How are you feeling today? Each year, GLAAD sets aside a day called Spirit Day for speaking out extra-loud against bullying and to show support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. This year, that day is today; and so to celebrate, we have got eight of our favorite anti-bully anthems. Each should remind you that you are strong and beautiful, even when maybe you don’t feel it and no matter what they say. Won’t you listen with us?
Taylor Swift hugged me, and somehow I have lived to tell about it. And yes, being embraced by the woman with the most digital record sales of all-time IS like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street: exhilarating and emotional, a split second of life on the edge. The most magical moment of my life went down Monday afternoon, right before the singer took the stage in front of a room full of college students for her VH1 Storytellers performance. That too was awe-inspiring and uplifting, complete with lots of “I love yous!” from Taylor to the crowd as she strummed a sparkly guitar.
If it sounds like I’m gushing, I am. The woman completely won me over.
Did you ever wonder what “falling in love in an epic way” really sounds like to Taylor Swift? You might think that something like “Enchanted” sounds pretty close, but Taylor assures us that Red‘s dreamy opener, “State of Grace,” is actually it. Previewing the song yesterday on Good Morning America, she explained that, “I wrote this song about when you first fall in love with someone — the possibilities, kind of thinking about the different ways that it could go. It’s a really big sound. To me, this sounds like the feeling of falling in love in an epic way.” But not a story about falling in love just to breakup like all the rest of her love songs, rather this song lavishes the feelings that come with all that with sweeping guitars and a hopeful chorus. And her “State of Grace” and be yours, as well.
“State of Grace” splits the difference between her poppy “Never Ever” and the guitar-plucked “Begin Again.” She keeps the uptempo drum from the former, but layers on reverb-drenched guitars to make it gauzy like a melodramatic nineties rock hit. And like the effort might actually slow down time, she carefully draws out her vowels when the chorus hits and she sings: “I never saw you coming, and I’ll never be the same.” She admits during the song’s breakdown that it wasn’t all so perfect — “You were never a saint, and I love the shades of wrong” — before coming to the sweeping conclusion at the song’s end that: “Love is a ruthless game, unless you are playing good and right.” And so opens the album. Seven days, and the game is on!
Have a listen here, and let us know: what do you think?
10 fingers, 9 vintage shoe forms, 8 seashells … the countdown to Red release Tuesday is on, and Taylor Swift is not the only one who excited. Here at VH1, we have already learned all the words to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Red,” “Begin Again” and “I Knew You Were Trouble,” dumped our boyfriends, and have gathered all our furry woodland creatures friends in anticipation of the ensuing dance party; but the celebrating won’t end there. Taylor has worked hard to make sure that Red‘s release is an event on-par with, say, a Kardashian Wedding, and we plan on partaking in every last part of it. Here’s our plan.
Four fun ways to celebrate Red‘s release: Read more…
All the way from Frankfurt, Germany, this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards is serving up a platter of musical guests for the continent’s biggest award show. Taylor Swift‘s album promotion and upcoming VH1 Storytellers debut won’t keep her from flying across the pond to grace the stage for the big night. No Doubt and Muse will also show Germany what they are made of. Secretly we’re hoping No Doubt rocks out with a wild performance of “Just A Girl.” Is that too much to ask? Read more…
So that thing about Taylor Swift going dubstep? It’s true, and the proof is here. This morning on Good Morning America, Taylor previewed a snippet of “I Knew You Were Trouble,” a song that she says this is one of her favorites on the album, because “It sounds just as chaotic as the feeling was when I wrote it. It’s a song about kind of being frustrated with yourself, because here you are heartbroken, and you knew when you first saw that person, you saw all these red flags and you just went for it anyway.” And that chaos is palpable in even these first twenty seconds of the song, as her gut-wrenching confession gives way to a big ole’, gut-punching bass drop. No shame, Taylor, your dubstep game is so real.
“I knew you were trouble when you walked in, so shame on me know,” she sings, the piano line growing bigger and more industrial until — boom, it all drops and through the quiver of autotune she sings: “Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground, trouble trouble trouble.” This sort of emotionally manipulative drop is something we’ve come to expect from pop stars these days (think Britney Spears‘ “Till The World Ends,” think Justin Bieber‘s “All Around The World”), and while we hadn’t exactly anticipated it from a country princess, it definitely works here to highlight the devastation Taylor was feeling after whichever breakup (Jake? John?).
We will reserve full judgment until the song is made available on iTunes tonight at midnight. But until then, what do you think of Taylor’s dubstep game?
On Nightline this week, Cynthia McFadden confronted Taylor Swift a question about “Surprise Face” — that inevitable wide-eyed, jaw-dropped look she gets each time her name is drawn at an awards ceremony, she gets a compliment, she sees something cute, etc. — and Taylor responded not with her “Surprise Face,” but rather with the less cute alternative.
Taylor’s now famous so-called “Surprise Face” has been mocked by country king Blake Shelton at the Academy of Country Music Awards and Kristen Wiig on Saturday Night Live, and has become fun fodder for the internet-at-large. Some wonder if its a sign of false modesty, others say it’s tired, but Taylor insists otherwise. Confronted directly, she explained that her semi-permanent “surprise face” is a result of — you guessed it! — a life that’s still frequently surprising. And so if good things keep happening, and she has to keep making that face, and then she gets stuck like that — so be it! Because the alternative, as she demonstrates, is much less pretty: Read more…
Well, well, well. Singers are making big moves–and by big we mean topping Forbes annual Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Women list. Endorsement deals and other ventures outside of music are paying off in a major way. Unsurprisingly Oprah topped the list pulling in $165 million last year. Pop (and country) divas Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Rihanna trailed behind Oprah in the second, third and fourth highest paid spots respectively. Talk about Britney Spears making a comeback pulling in $58 million! The new X-Factor judge didn’t make the list last year, but has since bounced back with numerous endorsement deals and a fragrance line. Read more…
You are not tired of heartbreak yet, are you? Taylor Swift loves herself a good “zero-to-100 and than hits a wall and explodes” type relationship, and she loves using her songwriting and storytelling to brace herself in the certain fallout that results. “Red,” the newly released single from her forthcoming album of the same name, is equal parts pop and country, with twangy guitars and a bouncy beat. And although it finds Taylor once again lamenting a fast and fleeting love, she’s not looking for pity or out for revenge this time around. Rather, she just seems wants you to know what she’s feeling.
And so she uses her words, “red” being only generally the intense emotions that accompany a love story fast and fleeting like she wont. She’s got a pallet’s worth of other colors and crafty metaphors to explain how it really really felt. Tell us, Taylor, what was it like?
Pop country sensation Taylor Swift wants to do her VH1 Storytellers a little different. She wants to bring the stripped down storytelling directly to you, and so with the help of Chegg and Papa Johns, and with additional support from Covergirl and American Greetings, she set up a contest that allowed high schools and colleges from across the country to vote in hopes of hosting the show. And today, we are excited to announce that the votes are in and the lucky winner of the Taylor Swift VH1 Storytellers campus concert is Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California! Taylor will perform an intimate concert at the sunny southern California campus later this month, and the show will air on Sunday, November 11.
In addition, Harvey Mudd and the rest of the top five schools — Seton High School in Cincinnati, OH, Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, CA, Terra Environmental Research Institute in Miami, FL, and California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA — will receive a $10,000 music grant from Chegg for Good and Taylor herself.
VH1 Storytellers: Taylor Swift airs on Sunday, November 11th at 6 PM ET/PT and again at 11 PM ET/PT. You won’t want to miss it!