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Taylor Swift: A force to be reckoned with

Courtesy of LA Times

This past week, Taylor Swift became a billionaire, the first musician to do so from their songs and performances alone. Only three other musicians have achieved this status—Jay-Z, Rihanna and Jimmy Buffett—and all relied on their side companies, brands and investments to reach it. The size of Swift’s success is staggering: She has more number-one albums than any woman in history, was the first artist to claim the entire top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and shows no signs of slowing down. At just 33, Swift has accomplished extraordinary feats that other artists can only imagine in their wildest dreams. She is a force to be reckoned with.

Her current tour has cemented her place at the top. On track to become the highest-grossing concert tour in history, the Eras Tour celebrates Swift’s newest albums and re-recordings, taking viewers on a bejeweled journey through her 10 musical eras. With 146 dates across five continents, all Swifties have been vying for tickets to the show, causing Ticketmaster to crash during the first United States presale and tickets to resell for thousands of dollars. Thanks to the extraordinary demand, the tour has boosted the global economy tremendously, helping stave off a post-pandemic recession; and in the U.S. alone, it is projected to bring in over $5 billion. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other world leaders have even asked her to perform in their countries, eager for a comparable economic boom. And with Swifties spending on sky-high ticket resale prices, travel and lodging, colorful friendship bracelets, dazzling outfits and tour merchandise, it is no wonder.

Swift even released an Eras Tour film last month, bringing the magic of her show to a wider audience and boosting business for movie theaters worldwide. Now, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is the highest-grossing concert film of all time. And not only has the film been incredibly successful, but it has also set the standard for concert and Hollywood films; Beyoncé is already following suit with her upcoming concert film. By encouraging singing, dancing and dressing up at the showings, Swift has perfectly recreated the concert experience for all and showed where the future of moviegoing lies.

With such achievements, it is clear that the musician is not just the lucky one; she is a mastermind. The marketing of her music is carefully thought out and perfectly aligned with her brand. And the key to this brand is her relationship with fans. Swift’s songs chronicle her emotions and experiences, establishing a personal connection between her and her fans. She also frequently hints at her next move using details in music videos, red carpet appearances and social media posts—whether with the release date of her next album or the start of a new musical era. For example, the color-coded elevator buttons in the “Bejeweled” music video and Swift’s recent all-black outfits indicate that—spoiler alert—“Reputation” will be the next re-recording to be released. Through her skillful storytelling and Easter eggs, Swift keeps her fans engaged and excited for what is to come.

Her philanthropy is just as personal. She has donated to food banks at each stop of the Eras Tour, climate-disaster relief efforts in her home cities and fans undergoing medical treatment. She even gifted $55 million in bonuses to her Eras Tour staff. And in doing so, she has set a fine example for fans and drawn attention to causes that are important to her. In fact, after her donations during the Eras Tour, food banks saw a sizable uptick in contributions.

Swift is an inspiration to women. By re-recording her earlier albums, she is taking back ownership of her music from the men and their record labels while reshaping the music industry at the same time. By fearlessly living life on her own terms and shaking off slut-shaming and criticism, she breaks the mold. By writing record-breaking songs about her life, she empowers generations.

There is no contest: Taylor Swift is a one-of-a-kind superstar.

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About the Contributor
Aambar Agarwal
Aambar Agarwal, Social Media Editor
Aambar Agarwal (she/her) is a third-year student racing toward majors in neuroscience and psychology and a minor in public health. In her free time, she can be found dabbling in art when not turning the pages of yet another book. She also enjoys hiking with her pals while inhaling pollen in the Metroparks.

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