authorities. Forrest’s statue is still standing and Tennessee honours the man with his own day on July 13.

Replacing his statue is a waste of state funds and a waste of an opportunity to do the right thing.

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 12, 2020

 

On Carmack, Swift informed her followers: “FYI, he was a white supremacist newspaper editor who published pro-lynching editorials and incited the arson of the office of Ida B. Wells (who actually deserves a hero’s statue for her pioneering work in journalism and civil rights). Replacing his statue is a waste of state funds and a waste of an opportunity to do the right thing.”

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She continued to discuss Forrest, explaining he was “a brutal slave trader and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who, during the Civil War, massacred dozens of black Union soldiers in Memphis”. Swift said the state is “trying to overrule” Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.

His statue is still standing and July 13th is ‘Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.’ Due to social pressure, the state is trying to overrule this, and Tennesseans might no longer have to stomach it. Fingers crossed.

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 12, 2020

“Taking down statues isn’t going to fix centuries of systemic oppression, violence and hatred that black people have had to endure but it might bring us one small step closer to making ALL Tennesseans and visitors to our state feel safe – not just the white ones,” she added. “We need to retroactively change the status of people who perpetuated hideous patterns of racism from ‘heroes’ to ‘villains.’ And villains don’t deserve statues.

We need to retroactively change the status of people who perpetuated hideous patterns of racism from ‘heroes’ to ‘villains.’ And villains don’t deserve statues.

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 12, 2020

“I’m asking the Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to please consider the implications of how hurtful it would be to continue fighting for these monuments. When you fight to honour racists, you show black Tennesseans and all of their allies where you stand, and you continue this cycle of hurt. You can’t change history, but you can change this.”

When you fight to honor racists, you show black Tennesseans and all of their allies where you stand, and you continue this cycle of hurt. You can’t change history, but you can change this. 🙏

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 12, 2020

 

Swift’s comments come after she tweeted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement last week (June 9). “Racial injustice has been ingrained deeply into local and state governments, and changes MUST be made there,” Swift wrote. “In order for policies to change, we need to elect people who will fight against police brutality and racism of any kind.”

Monuments marking slave owners and figures involved in the Confederacy have been removed by authorities or torn down by protestors across the States. In the UK, a statue of Edward Colston was removed by protestors in Bristol, where music venue Colston Hall is working to change its name.

Massive Attack responded to the statue being pulled down, saying it “should never have been a public monument”.

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