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Taylor Swift: A Myth of a Rising Star
The myth is that she cannot sing based upon her performance at the 2010 Grammy's with Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. The problem was that the two had only practised twice and their voices were horribly mismatched. Anyone could tell this, even to an untrained ear. Nicks was much to low and Taylor was having a problem finding the harmony partly because of acoustics. It was her worst moments.
Up until age 15 (she is only 20), she was just a girl who wrote songs that her friends thought sucked because they were too personal. She went to Nashville at gave a copy of her karoke songs to just about every record company. Nada. This was when she was 12 or so. RCA records did so interest yet rejected her. Great artists are always rejected: Elvis, The Beatles and so on.
Taylor continued on and in 2006, recorded "Tim McGraw". It did Okay on the Country Charts, and until her Fearless LP, released in 2008, she remained known mainly on the Country Charts with little crossover to pop appeal. It was not until she signed with Big Machine records and the Fearless LP did she crossover. The producers there saw the value of crossing to pop because she was cute, pretty, her voice was fine and her lyrics spoke to teenage girls. The missing element was a Pop sound, that identifiable beat, bass and sound. That is what happened. Swift actually got a real rock sounding band to support her. Minor changes were made to the song's delivery.
When Swift plays Romeo and Julietwith no band, the song is merely nice, OK. Could've been written by many others. Her voice is sweet. Add the band with a pop sound, the song's whole ambience changes to catchy song. It made all the difference in the world. It always does. Listen to any band, even The Beatles, when they only have a singer and guitar. The song sounds naked and one can only guess at its real potential. Her vocal has the country twang yet the song's sound is Pop\Rock. Great crossover appeal.
The other element to Swift's swift rise to stardom (she earns $18 million a year, way more than either of her parents ever did) is Disney. Disney, unlike other artists it creates (Hillary Duff, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus) Swift was never part of the Disney machine (she never had a Disney show to launch her). Swift is on the fringe of Disney, her songs, short sound clips, video bites all appear on the Disney radio and TV stations. Why? Disney is Swift's major source of fanbase, which promotes the "teenage world" on their networks.
Swift's climb to success is similar to the Jonas Brothers, going nowhere for some time and then suddenly lifting off.
Does Taylor have a great voice? No, not at all. She has good voice that fits her songs well. Does her voice sound similar to others? Well, in the country area, yes. But her songs make her voice identifiable. Give her a song she did not write and you might be able to say she was singing it.
Would Taylor or any of Jonas Brothers singing ability make them be the winner of American Idol? That, is a big question. Sure, they would all get into the contest, but, would they win???