- 23 May 18
She’s the biggest pop star in the world – beloved by millions but not above the occasional controversy. As Taylor Swift prepares to touchdown in Croke Park, Ed Power looks at her incredible rise to global superstardom, how she’s managed to stay on top, and talks to those who’ve been present during her remarkable journey, including Dublin producer Jacknife Lee.
One of the most important conversations in Taylor Swift’s life took place in Burbank, California in early 2014. Swift was at the headquarters of her record label, Big Machine, for a playback of her next album, provisionally titled 1989.
Part-inspired by Swift’s relocation to New York from Nashville, her home for the previous decade and cradle of her career, the LP was a departure from the singer’s girl-next-door country rock. The palette was pop, the tone wistful and wondering. As the final song faded, Scott Borchetta, the label boss who had overseen Swift’s ascent from country radio obscurity to global fame pressed stop and tried not to grimace.
“This is extraordinary – it’s the best album you’ve ever done,” he told her. “Can you just give me three country songs?”