Taylor Swift returns Friday to Tiger Stadium. It will be her second performance in the venerable football fortress.
In 2010, the then 20-year-old Swift topped day one of the first Bayou Country Superfest. Her appearance was a mutual love fest between the young singer and her even younger fans.
Shortly into that Superfest show, the apparently awestruck Swift greeted her fans. “I’m Taylor,” she said. “This is the very first time in my life I have ever headlined a stadium.” Of course, it wouldn’t be the last.
Friday at Tiger Stadium, Swift will not be part of Superfest 2015. Instead, she’s a standalone attraction, bringing her “1989” world tour to town the night before Superfest’s two-night Memorial Day weekend residency in the stadium.
Although Swift achieved phenomenal success flying the country banner, her hits topped both pop and country charts throughout the world. She has sold more than 40 million albums and more than 130 million digital downloads. She’s won seven Grammy awards.
Swift officially went pop with her 2014 album, “1989.” It features the singer’s infectious, ubiquitous hit, “Shake It Off.” Of course, 1989 is the year of the singer’s birth in Reading, Pennsylvania. The album title also reflects the influence of such ’80s stars as Madonna and Annie Lennox.
Last weekend, Swift won eight awards at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, more than any other artist. The nationally telecast awards show opened with the world premiere of her music video for “Bad Blood,” the fourth single from “1989.”
Rolling Stone judged “Bad Blood” the album’s angriest song. Swift, after writing angry songs about ex-boyfriends for years, turned her poison pen on one of her female peers in the music business, unidentified, of course.
“For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not,” Swift told Rolling Stone. “She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away. I would think, ‘Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?’ ”
In 2013, Swift added, the unidentified woman did something so horrible that there could be no doubt they are “straight-up enemies.”
On her website’s “About me, from me” page, Swift mentions her desire in recent years to work in a new style of music.
“I needed to change the way I told my stories and the way they sounded,” she says. “I listened to a lot of music from the decade in which I was born. I listened to my intuition (saying) that it was a good thing to follow this gut feeling. I was also writing a different storyline than I’d ever told you before.”
Besides going pop, Swift moved from country-music capital Nashville to a place that could be considered the capital of the Western world, New York City. She lives on the top floor of a luxury apartment, purchased for a reported $15 million. Her neighbors include Oscar-winning film director Steven Soderbergh, formerly of Baton Rouge, and movie star Orlando Bloom.
Swift told Rolling Stone magazine that the idea of moving to New York frightened her for years. After she finally did it, the experience inspired new songs.
“I wrote about moving to the loudest and brightest city in the world, the city I had always been overwhelmed by — until now. I think you have to know who you are and what you want in order to take on New York and all its blaring truth.”
She’s learned other things, too.
“ ... people can say whatever they want about me, but they can’t make me lose my mind. I’ve learned how to shake things off.
“I’ve told you my stories for years now. Some have been about coming of age. Some have been about coming undone. This is a story about coming into your own, and as a result … coming alive.”