News / Arts & Entertainment

Taylor Swift's 'Red' Among 2012's Best Sellers

Taylor Swift arrives at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn.
Taylor Swift arrives at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn.
Mary Morningstar
Six-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift is wrapping up her busy year with a new release destined to be among 2012's best-selling albums.

Swift is used to breaking sales records and she continues that trend with Red.  The album sold more than 1.2 million copies its first week of release, which makes Taylor Swift the only female artist in SoundScan history to have two consecutive albums sell more than one million copies in an opening week.

Mary Morningstar's album review of Taylor Swift's "Red"
Mary Morningstar's album review of Taylor Swift's "Red"i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Red leans more towards pop-rock than Swift's previous three albums.  Most music critics agree that the 16 songs reflect a more mature and confident artist.

Five tracks from Red were pre-released on iTunes.  The title track has sold 4.5 million downloads in the U.S. and also topped the all-genre iTunes Top Songs chart in 32 countries. 
 
“I think red is a really daring adventurous color and I think it really kind of symbolizes what I wanted to do musically with this record which was make something new and bold and it’s definitely that,” Swift said, explaining why she titled the album Red.
 
“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was the album's first single. Swift is known for writing songs that deal with her personal relationships.  Although she never reveals her subject, many listeners believe that song is about ex-boyfriend, actor Jake Gyllenhaal.  The 22-year-old superstar says she bared her emotions throughout the entire album.  

“I think the theme of this album is just the kind of adventures and misadventures I’ve had in love, and life and love, and the lessons I’ve learned and a few really significant relationships that taught me a lot," she explained.  "And, I think that writing love songs and heartbreak songs is kind of what I love doing.”

Red features duets with British singer Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody.  Swift wrote nine of the tracks alone.  She also collaborated for the first time with Swedish pop hitmakers Max Martin and Shellback, and American producer Jeff Bhasker, who’s respected for his work with Kanye West, Beyonce, Bruno Mars and fun., among others.

As confident as Taylor Swift comes across in her songwriting and live shows, she admits she has many fears.  During a question-and-answer session at a recent college performance in California, Swift told the audience that one of her concerns is “people getting tired of me.”  For now, her millions of fans around the world remain loyal.  Swift feels their similar life experiences created the bond they share.

“I think my songs resonate with people because, hopefully because they’re going through the same things as I was going through," she said.  "I think that’s what connects me to my fans, like when they hear a song and they say, ‘That’s kind of what I’m going through right now, that’s the exact situation.’  I think there’s a connection made there knowing that we’ve both felt something in the same way.”



Swift leads the nominees for the upcoming MTV European Music Awards (EMA).  She received five nominations, including Best Pop Artist and Best Live Artist.  She will be in Frankfurt, Germany on November 11 to perform at the EMA ceremony.  And, she has announced plans to support Red with a 58-concert North American tour that is set to get underway in March 2013. 

“I have so many ideas about how to really bring this music to life, and I can’t wait to share the new show with all my fans!” Swift exclaimed.

You May Like

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Paquito D'Rivera, who has won 12 Grammys, is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. D'Rivera's latest project, “Jazz Meets the Classics,” was released this month. He joins us on the latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."