Why Taylor Swift is Still Country

Taylor_Swift_-_1989Taylor Swift released her fifth studio album late last night. The album entitled 1989 is by no means country, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Instead, it just means we aren’t going to review it, but rather explain why it still has a huge impact on the country music industry.

When Taylor released her last album Red, many country fans felt betrayed. This wasn’t country music, it was pop. “How dare they classify this as country,” said some publications, while others simply didn’t know what to make of it. There were some country tracks on there for sure, but for the most part it was a pop album. Taylor Swift had left country before she was even 25 years old. That wasn’t how things were supposed to go. This was a girl who was supposed to be the face of female country for the next ten to twenty years and just like that she was gone. Some were quick to write her off. Feelings such as, “Now we can let the real country singers win the awards,” and “I hope she stays pop,” were among the common complaints. However, those close to the industry weren’t complaining.

Why not? Because Taylor Swift was, and still is country. Even 1989 which features thirteen excellent tracks is technically a country album. Taylor Swift will be country until the day her contract with Big Machine Records is ripped up. However, that day has yet to come and that day may never come. Taylor Swift has always been extremely grateful to her fans and to those that helped her get to where she is today. Few, if any, are more to thank for her rapid rise then Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Records. He’s the one who gave Taylor her big break when she was just 16 years old. The one who helped launch her career and since has watched her take off as one of the biggest stars on the planet.

All four of her albums have sold over a million copies and that number will jump to five within the next month. Since signing Swift only one other artist on the Big Machine Roster has sold an album that’s broken the platinum mark, Rascal Flatts. If that doesn’t show just how important Taylor Swift is, then nothing will. She’s the cornerstone of country music sales. Early reports have 1989 selling just shy of a million copies during the first week of sales. Assuming Big Machine takes an average percentage of those sales and it will generate slightly under 4 million dollars of revenue in just one week. Sure, Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean are wildly popular, but they’re on a whole other level compared to Swift. She’s one of the few artists in the world that could sell out any venue in the United States, without question. And that’s why Scott Borchetta and the rest of Big Machine’s management has no problem watching Taylor Swift move further and further from country music.