Taylor Swift’s PR machine has been in full power lately, but her latest single has become her first new song to not hit No. 1 in several years. Her collaboration with Zayn Malik from the movie Fifty Shades Darker has dropped from No. 7 to No. 18 in only its second week of release on Billboard’s Hot 100. Twitter has taken notice.
I'm happy Taylor Swift peaked and she's now moving onto the flop era of her career— Floptina (@Floptina_Legend) December 27, 2016
Taylor Swift has been one of the biggest selling music stars of the past 10 years. Her 2014 album 1989 spawned several hit singles and a huge stadium tour. The first single from that album, “Shake It Off,” rose to No. 1 instantly. Red, which was released in 2012, also spawned a No. 1 single from its first release, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” While it’s true that “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” is not a solo Taylor Swift song and not the first single from a completely new album, its performance could still indicate that the public is cooling on Swift.
Even what appears to be sincere publicity efforts by Swift are garnering backlash. As her single lost steam, Taylor Swift was seen surprising a World War II veteran over the holidays. CNN has the news.
“Taylor Swift met a unique fan of hers over the Christmas holiday. The singer surprised Cyrus Porter, a 96-year-old World War II veteran, at his Missouri home on Monday. The moment Swift walked through the door, his family erupted into screams and tears.”
The article adds that the megastar posed for pictures and even did an acoustic rendition of her hit “Shake It Off.” Swift’s visit got a lot of notice from the media, but several on Twitter accused Swift’s visit of being nothing more than a publicity stunt.
It’s important to note that Taylor Swift didn’t sing or even try to promote her new song. It’s quite possible she was being very sincere in her efforts, but the Taylor Swift haters don’t see good in anything Swift does. After all, it has been a transitional year for Taylor Swift, who was once America’s sweetheart. 2016 can be seen as the year of the Taylor Swift backlash.
As 2016 started, Swift was still (many say undeservedly) being called a racist over her video for “Wildest Dreams,” which the Huffington Post criticized as bringing back white colonialism. However, the real backlash occurred after Swift declared she was unhappy with the use of her name in Kanye West’s song “Famous.” Unfortunately, a tape was released where Swift appeared to give Kanye approval of using her name.
The media ganged up on Swift, called her a hypocrite, and even made the conflict racial. A feminist site Wear Your Voice even went as far as to refer to Taylor as “that b***h that lives for white feminism.” However, Taylor’s response also earned some praise.
A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on
Many believed that Taylor Swift would be vindicated after Kanye West was hospitalized after several more rants at other artists. However, the poor (relatively speaking) chart performance of “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” could mean that all the bad publicity Taylor Swift has encountered recently, whether it was deserved or not, has impacted her career. Let’s hope that Taylor Swift can rebound.
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]