These days it seems that country music news sites can’t so much as MENTION Taylor Swift without a huge social media backlash of comments like “Taylor Swift abandoned her country fans!” and “Who cares? She’s pop music now“. This leaves us who cover the industry in a pickle. You see, while the songs she puts out are no longer what is widely accepted as country music, and she has done everything she can to distance herself and her career from the moral and social restraints that the Nashville crowd press upon young female artists, the fact of the matter is that the country music industry still heavily relies on artists like Taylor Swift to finance hundreds of other budding careers and an entire concert tour support system.
At a current net worth of over $44MILLION, Taylor Swift’s every career move means money. According to Forbes, her 1989 tour run obliterated previous tour earning records earning a gross of around a quarter BILLION dollars. When you think about it, that’s a lot of jobs. Stage hands, dancers, security, support staff, even the 16 year old kid making corndogs in a stadium food court is benefiting by Taylor’s tour.
[bctt tweet=”Why #CountryMusic still cares about @TaylorSwift13 and the #TS6 release. ” username=”My_CountryMusic”]
Beyond that is the way that a flagship artist like Taylor can either make or break entire record labels. How many smaller artists on Big Machine Records would never have a PR team or a label advance if the label did not have a successful champion raking it in on the front end? Artists like Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore, and Thomas Rhett all get their tours, albums and publicity funded upfront by the artists that are raking it in ahead of them on the marquee like Taylor, Reba, Rascal Flatts, and Hank Jr.
Flagship artists are the building blocks of a successful music economy, so the next time you think “who cares”, then answer with the name of the last artist you went to see and every person behind the scenes who’s job is more secure today than it was before the Taylor Swift Eclipse.