Justin Bieber Sings Surprise Song with Taylor Swift at LA Performance.
Taylor Swift is currently in the midst of the North American leg of her Speak Now world tour, and last night she began the first of four sold-out shows in Los Angeles. At last night’s concert, Swift provided a little extra bit of entertainment for her, no doubt primarily female and teenage, (I’m judging this from the screaming in the video below) fans in the form of Justin Bieber. Bieber as you may know is a teenage pop sensation being catapulted to fame and stardom by throngs upon throngs of screaming, hormonal teenage girls. Swift and Bieber performed one song together, Bieber’s hit song “Baby“, and they definitely pleased the crowd.
“You think you’ve heard loud screaming in your life..then @justinbieber comes out and does a surprise song during your show. Woah. Unreal.” Taylor Swift tweeted post-performance
So, the fans were happy (clearly), and that is all fine and good. But I really want to stop here and raise a question: what is going on with the country music world and Justin Bieber? At the 2011 CMT Music Awards Bieber was the recipient of the first award for the evening for his collaboration with Rascal Flatts on “That Should Be Me“. Not long after that CMT posted an article claiming something along the lines of that all Bieber needed was a banjo, and he could qualify as a country artist. Now, he is popping up and performing his songs at Taylor Swift’s concerts. Granted, Taylor Swift is not seen by many as strictly a country artist. She has always had a little bit of pop crossover, which has honestly increased as her career has progressed as is evident with her recent single The Story of Us. But still, what is the deal?
I think what is bothering me the most is CMT’s heavy endorsement of Bieber. You may or may not know this, but CMT is currently owned by the MTV Networks. This definitely explains why Ludacris popped up to perform with Jason Aldean in the finale of the 2011 CMT Music Awards, and why shows like Texas Women and Sweet Home Alabama are being produced (these shows follow reality formulas made popular by MTV). Some may argue that this is MTV’s way of marketing to and providing entertainment to a specific audience (you, the country music fan). What I am afraid of however, is that this demonstrates that networks like CMT are slowly trying to change and shape the country fan’s taste instead of providing original entertainment that country music fans can relate to. So, what we end up with is “country” versions of programming or music from other genres instead of something that is genuinely country.
I am not suggesting that country music is being attacked necessarily, but there is a definite trend toward the “popifification” (I just invented that word!) of country music which is demonstrated by the fact that Justin Bieber, in just the past six months alone, has popped up all over the place in the country music arena.
What do you think? Am I being paranoid? You can watch the video which incited my musings below! Enjoy (if you can).
You can check out the video from the Swift + Bieber performance here.