Taylor Swift won the Grammy Award for Best Album of the Year for the fourth time in her career on Sunday night. A record in the history of the ceremony. At 34 years old, she surpasses American music legends like Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon. The singer continues to cement her status as a pop icon. His influence goes far beyond the musical realm.
• Also read: Taylor Swift, more Queen of Pop than ever before
• Also read: Taylor Swift wins Grammy and announces new album coming in April
• Also read: Grammy Awards: Taylor Swift wins Album of the Year for the fourth time
Taylor Swift has become a political idol in recent years, followed by increasingly numerous and loyal “Swifties”. In the United States they even go so far as to believe that it would be able to rig the elections.
According to NPR, Taylor Swift's call on social media in September to encourage her fellow Americans To to vote caused a surge in traffic to the website Vote.org in the hour that followed. Some, like California Governor Gavin Newsom, believe his political views have the power to change the course of the US presidential election on November 5th.
According to a survey by Newsweek magazine, that could well be the case. We learn that 18% of American voters say they would be “more likely” or “significantly more likely” to vote for a candidate Taylor Swift had supported. Not surprisingly, young people in particular would be inclined to follow the singer's voting instructions.
But she still has to give something. For a long time, Taylor Swift avoided political comments. His silence was criticized during the 2016 American presidential election, which pitted Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. On election day, the American singer simply posted a photo on Instagram of herself waiting in line for her turn to vote. “Today is the big day. Get out there and VOTE,” she wrote in the caption.
- Listen to Alexandre Dubé's discussion with journalist Annabelle Blais QUB :
However, the “Blank Space” singer slipped from her neutrality during the 2018 US midterm elections. She then stated on Instagram that she planned to vote for Democratic candidates in Tennessee, the state where she grew up. Two years later, the singer officially announced her support for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. “I believe that under her leadership, America has a chance to begin the healing process it so desperately needs,” she said in the V Magazine columns.
In itself, this position was nothing unusual. Other very influential American figures then publicly supported Joe Biden. But it marks a turning point in the career of an artist who has long maintained a certain distance from the political sphere so as not to lose any part of her audience.
From now on, the one nicknamed “Taytay” no longer seems afraid to express certain political affinities, especially when it comes to defending sexual and racial minorities and protecting abortion rights. Joe Biden's entourage hopes the singer will be cognizant of the fact that the current occupant of the White House has made sexual and reproductive rights the focus of his re-election campaign. And who knows, she officially supports him.
Because the obvious influence that Taylor Swift has on her young compatriots could encourage them to become more involved in the November elections. This is what the democratic camp dreams of, as this part of the population can swing the vote in favor of one candidate or another. As a reminder, in 2020, only 48% of 18- to 29-year-olds voted. Therefore, it seems important to mobilize them a few months before the election. To that end, according to the New York Times, the Biden clan would toy with the idea of the president appearing on stage during a leg of Taylor Swift's major world tour, the Eras Tour.
Between criticism and political upswing
If the singer's fame is coveted, she is also heavily criticized. Hosts of the conservative channel Fox News such as Jeanine Pirro and Charly Arnolt warn him on the show against becoming politically active, while others question his true motives. Host Jesse Watters even wondered whether Taylor Swift wasn't “a psychological operation by the Pentagon,” as American conspiracy theorists claim.
There is also a lot of speculation in the press and on the Internet about her relationship with Travis Kelce, the star player of the American football team Kansas City Chiefs. Vivek Ramaswamy, former Republican primary candidate, speculated, “I wonder who will win the Super Bowl next month. And I wonder if we're in for a major presidential endorsement this fall from an artificially and culturally inflated couple. These are wild speculations. Let’s see how this develops in the next eight months,” he wrote on the social network.
While it's undeniable that Taylor Swift is more powerful than ever in the United States, she's just as powerful outside the borders of her home country. In Mexico, some politicians pride themselves on being “Swifties” to give themselves a more youthful and approachable image. Arturo Zaldívar, former president of the Supreme Court of Mexico, regularly publishes content related to the American superstar on his TikTok account. He even shared a video of himself shaking and exchanging friendship bracelets with fans of the singer at one of her concerts. His pro-Taylor publications earned him the nickname “Minister Swiftie” in the Mexican press. However, it remains to be seen whether they will breathe new life into his career.