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Why Taylor Swift Won Album of the Year

By ; February 1, 2010 at 4:35 AM 

Chances are you fall into one of the following three categories: A. The Grammys have been irrelevant for so many years that you no longer bother to watch or care as you’ve come to accept it’s awful. B. You are addicted to pop culture, and can’t look away from a train wreck, Or C. You actually like the Grammys and think they do a good job. I fall somewhere between A and B, so I’ve taken the time to outline the three reasons Swift won a major award from an awards show that many view as out of touch and irrelevant.

I. Tapped into the teen market.

Let’s face it, Swift is a parent’s wet dream. Finally a pop star that caters to teens who isn’t singing about sex or dressing like she’s ready to work the corner. Swift has the perfect clean image that gives Disney an erection and kids a wholesome role model. Her music is literally a teenage girl’s diary translated to song. So it’s not hard to see the appeal. Because the teenage demographic is one of the largest consumer groups in the world – someone has struck gold.

II. She is a cash cow.

Swift has made more money than the majority of the artists in the industry. Her album Fearless dominated the sales charts, and her stadium shows sold out universally. In an industry that is failing, Swift was a guaranteed money maker. In some ways I would like to compare her to Avatar. Recently Avatar won a Golden Globe from the Hollywood Foreign Press – I can’t help but think for similar reasons. The industry giving a nod to one of their top money makers. Of course, Avatar hasn’t won at the Academy Award yet – so there might still be hope for the film industry.

III. Kanye West.

It would be unfair to suggest he is solely responsible for her win, but I believe he had a huge impact on her being nominated, and ultimately being given the award. The Grammys love to sell a “story.” To give an award to an under-dog, because they know they can make money and sell it to the public. They have been working this angle all year with Swift, and the Kanye incident at the VMAs (almost seems staged looking back) was the perfect situation to boost this angle: “Young girl trying to break into the big bad industry, and ultimately triumphing.” In this metaphor, Kanye represents the evil of the industry, crushing the poor girl’s dreams as she was publicly accepting one of her first awards (forget the fact she had already made millions of dollars, and fans world wide) – sympathy was oozing from the media. But since that moment, the lines were drawn in the sand. I (along with many people) predicted the day after this incident she would be winning Album Of The Year. Nice to know they went the “Dixie Chicks” route this year.

In closing, the Grammys prove yet again to be out of touch and irrelevant. I have nothing against Swift. I think it’s great that she is a positive role model for the youth, and that for once, a pop star isn’t popular based on sex appeal. But the fact still stands: she is a mediocre singer and writer at best. That’s being generous. Anyone seriously comparing her to the talents of Lady Ga Ga or even Beyonce Knowles are out of their mind. While I personally wouldn’t have picked them for album of the year – those were the given contenders. And if a teen who can barely hit her notes and writes like she is still in middle-school can win over two pop divas with powerful voices and a catalog of catchy tunes – then pretty much anyone can win at the Grammys. Just give them a good enough story to sell – and you might have a shot. In this case, it was the sympathy vote. Swift did forget to thank Kanye by the way.





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