Taylor Swift's mother had Carly Simon. Her father had the Beach Boys. And now, Swift's fans have Swift.
In her recent open letter in the Wall Street Journal about the future of the music world, Swift talks about the facts and figures and business models of the industry. Then, though, she gets to the heart of the matter.
"There are always going to be those artists who break through on an emotional level and end up in people's lives forever," she wrote. "The way I see it, fans view music the way they view their relationships. Some music is just for fun, a passing fling (the ones they dance to at clubs and parties for a month while the song is a huge radio hit, that they will soon forget they ever danced to). Some songs and albums represent seasons of our lives, like relationships that we hold dear in our memories but had their time and place in the past."
And we all have those passing fling songs, right? For me, my dance club songs were very Wang Chung/Thompson Twins/Madonna. I didn't connect with any of them on an emotional level. They were like one-night stands that lasted about as long as my connection with Milwaukee dance clubs and fog machines did.
But Swift really gets it when she talks about how some artists will be cherished eternally.
"However, some artists will be like finding 'the one,'" she said. "We will cherish every album they put out until they retire, and we will play their music for our children and grandchildren. As an artist, this is the dream bond we hope to establish with our fans. I think the future still holds the possibility for this kind of bond, the one my father has with the Beach Boys and the one my mother has with Carly Simon."
So when Swift goes on to compare a fan-artist love with a husband-wife love, it all makes perfect sense.
"I believe couples can stay in love for decades if they just continue to surprise each other, so why can't this love affair exist between an artist and their fans?" she said.