Is Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour The New Oprah's Book Club?

Photo: Cindy Barrymore/Rex/REX USA.
Nelly. Haim. Wiz Khalifa. Dierks Bentley. John Legend. Mick Jagger. Leona Lewis. Steven Tyler. Mary J. Blige. Justin Timberlake. Pretty much every musician you can think of has been a guest star at a Taylor Swift concert, and that doesn't even include the supermodels, sports stars, and Oscar winners who have also shown up since the 1989 tour started in May, and yet there are still more than two months to go.

The cost-benefit analysis of coming out for a surprise duet with Swift has yet to be revealed, but we can only assume there's some incentive (album sales, exposure, etc.) to getting the Swift seal of approval. This got us thinking. A powerful female media figure sharing the spotlight with her peers? A mad dash to be the next superstar, or up-and-coming talent, on stage? An official "like" from one of the biggest names in show business? Everyone listening/reading/watching the same things? This is totally Oprah's Book Club all over again.

Which, of course, means Rihanna is Jonathan Franzen. Franzen, if you remember, balked when Winfrey's team decided to give The Corrections their shiny sticker of approval. Rihanna, likewise, is reluctant to join the Swift squad.

"I just don't think it makes sense,” she told NME in a recent interview. "I don't think our brands are the same, I don't think they match, I don't think our audiences are the same. In my mind she's a role model, I'm completely not."
We get it. Swift is to be commended for promoting other artists, and we'd be lying if we didn't get a thrill out of seeing Leona Lewis and Nelly get their due. But, it's not for everyone. Imagine FKA Twigs or Arcade Fire or your favorite indie artist getting up there. With all due respect to Swifty Nation, you'd deduct some major street cred points. Likewise, Beyoncé, Adele, and Lady Gaga certainly don't need a stamp of approval from anyone.

Of course, there are the Wally Lambs out there whom we'd be happy to see performing in front of thousands of moms and the tween daughters they're chaperoning. Ryan Adams. Kelly Clarkson (once her voice heals). Mariah Carey...perhaps? And the most Wally Lambiest of them all, Ed Sheeran.

Maybe Swift will toss out a twist. Rumored "enemy" Katy Perry singing "Bad Blood" would be the ultimate James Frey moment, provided we can have a post-show finger-wagging sit-down in which she's confronted about faking a friendship or whatever went on between those two. Never say never.


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