Divas of the American music scene "Now and then" Taylor Swift and Olivia

· Entertainment,Taylor Swift
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The heart of American people: Country music

Country music is said to have originated in the 1920s as folk music sung by white people in the southern and western parts of the United States. Country music has spawned a variety of subgenres, with influences such as British and Irish folk music, blues, gospel, and old-time. Some of these include country rock and country pop, which are a fusion of country, rock, and pop, and these types of music are also popular among young people in urban areas, we are expanding the fan base of country music. People with diverse sensibilities support country music and seem closely connected to American history and culture.

By the way, there are several country music groups in America. ・Country Music Association(CMA)                                                                                                        ・Country Music Association International (CMAI)                     ・Country Music Association Foundation Foundation (CMAF)

These groups are said to be politically conservative and have strong ties to the Republican Party, and country music fans and artists also appear to have conservative tendencies. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, country music began to include more songs that emphasized patriotism and nationalism, and support for the Bush administration and the Iraq War increased.

Will liberal country singers be criticized?

Some country singers have democratic and liberal views. For example, the Dixie Chicks were kicked out of the country music world for criticizing President Bush. Taylor Swift is one of them. Taylor has been actively involved in social issues such as LGBTQ rights and supporting victims of sexual violence. We could say she's on the front lines of America's "culture wars." Taylor announced her political views regarding the midterm elections in 2018 and expressed her support for Democratic candidates. She released You Need to Calm Down, which supports LGBTQ rights in 2019. She criticized President Donald Trump in 2020. These actions brought Taylor under fire from conservatives. In the 2020 Netflix comedy Ginny & Georgia, the main character's mother jokes, "I don't like people changing guys like Taylor Swift." Taylor took this as an attack on the LGBTQ community.                                                                                        Taylor won the 2021 Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her album Folklore among the LGBTQ community. The album is popular among the LGBTQ community, and "Betty" is said to be sung from a homosexual perspective.Her senior, country singer Miranda Lambert, posted on Instagram: I want to respect country music. I want to be true to country music. That's why I should have won the Grammy for Album of the Year.                                                                                   Side note: John Travolta upsets Taylor's award for "You Need to Calm Down" at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards with his mistake.                                                                                                                            Travolta mistook a drag queen for Taylor.

American pop diva "now and then"

Olivia Newton-John (singer) and Taylor Swift (singer-songwriter) both debuted as country singers, then changed their musical style by incorporating elements of pop and rock and became global stars.

👉Taylor Swift

Born on December 13, 1989, in Pennsylvania, USA, she started playing the guitar at the age of 10 as she admired country singers, and moved to Nashville at the age of 14, in 2006 the age of 16 made her debut with the Single "Tim McGraw". The album "Taylor Swift" was released.

In 2008, her second album ``Fearless'' reached number one in the United States and she became a country-pop star.From 2008 to 2009, she released ``Love Story'', ``White Horse'', ``You Belong with Me'', Released “15” and “Fearless”

In 2010, she won the Grammy Award for Best Album for ``Fearless'' (the youngest person ever to do so), and won 4 awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song for ``White Horses''. In October of the same year, the album ``Speak Now'' was released and sold 1 million copies.The singles ``Mine'', ``Back to December'', and ``Mean'' reached the top 10 in Canada...and ``Mean'' won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song. - Winner of Song Award and Best Country Solo Performance Award

Released “Red” in 2012, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard. Single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” reached No. 1 on Billboard in the U.S.…Won Best Female Country Artist at the American Music Awards in the same year.                          Selected as Artist of the Year at the 2013 American Music Awards. "I New You Were Trouble" won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video.                                                            

Released "1989" in 2014. Won the Grammy Award for Best Album for the second time in 2015, becoming the first female singer to achieve this feat. Other songs include "Shake It Off," "Blank Space," and "Bad Blood." A hit, selling over 200 million copies worldwide.

(Changes in musicality)

Although Taylor Swift comes from a country music background, she creates a variety of music that incorporates elements such as pop and rock...Taylor respects the traditions and roots of country music while also expressing her musicality and expressiveness. However, Taylor's music is controversial among music critics.

👉Positive opinion: Taylor Swift is evolving the genre of country music. Taylor Swift is expanding the possibilities and appeal of country music by adding pop and rock sounds and rhythms to country music lyrics and melodies. Music critic Ann Powers says, ``Taylor Swift constantly updates, innovates, and diversifies her music while respecting the history and traditions of country music.

👉Negative opinion: On the other hand, Taylor Swift thinks that she is destroying the genre of country music. Taylor is abandoning the essence and spirit of country music and leaning towards commercial music such as pop and rock. Taylor Swift is destroying the country music genre. Country singer Miranda Lambert says, “Taylor Swift doesn't love country music. She just used country music to build her career. She ignores the history and culture of country music and she has gone for pop and rock music.

(political activities)

Taylor Swift has donated to and collaborated with various organizations to support LGBTQ rights, including:                                                                                                                                                                        

・Make-A-Wish Foundation: An organization that makes wishes come true for sick children ・GLAAD: LGBTQ media・Tennessee Equality Project: An organization dedicated to protecting LGBTQ rights in Tennessee.

Taylor Swift has donated and collaborated with many organizations to support LGBTQ rights. Taylor Swift is using her musical influence to bring hope to the LGBTQ community.

👉Olivia Newton-John

Born in Cambridge, England on September 26, 1948 Moved to Australia at the age of 5, formed a band and started singing at the age of 14 In 1965, won an audition show, returned to England and debuted in 1966. In 1970, Bob Dylan's Her cover song "If Not For You" became a hit and she gained attention as a country singer.

Her 1974 single "I Honestly Love You" reached number one in the US and won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Female Vocalist.

In 1978, she appeared in the movie ``Grease'' (co-starring and duet with John Travolta), and her songs such as ``Duet of Love'' and ``Sad But Sad'' were hits from the soundtrack, and she was nominated for an Academy Award.

Starring in the 1980 movie ``Xanadu'', the soundtrack songs ``Magic'' and ``Xanadu'' were hits, and other hit songs such as ``Koi no Yokan'' and ``Temptation of the Breeze'' have sold over 100 million records worldwide.

In 1981, "Physical" topped the US charts for 10 consecutive weeks and became the biggest hit of the 1980s.

(Changes in musicality)

When she first debuted, she became popular for her cute looks and simple country style, but in the late 1970s, she started incorporating elements of pop and rock. In the 1978 movie "Grease," she sang a 1950s-style rockabilly song. In the 1980 movie "Xanadu", she collaborated with ELO and sang a synth pop-style song...In 1981, she tried an up-tempo song that was in line with the disco and fitness boom and created a sexy and bold. In "Physical" the song's music video, which featured an aerobic dance in a leotard, became a hot topic in line with the fitness boom of the time, but due to its meaningful lyrics, some broadcast stations in the southern part of the state, where is a strong conservative tone, refrained from broadcasting the song. However, this was in line with the social movement of the time (the boom in fitness and health consciousness). She gained the sympathy and support of many women by positively viewing women's sexuality and self-expression. Although she released pop and sexy songs, she did not receive much social criticism or backlash because her music was in line with the trends of her time.

(political activities)

・Participated in the election campaign of Republican presidential candidate Gerald Ford in 1976.                          ・Participated in the inauguration of Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980. ・Participated in the election campaign of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush in 2000.

In this way, although Olivia Newton-John and Taylor Swift share the commonality of transitioning from country to pop, their impressions on the American public and social influence differ due to their historical backgrounds and personal experiences.