17 years after the release of her debut LP, Taylor Swift is more popular than ever before. Is that rare or just run-of-the-mill for a global superstar?
Swift is a very good singer-songwriter; what set her way above any of her peers was/is the marketing operation that surrounds her. Comprehensive, inclusive (in multiple senses), and highly psychologically targeted with a deep knowledge of its demographic and how to appeal to it. The only parallel I can think of close to its level is the Kpop industry; though their appeals are different. In a sense, the massive money-haul of Swift's recent efforts are a fruition of many years of work on the marketing front, as their targeted audience grew up and became prosperous enough to travel and spend huge to be with Swift and "their people".
I wonder if her popularity feels more epic simply because it doesn’t happen like this anymore. The Beatles and Rolling Stones happened at the same time. Elton John and Bruce Springsteen happened at the same time. And we could add the names of other massive stars who also happened at that same time. Swift’s rise is singular in this era so maybe that’s why it feels so Beatlemania.
I'd like to see data regarding the average age of fans over time and how that connects to their popularity. If most fans are in their late teens and early twenties when they start becoming fans, that could be an indicator of stardom as those same fans grow older, get jobs, and are able to afford being "superfans." For example, I was a teenager when U2's Achtung Baby was released and I've been a U2 superfan ever since. I've paid exorbitant amounts of money to see them live. My youngest sister was born in 1989, same year as Taylor Swift, and has followed her since they were both 16. My sis is the same age as TS now and can afford to follow her across country for her concerts, thus contributing to her stardom. Could you put together some data like that?
Her popularity and success is amazing, and I applaud her. But where the actual music is concerned -- I fall into the camp that believes her songs are merely passable pop and nothing more. I’ve nodded my head to a tune or two, but on the whole almost everything I hear from Swift is quickly forgettable. That’s simply an opinion, of course, and clearly I am not going to be as deeply connected to the music - and the aura of TS - as those fans, for example, who made the trek to see her on her worldwide, world-conquering concert tour. 😀
I thought you were much older, Chris. Anyway, it's amazing that Taylor Swift keeps getting popular. I mean, I'm not a fan but I knew of her Eras tour.