Taylor Swift

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Alessia Cara covers Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood"

Alessia Cara covers Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”

“Bad Blood” is one of my least favorite Taylor Swift songs. I’ve said it since 1989 was released and I still feel that way even though the song has become a single.

For me, its only saving grace is the appearance of Kendrick Lamar on the single version. Kendrick makes everything better.

Newcomer Alessia Cara took on the hit single for BBC Radio 1 and she stuck to the single version instead of the album version, meaning she mostly sung Kendrick Lamar’s verses and the hook. It’s not hard to rap along to King Kendrick’s verses, but Cara did it with ease. And all while adding her own style to it.

I’m not ashamed to say I like this cover better than Swift’s original version.

The 18-year-old’s flow and the way she sings the chorus are so awesome that the cover garnered attention from Swift.

And, thus, Taylor Swift made the day of yet another teenager.

Also, if you’re wondering, Cara’s original material is awesome, too. Her song “Here” is all about being socially awkward at a party and it’s something I’m sure a lot of introverts can relate to.

Florrie covers Taylor Swift's "Style"

Florrie covers Taylor Swift’s “Style”

Florrie still hasn’t released her debut album yet, but she’s holding fans over with yet another cover.

I posted her cover of Keisza’s “Giant In My Heart” a while back and now the English singer is taking on Taylor Swift’s “Style.”

The acoustic cover is sweet but it lacks anything special to make it stand out. Especially against this popular cover of the Harry Styles-inspired song.

Still, the new cover is a great reason to revisit the singer/drummer’s “Little White Lies” which is still as catchy as it was when she premiered it last summer, or the more recent “Too Young Too Remember“. Continue reading

Kelly Clarkson covers Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" (YouTube)

Kelly Clarkson covers Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” (YouTube)

Jesus has stressed the importance of shaking the haters off in one way or another, right?

Kelly Clarkson thinks so. That’s why she performed a “gospel” rendition of Taylor Swift’s hit song “Shake It Off” during a recent show in Buffalo, New York. Clarkson knew fans were probably expecting her now viral cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” but instead of announcing the new cover she let the audience figure it out once she began singing.

It’s not really a gospel song, but this is definitely a fun cover to incorporate into shows.

In related news, Swift’s new album 1989 is in stores as of today. Continue reading

Taylor Swift performs on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Taylor Swift performs on Jimmy Kimmel Live

The week before a new Taylor’s Swift album drops is a lot like the week before Christmas. It doesn’t feel like something major is right around the corner, but eventually you start receiving gifts and hints of what’s to come and by the time the actual day comes around you’re pretty much bursting with excitement.

1989, Swift’s fifth studio album will be released on Monday, Oct. 27, and, according to critics it’s pretty amazing. So far fans have only heard three songs from the singer’s first official pop album, two of which she performed last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Wearing a black outfit that I may or may not have text my friends to obsess over and her signature red lip, Swift performed her hit single “Shake It Off” and “Out of the Woods,” a song that my or may not be about Harry Styles and his airplane necklace.

The performances weren’t anything spectacular, but it’s a warning that something new is looming right around the corner. Continue reading

Big Machine

Big Machine

It’s hard to believe Taylor Swift’s 1989 is only a week away from being released. If you were hoping for an album stream we haven’t gotten that, yet, but we do have the album’s opening track “Welcome To New York.”

Swift described the importance of starting the album with the song in an interview. “I wanted to start the album with this song because New York has been an important landscape and location for the story of my life in the last couple of years,” she said. “The inspiration that I found in that city is kind of hard to describe and hard to compare to any other force of inspiration I’ve ever felt in my life.”

The fun cut follows the 80s synth-pop sound that Swift promised to explore on 1989.

Its repetitive. It’s catchy. It shows Swift continuing to make her official crossover into pop music with ease.

“Welcome To New York” will be available on iTunes at midnight. Continue reading

Meghan Trainor performs "All About That Bass" on the Dan & Maz Show

Meghan Trainor performs “All About That Bass” on the Dan & Maz Show

Meghan Trainor is still sitting pretty at no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her breakout single “All About That Bass,” but she recently showed that she’s a fan of the no. 2 song on the chart, too.

The newcomer performed a fun acoustic cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” recently while visiting a radio station in Australia. She not only distinguishes her version from the original by playing it acoustically, she also adds a fun rap verse that nods to Andre 3000’s “Hey Ya” towards the end.

Trainor’s “All About That Bass” knocked Swift’s “Shake It Off” from the top of the chart two weeks ago.

Her debut EP Title is in stores now.

Watch Trainor perform the no. 1 & 2 songs here.

Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj perform "Bang Bang" at the MTV VMAs

Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj perform “Bang Bang” at the MTV VMAs

The MTV VMAs wasn’t spectacular this year, but it wasn’t terrible either. It was fun, but not particularly memorable (Beyonce aside). Honestly, we all know that how well an awards show is received is directly related to acceptance speech antics and performances. This year, everyone kept their acceptance speeches short and shade-free and the performances, while good, weren’t instant classics, either.

Ariana Grande opened the show by coming out of a spaceship and performing her intergalactic Zedd-assisted hit single “Break Free” from her sophomore album My Everything, which is out today. Ironically, Grande’s kid friendly performance gave way to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” where the singer humped the floor and recreated the video’s chair sequence in a green two piece. Minaj ran off the stage to change as Grande joined Jessie J on the stage for their major collaboration “Bang Bang” just minutes after the product placement-heavy video debuted online. The rapper made it to the stage for her verse, but she didn’t have time to zip up her dress so she just held is shut with her hands for the end of their set. Aside from Beyonce’s 15-minute-long performance, this was the performance highlight of the night. Wardrobe malfunction and all. Sam Smith, 5 Seconds of Summer, Maroon 5, Usher and Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora all delivered solid, albeit conventional, performances, too.

Surprisingly the night’s biggest disappointment performance-wise was Taylor Swift. The good news is she didn’t twerk. The bad news is she just twisted around the stage with a bunch of men in suits to her new single “Shake It Off”. If it wasn’t for the commentary about the dancer who was bitten by a snake during Nicki Minaj’s rehearsal the day before (The anaconda boa constrictor DID…), the performance would’ve been a total snooze. Swift, you’re a full on pop star now. It’s time to step completely outside of the box.

Watch the performances below. Continue reading

Big Machine Records

Big Machine Records

After a two year hiatus Taylor Swift is ready to release her first “documented, official pop album,” although if her last two albums weren’t pop albums I don’t know what they were. Still, the singer, who has made a name for herself with kid-friendly, pop-leaning country songs (or country-leaning pop songs) for nearly eight years, announced her fifth studio album 1989 today via a worldwide Yahoo! live stream.

The album title hails from the year Swift was born and the decade that she says influenced her work this time around.

As expected, Swift delivered the album’s first single “Shake It Off” during the stream. Teaming up once again with “I Knew You Were Trouble” collaborators Max Martin and Shellback, Swift sounds off in a horn-y anthem about shaking the haters off.

Stealing a line (or two) from 3LW, the singer puts her repetitive touch on an old saying. “Players gonna play, play, play, play, play. Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate,  hate baby,” Swift sings during the song’s infectious hook. Luckily she left shot callers and their incessant calling out of it this time.

In addition to releasing the single, Swift unveiled the video during the live stream, too, and, like most pop videos these days, it instantly sparked a discussion on cultural appropriation because of it’s depiction of black girls twerking.

Personally, I’m not offended by the visuals based on the fact that black women are also seen performing various other dance styles in the video, which was clearly designed to poke fun at the fact that Swift is a terrible dancer.

As far as the song itself goes, I feel the same way about this single that I felt about “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” when Swift debuted it via live stream two years ago. The lyrics feel very reductive and I definitely wish Swift would’ve released a single that better displays her songwriting, but I also haven’t stopped singing the hook since I first heard it so clearly it’s a solid pop release.

As one of the few Taylor Swift fans that is aching for the young songstress to showcase the depth she displayed on her collaboration with the now defunct duo The Civil Wars, I’m disappointed, although not surprised. As a fan of all things pop and all things cheesy, I can’t stop dancing (and dancing terribly, might I add).

And I suspect I’ll be dancing until Swift releases 1989 on Oct. 27 and long after. Continue reading

Big Machine Records

Big Machine Records

On August 18 Yahoo will host a worldwide live stream where Taylor Swift will reveal “big secrets” and, likely, release a new single from her forthcoming highly-anticipated album. On August 24 she will perform at the MTV VMAs.

The singer has remained mum on the details of both events following their announcements.

All we know is the Queen of snarky, shady, slightly immature, but significantly irresistible songwriting is about to return.

Other VMA performers include Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, 5 Seconds of Summer and Usher.

Instagram

Instagram

Ryan Seacrest revealed the lineup for this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival moments ago and it’s a pretty good one!

This year’s festival will includes sets from Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Usher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Paramore, Lorde and more!

The iHeartRadio Music Festival will take place in Las Vegas on Sept. 19 and 20. Tickets for both days go on sale to the public this Saturday, July 26.

The lineup comes just days after the first round of iTunes Festival performers were announced.

The most important news here, however, is that new music from Taylor Swift is likely right around the corner.

View the rest of the iHeart Radio Music Festival lineup here.

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