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So why did the singer decide to abandon the genre that raised her up? Swift's on the cover of the latest edition of British Vogue, and in the accompanying feature she details why it was time to make that "first documented, official" move from country to pop.
"With his album I've completely changed the sound of everything I've done until now. So it's interesting to not be afraid of that," she told the magazine. "You know, I don't want to hurt people's feelings, I don't want to betray Nashville — but essentially it comes down to challenging yourself as an artist."
Fans certainly are talking. But is the country community upset over Swift's metamorphosis? Judging from the reactions of some of Nashville's biggest stars, it appears Music City doesn't feel too betrayed.
When Entertainment Tonight asked Kenny Chesney what he thought about Swift's pop crossover, he said he’d always been one of her biggest fans, adding, "She's such a global act," and noting how good her songwriting has gotten. "And I think that's the foundation of everything we do, songwriting," he noted.
Shania Twain — who herself was one of the first country acts to transition into pop — had pretty much the same reaction, saying Swift has the right to follow her creative urges. "I think that everybody should just follow their heart and do their artistic best, and just enjoy their creativity," Twain told ET Canada. "[Taylor]'s a singer-songwriter-performer, she does it all … the world is her oyster. She's young and she needs to just do whatever she's having fun at, and I think everybody’s loving it."
And of course, the day after Swift announced that her new album would fall in the all-pop realm, the Country Music Association itself gave its stamp of approval and tweeted her good luck, adding, "We will never, ever, ever say goodbye to Taylor Swift."
Suffice to say that's the sentiment of many country music fans out there as well. What do you think?