By Zachary Swickey
We already knew that U2 was going to set a new record for highest grossing tour of all time, and of course they have now officially done so – pulling in $293 million more bones this year alone (which means they could pretty much recreate Scrooge McDuck’s swimming pool of money in the real world) from 44 shows as Billboard reports in their list of the top-grossing tours of 2011.
While vets like U2, Bon Jovi, Roger Waters and Take That (Take Who?) take the four top spots, the younger generation of artists aren’t far behind in the money race with birthday girl Taylor Swift rounding out the top five (blowing away several big name acts like the Eagles and Journey who have apparently not stopped believin’). The country charmer grossed a staggering $97 million on her 89-date tour behind Speak Now … 87 of which were impressively sold-out!
Plenty of other MTV favorites managed to make the list. Read on to find out who! Read More...
Today, adorable cardigan sweater enthusiast Taylor Swift turns 22! Happy birthday, Taylor. We'd buy you a drink if, you know, you were into that sort of thing.
Here on the MTV Newsroom blog, we're kind of obsessed with Taylor Swift. Not in a weird way or anything! It's more of a "we think it's kind of funny that this extraordinarily successful and talented 22-year-old beauty queen can be counted on to do the sorts of things your 45-year-old aunt Sally does" situation. We've even devoted a semi-recurring feature to it called "This Week In Taylor Swift Being Taylor Swift."
>>> This Week In Taylor Swift Being Taylor Swift: OMG CHRISTMAS!
>>> This Week In Taylor Swift Being Taylor Swift: She Named Her Cat After A 'Grey's Anatomy' Character
>>> This Week In Taylor Swift Being Taylor Swift: She Tweets Her Thanks To Famous Friends After CMA Win, Finds A Christmas Tree
We're not even being tools about it either! We think it's great that Taylor is so authentically herself in spite of whatever pressure might be coming at her from the music industry, which tries to sex up even the sweetest starlets. Taylor Swift is America's Sweetheart and wears the title proudly and responsibility and that is something to really admire.
And you know she's gotta be one of the coolest cats in the game if she was able to round up the eclectic cast of characters who joined her on stage during her massive, sold-out world tour behind Speak Now, which is the second biggest album of 2011 and was recently nominated for multiple Grammy Awards. Not just anyone can get, ahem, Nicki Minaj, T.I., Justin Timberlake, Jason Mraz, Hayley Williams, Hot Chelle Rae, Nelly, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney on stage for a fairly impromptu duet. But Taylor Swift isn't just anybody. Happy birthday, girl!
After the jump, check out T.I. getting real with MTV News about the differences between being backstage at a Taylor Swift concert and a hip-hop show. (Hint: Both are exactly as you'd expect them to be!) Read More...
This week in the MTV Newsroom, we're celebrating some of our favorite stars of 2011 by asking you, their loyal fans, which of their videos from the last year is your favorite. Yesterday, we opened things up with Katy Perry and today, in honor of her 22nd birthday, we're taking a look back at Taylor Swift's big year.
We love Taylor Swift in the MTV Newsroom. Sure, we sometimes have a little fun at her expense with our "This Week In Taylor Swift" posts, but it's because she's so dang adorable when she takes to her Twitter to post pictures of her kitten Meredith or homemade Christmas snow globes that there's nothing else to say other than "That's so Taylor!" Her genuine niceness and innate wholesomeness stands in sharp contrast with the behavior of most of her celebrity peers and it's something we're thankful for. There are, after all, only so many Kardashian divorce posts a blogger can write before he loses his mind. So, Taylor, thank you for being so authentically you all the time. You're a breath of fresh air!
The country-pop superstar ruled the charts in 2011. Speak Now, which was actually released in late-October of last year, kept on chugging along on the strength of several hit singles (and videos) and ended 2011 as the second biggest album of the year. Swift released five video off her well-reviewed album, which we think was shafted out of nominations in some of the bigger categories for next year's Grammys, in 2011.
Which one is the fan-favorite? Check them out ("Back to December" is above, the rest are below) and vote in our poll after the jump! Read More...
(Ed Note: I wanted to kick this post off with a full disclosure moment … I am head-over-heels in love with and completely obsessed with the film "Working Girl." It is, perhaps, the greatest film ever.)
It's hard to imagine Taylor Swift holding some 9-to-5, dead-end office job. But in her new video for "Ours," the singer imagines what it would be like to be just another working stiff. Immediately, once I clicked play on the video, one thing came to mind: Taylor Swift must also be crazy for Melanie Griffith's classic 1988 film, "Working Girl," just like me and every other sane human being.
Taylor does her best Tess in the video by donning sneakers into the office. It’s a classic move from the film, which follows Griffith’s Tess, an ambitious secretary trying to move up the corporate ladder, who along the way beds a vintage Harrison Ford and dumps her loser boyfriend, played by Alec Baldwin. (Shout out to Sigourney Weaver and Joan Cusack for their classic performances in the film as well.)
OK, so the exact events of Taylor’s "Ours" video aren’t shot-for-shot from the Mike Nichols film, but the look Taylor rocks, specifically the sneakers she wears into the office before changing into a sensible stiletto, definitely recalls that film. The video, which also stars Zach Gilford as her soldier beau, and the way it portrays the humdrum nature of working just for working’s sake while wanting more from life total feels like "Working Girl." Now only if we could get Taylor to say, "I have a head for business and a bod for sin."
Watch it, after the jump. Read More...
Now that Thanksgiving is over, Taylor Swift can now focus on her absolute favorite thing – Christmas! With her massive, special guest-heavy "Speak Now" world tour wrapped, Taylor can focus on the important things, like making homemade snow globes.
Yes! Swift posted a bunch of completely adorable pics to her Instragram feed with captions like, "Home made snow globes with friends. The whole fleet!" and "Christmas in a jar, with glitter."
Taylor is also ramping up her collaboration with American Greetings with a holiday collection includes collectible ornaments and Christmas cards. "The latest cards from Taylor are highlighted by her appealing casual writing style, inspiring photography, expressive hand lettering, and joyful designs that make every greeting memorable," an American Greetings press release wrinkled its nose and said. "This year's holiday collection features everything from festive scenes like stockings hanging on a mantle, beautifully wrapped packages, and elegant decorations to the small, charming joys of children catching falling snow and a deliciously warm cup of hot chocolate just begging for a little whipped cream."
But that's not all. The greeting card giant and the pop-country megastar are taking things even further with its "13 Days of Taylor" sweepstakes, which features 13 days of giveaways "inspired by the singer-songwriter's love of the season." The fun begins tomorrow and continues through Dec. 13, Taylor's birthday (squeal!), with three winners being selected randomly to receive gift packages that change daily but always include a copy of Swifts "Speak Now World Tour – Live" DVD. Fans can register now on American Greetings Facebook page.
Check out some of Taylor's holiday handiwork after the jump. Read More...
Taylor Swift, Twitter
Last week in Taylor Swift being Taylor Swift, the country-pop megastar found Christmas trees at the country Music Association Awards and posted her thanks to the superstars who've joined her on tour by writing their names on her arm and taking a picture with her new kitty in the background.
That's a very Taylor Swift thing to do. Kind of like being surprised all the time and being obsessed with cookbooks.
This week, she continued to reveal
that she's actually a 65-year-old woman how cute she is by explaining the origins of her adorable new kitten's name, Meredith.
"Her name is Meredith – Meredith Grey because she's a gray cat, and because I love 'Grey's Anatomy'!" Swift told US Weekly. "She's awesome. She's like one of those cats that give cats a good name. She doesn't hide under furniture and get weird around people. She's really friendly and fun and she's perfect for the road because she doesn't ever get freaked out. So I'm really glad that she has a cool personality."
Oh Taylor. (Confession: We love Taylor Swift – in our current Justin Bieber baby drama world, Taylor Swift being Taylor Swift is like a breath of fresh air.) For more of Taylor being Taylor – Christmas is coming! – read on. Read More...
Taylor Swift, Instagram
By Zachary Swickey
Country darling Taylor Swift has had one heck of a year – including winning Entertainer of the Year at last week’s Country Music Association Awards – and the songstress continues to slay the charts while making plans for her eventual fourth album.
Swift’s last disc, Speak Now, has two new songs set to debut in the top 15 of this week’s Billboard singles chart – “Ours” and “If This Was a Movie” – which were previously only available on the Target-exclusive deluxe edition but were made available to digital retail outlets last Tuesday. It’s estimated the singles will sell around well over 100,000 copies each with possible debuts in the top 10 if sales are strong enough.
Other bonus songs that recently became available digitally include “Superman,” “Mine” and alternate versions of select Speak Now tracks.
Swift broke all sorts of records when she placed 11 different songs simultaneously from Speak Now on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It's an amazing achievement in and of itself, but even more so when you realize Swift is the only female artist to ever hit this mark (only the Beatles and, oddly, “American Idol” alum David Cook can boast similar charting). She’s also the only artist to do this with songs culled from a single album – the Beatles did it with songs across various projects, while David Cook did it with 11 individual singles – and Swift is the only one to do it with self-written songs (the Beatles included covers and Cook didn’t write his own tunes).
That even more individual, non-single tracks from the set are still charting a year after its release speaks to Swift's undeniably popularity. Everything she touches turns to gold! Read More...
Taylor Swift, Instagram
Too adorable to fail Taylor Swift won the top prize at the County Music Association Awards and as usual seemed positively shocked that anyone would give her an award despite a trophy case that already contains four Grammys, seven American Music Awards, 11 Billboard Music Awards and five previous CMAs.
After claiming her Entertainer of the Year prize, she took to Twitter to thank her fans and do other adorable things, most notably thanking the many superstars who've joined her on stage during her guest-heavy Speak Now world tour, including Nicki Minaj, Usher, Jason Mraz, Haley Williams of Paramore, T.I. and Justin Timberlake, by listing them on her arm and taking a picture with her new kitten. (Seriously, could she have found any other way to make this showing of gratitude more Taylor Swift than include a kitten?)
In another true-to-form moment she also somehow managed to find a Christmas tree backstage. Of course she did.
Read on for more Twitter love from the queen of pop-country after the jump. Read More...
If you've ever seen "Grease," you know that dance-offs were a thing back in the 1950s. But MTV's O Music Awards are updating the bop-till-you-drop tradition with an attempt to break the Guinness World record with an upcoming shot at snagging the 55-hour dance marathon title.
Some dedicated hoofers will trying to keep it poppin' right up until the second the O Music Awards kick off at 11:30 PM on October 31 in Los Angeles.
That got us thinking about other wacky music-related records tallied by Guinness and, believe it or not, trying to dance for more than two days is not close to the strangest record in the books.
Here are a few of our favorites: Read More...
This weekend at Atlanta's Philips Arena, Taylor Swift was joined on stage for a pair of surprise duets. On Saturday, during the first of two sold-out shows, Swift shared the spotlight with Usher to perform his hit "Yeah!" and the following night got an assist from newly free T.I. Late in her show Sunday night, Swift introduced the rapper by singing the chorus to his song, "Live Your Life." He then joined her on stage to wild applause to perform his track while Swift sang the chorus – performed on the record by Rihanna – alongside him.
(Even stranger was the crowd backstage at Swift's Sunday night show in Atlanta. Not only was T.I. shooting the breeze before hitting the stage, but Nelly and Young Jeezy were there too.)
This isn't the first time a guest has joined Swift on her "Speak Now World Tour." The Grammy-winning country diva has been bringing her famous friends on stage to perform with her throughout her tour and rather than have them join her for one of her songs, Swift often lets her superstar guests shine and instead joins them for one of their songs.
Who else has partnered with the Speak Now superstar for a surprise concert appearance, read on to find out. Read More...