Taylor Swift on the country artist who ‘redefined the genre’ for her

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While he was once best known as a country artist, Taylor Swift branched out into the world of music. She’s collaborated with everyone from indie rockers like Aaron Dessner to rappers like Kendrick Lamar. But given her background, it makes sense that country music mega-star Keith Urban had a big influence on her style.

Taylor Swift and Keith Urban are longtime friends

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First performing together when Swift was a support act for Urban’s Escape Together World Tour in 2009, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban have a long-standing friendship. They’ve since collaborated in 2013 on Tim McGraw’s “Highway Don’t Care” with Swift as guest vocalist and Urban on guitar. The friends reunited again in 2014, with Urban joining Swift onstage in Toronto during her 1989 world tour. More recently, video footage of Urban performing Swift’s song “Lover” caused a stir.

After Urban’s cover of Loverhe posted a snippet of the performance on his Twitter to feed. He introduced the song, saying, “Once in a while you hear a song you love and wish you had written….”

Swift explains Urban’s influence on her music

Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

For her part, Swift is equally available with praise for her friend and her creative “experimentation” in the genre. The Grammy winner opened up about how Urban’s artistry has impacted her. “His melodies and inflections were so influential to me because they were so different from what I was hearing in country at that time, incorporating rock, pop and blues into the mix,” he said. she declared. rolling stone in 2021. “He absolutely redefined the genre for me, making it a bigger, bigger place to create from within.”

In the article, Urban explained that his musical genius was not well received by others in the country at the time. “You don’t really get help and support until they see that you’re really part of the community,” he said. “It’s very difficult.” Rather than switch genres altogether, he focused on releasing country singles for radio, while saving the more unique tracks to build his albums.

Swift has also done this with her music. She began leaning into pop with her 2012 album, Redbefore releasing his first official pop album, 1989in 2014. Today, Swift is a pop artist first, but her sister albums Folklore and Still showed a shift towards indie rock and, not coincidentally, more of his country roots.

Swift and Urban continue to collaborate

Friends’ mutual admiration and appreciation recently brought them together for Swift’s re-recorded album Without fear (Taylor’s version). The album features Urban on vocals and guitar for two songs.

Swift shared the news with her fans ahead of the album’s April 2021 release. “I’m so honored to have @KeithUrban part of this project, dueting on ‘That’s When’ and singing harmonies on ‘We Were Happy. “”, she wrote. “I was his first part during the Without fear the era of the album and its music inspired me endlessly.

They are two of the biggest stars in music right now. So, even if the music of Taylor Swift and Keith Urban is not easily categorized, it is among the best and most inspired of our time.



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