We all know that Taylor has had a revolving door of guest stars who perform with her out of the goodness of their hearts (aka don’t get paid). But just how much benefit and publicity do these guest stars get out of singing with Taylor?
Look at the iTunes American chart performances of Taylor’s guest stars below to see how much their songs’ chart positions changed after being seen in the presence of tswift!
Little Mix - Black Magic
Performed on August 15 in Santa Clara, CA
Change in chart position: 96 to 28 (68 spots)
Out of all of Taylor’s guest stars, Little Mix enjoyed the biggest boost to their sales after performing with Taylor. Black Magic did not do well in the US on initial release. It’s highest chart position after release was 68, and they since struggled to even stay in the top 100, hovering in the 80-90s and exiting and re-entering the charts in the week before their performance with Taylor.
The day before performing with Taylor, Black Magic was at a sad 96. On the day of the concert, it jumped 17 spots to 79. The next day on August 16th, it was up to 57, and it currently sits at 31.
Sam Hunt - Take Your Time
Performed July 19 in Chicago, IL
Chart position: 29 to 17 (12 spots)
Take Your Time had been sitting in the 20s between July 11-19. On the day of the concert, it was at 29. The next day, it jumped to 21. Two days after the concert, it was down to 17. The song had not been in the 10s since over a week earlier. After this brief jump, it slowly dropped back into the 20s, and currently is in the 50s.
Fetty Wap - Trap Queen
Performed on August 8 in Seattle, WA
Chart position: 41 to 29 (11 spots)
Trap Queen had been in the top 10 from March to June, but began slowly dropping into the 20s and 30s throughout July. In August, it sat in the 30-40s until Taylor’s concert.
The day before Taylor’s concert, Trap Queen was at #41. On the day of the concert, it jumped to 35. Two days later, it reached 29. This was its first time back in the 20s in a week.
Rachel Platten - Fight Song
Performed June 13 in Philadelphia, PA
Chart position: 3 to 1
This one is trickier because Fight Song was already at #3 the day of the concert, and had been hovering between 2-4 for the previous week. On June 15th, two days after the concert, it hit number 1 and stayed there for 4 days. Hard to say if the song was already headed to number 1 or if this was due to Taylor, but I’m sure performing with queen Taylor didn’t hurt! After it’s brief 4-day run at #1 just after performing with Taylor, it dropped to #2, and has been hovering between 2-7 ever since then. Coincidence or not?
Walk the Moon - Shut Up and Dance
Performed on July 24 in Boston, MA
Chart position: 13 to 7 (6 spots and back into Top 10)
Shut Up and Dance did very well on the iTunes chart, spending most of April and May at positions 2 and 3, but dropping out of the top 10 after. In the 10 days before Taylor, the song fluctuated between 10-14. On the day of the concert, the song was at 13. The next day it re-entered the top 10 at 9, and the day after did even better at 7 before dropping out of the Top 10 again.
Jason Derulo - Want to Want Me
Performed July 14 in Washington DC
Chart position: 26 to 23 (3 positions)
This one is more dubious and could be a random fluctuation. Want to Want Me had been sitting at 26-27 for a week before the Taylor concert. On July 14th, the day of the concert, it was at 26. For the next two days, the song enjoyed a 3 position jump to 23 before creeping back up to the 30-40s. More impressively, something Taylor-unrelated occurred on August 9, bringing the song back into the top 10.
The Weeknd was an anomaly - performing with Taylor worsened Can’t Feel My Face’s chart position from 3 to 5 before he recovered from the performance and the song went back to the top.
Singing with Taylor also didn’t get anyone’s songs back into the top 100, it only improved your position if you were already charting. Nico and Vinz, Nick Jonas, Imagine Dragons, Echosmith, MKTO, and Little Big Town did not have songs in top 100 and therefore didn’t see any chart-related benefits.
ONTD, do you think the sales boosts justify Taylor's lack of payment to artists?