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Taylor Swift is an American singer-songwriter who is known for her best-selling country pop songs and a massive fan following among the tween and teen demographics. On the web, the pop star has been often discussed on celebrity gossip and entertainment news sites, mainly due to her high-profile relationships, while being targeted by trolls and anti-fans seeking to taint her innocent public image.
In early 2002, Swift’s family launched her official home page on TaylorSwift.com, hosting MP3 files of Swift singing cover songs and information about upcoming performances. By age 12, Swift began writing her own songs and within two years, Swift and her family had moved from their home in Pennsylvania to Nashville, Tennessee so she could pursue a music career. She released her self-titled debut album in 2006 when she was 16, which has since been certified Gold in the UK, Platinum in Australia and Canada and 5x Platinum in the United States. Of the album’s 11 songs, Swift wrote three of them herself, including the third single “Our Song” (shown below), whose music video has been viewed nearly 70.7 million times on YouTube.
In November 2007, a Facebook fan page was created for Swift, gaining more than 49.5 million likes as of October 2013. TaylorFan.org, the first major fan site for her music, was launched in April 2008. Swift’s official VEVO YouTube channel was launched on May 11th, 2009, attracting more than 6.2 million subscribers and 1.7 billion views, averaging nearly 1.1 million views per day as of October 2013. In February 2010, one of the first single topic Tumblr blogs dedicated to sharing photos of the singer daily was created, followed by the launch of a fan-made subreddit that March.
Kanye Interrupts, also known as I’mma Let You Finish, refers to the on-air mishap that occurred during Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards when Kanye West stormed on stage, taking the microphone from her to declare Beyonce had “one of the best music videos of all time.” After the incident, viewers began photoshopping images of Kanye interrupting other things, during his speech into a snowclone template to create appropriate captions.
I Knew You Were Trouble
I Knew You Were Trouble is the title of the third single from Swift’s 2012 studio album Red. In February 2013, the high-pitched chorus of the song became a popular subject for audio-spliced mashup songs. On February 3rd, 2013, YouTuber Goosik uploaded the first remix of the song, editing audio from the Yelling Goat video into its dubstep-influenced chorus (shown below). As of October 2013, there are more than 165,000 search results on YouTube for “I Knew You Were Trouble parody.”
Feminist Taylor Swift
Feminist Taylor Swift is a novelty Twitter account that parodies Swift’s song lyrics, turning them into feminist commentary. The account was created by Rhode Island-based blogger Clara Beyer on June 12th, 2013 and began with a tweet parodying lyrics from the 2009 single “You Belong With Me.”Within two days, the account accrued more than 7,100 followers and has broken more than 112,000 followers as of October 2013.
Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan Contest
Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan Contest was an online voting contest held by Boston radio station Kiss 108 FM in July 2013. Fans were encouraged to submit 137-character essays about why they were Swift’s biggest fan, which would then be voted on by other internet users in order to win a meet-and-greet with the pop star at a local concert. An entry written by 39-year-old Charles Z. was linked to 4chan on July 15th by an anonymous user who asked other posters to spare a vote for him. By July 16th, Charles Z. had taken the lead, however, Kiss 108 cancelled the event on July 19th, stating that it had been “compromised.”
“Shake It Off” Controversy
On August 18th, 2014, the TaylorSwiftVEVO YouTube channel released the music video for Swift’s song “Shake It Off,” featuring scenes in which Swift wears costumes while performing a variety of dances, including ballet, break dance, twerking and cheerleading (shown below).
The same day, rapper Earl Sweatshirt from the group Odd Future posted several tweet condemning Swift’s video for “perpetuating black stereotypes” and for being “inherently offensive and ultimately harmful," while admitting he hadn’t watched the video (shown below).
The same day, the women’s interest blog Jezebel published an article criticizing Swift’s video for being a “cringeworthy mess.” Also on August 18th, Tumblr user Orhgasm defended Swift in a post claiming that nothing about the video was racist. In the first 24 hours, the post gained over 1,500 notes. Meanwhile, Mashable published a compilation of Twitter reactions to the music video. In the coming days, several other news sites published articles about the video controversy, including The Daily Dot, Daily Beast, Metro and Billboard.
Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13th, 1989 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. At She received her first Grammy nomination in 2008, and the following year, her second album Fearless became the best-selling record of 2009. As of October 2013, she has released four studio albums and has won 179 awards, including twelve Billboard Music Awards, eleven Country Music Awards and seven Grammy Awards. She is known for having many high-profile relationships with other musicians and actors including Joe Jonas, Twilight’s Taylor Lautner and John Mayer. She also maintains active profiles on Twitter and Instagram, where she has more than 35.7 million and 6.7 million followers respectively.
Daily Beast – Cant Shake Off Taylor Swifts Cultural Appropriation?