The Swift Effect: Taylor Swift Has a Midas Touch In Making Artists Known
    • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2014

    • Posted by: K. Hess

    Taylor Swift is an easy target. For starters she's fucking adorable. As stated by Newton's third law of motion, a kitten explodes every time Taylor Swift smiles. Extremely cute gets extremely stale extremely fast, and while no one can knock her pipes, Swift's critics point to her inability to shed the cutesy teenage girl ballads and grow-up already: give us something with substance. Well, actually, Taylor Swift peddles more substance than you might think. Her girlish tunes have a dedicated and massive audience: she regularly sells out massive venues all over the world in a matter of minutes. These hungry fans are primarily pre-teen girls, who want to do what Taylor does and love what Taylor loves. And what exactly does Taylor love? Taylor Swift fucking loves music.

    Swift has a habit of loading her tours with special guest appearances, and while she isn't perfect (try to ignore her painful and awkward introductory monologues, she's not a great public speaker), Taylor's actually delivered the goods more often than you'd think. This past Sunday she surprised her London audience by bringing out Sam Smith to perform a duet of his single "Money on My Mind". Smith is an up and comer who has primarily floated around the indie electro scene, outside the attentions of teeny bopping young girls. That was until Taylor flashed his goods to a stadium of fervent fans. Worldwide Google searches of Smith increased by 10 percent in a matter of hours following the performance.

    In terms of exposure, Taylor's got a loyal pop following, but she also commands the attention of the country music scene. On her current tour for RED she's toting supporting acts in both genres. On any given night fans can see British acoustic crooner Ed Sheeran, and Southern country duo Florida Georgia Line on the same stage. Other opening acts have included the electro pop group Neon Trees, hip-popper Guy Sebastian, and country acts Hunter Hayes, David Nail, and Brett Eldredge.

    Her influence is not limited to up and comers. Taylor is gaga for music legends. On her Speak Now tour Taylor was joined on stage by music legend James Taylor. The singing-songwriting legend who up until that point was as uncool to these teens as their moms' dance moves saw his Google popularity increase by 50 percent over the following week.

    In July of 2013 she giddily performed "Your So Vain" with Carly Simon. The concert was on a Saturday night, by Monday Carly's google popularity was up 80 percent.

    The majority of her fans may not have really grasped what they were witnessing: footage of both concerts betray a brief moment of slow build as her audience registers the excitement shown on Swift's face and absorbs the energy. There was no such pause on the night following James Taylor's appearance, when she revealed special guest BFF Selena Gomez.

    So yes, Taylor Swift is like pop, sugar, bubbles, and unsubstantial songs about bein' a girl y'all. That said, I'm willing to forgive her her light blue 22's. While her break-up songs aren't the stuff of legends, Swifties are bopping to "You're So Vain"; which is arguably the best break-up song of all time. Thanks to Swift, sugar pop tweens are almost as mad about the talented yet pastey ginger Ed Sheeran as they are about the Beibster. Look Swift, stay sparkly if that's what keeps you murdering kittens with your smile, just keep using your fairy princess powers for good.

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