- On July 23, Taylor Swift announced a new surprise album recorded in isolation, Folklore
- The album–Swift’s eighth– was both announced and will be released on the same day
- With this sudden drum of a release, is Swift now a lock to perform at the next Super Bowl Halftime Show?
Taylor Swift has been extremely busy while under quarantine. As the rest of North America has either ignored stay at home orders or leaned into full-on couch potato status, the pop princess recorded an entire album.
You heard that correctly. An entire album. Folklore, announced on July 23, will see a same-day release. The surprise is nothing short of a brilliant press spectacle. Swifties are waking up to this news and collectively freaking out while they wait for the album to release this evening.
This release places Taylor on the top of the heap of the pop star world once again. As the PR game plan for Folklore officially begins, Taylor’s odds to perform at the Super Bowl LV (55) Halftime Show have shortened significantly. So, can we expect to hear a pompom-infused stadium-sized rendition of “Shake It Off”, or will another artist sneak into the halftime spot?
Super Bowl LV Halftime Show Performer Odds
|Queen & Adam Lambert||+3300|
Odds taken July 23
Back in February, early odds were released for the upcoming 2021 Super Bowl LV Halftime Show. Even then, Swift had the best odds with +500. Leading over her contemporaries such as Drake, Adele, and Rihanna, it looked very early on that Swift would be ready to go for a stadium-ready performance.
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Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise 🤗Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into. I wrote and recorded this music in isolation but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine; @aarondessner (who has co-written or produced 11 of the 16 songs), @boniver (who co-wrote and was kind enough to sing on one with me), William Bowery (who co-wrote two with me) and @jackantonoff (who is basically musical family at this point). Engineered by Laura Sisk and Jon Low, mixed by Serban Ghenea & Jon Low. The album photos were shot by the amazing @bethgarrabrant. Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed. My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with. Love you guys so much ♥️
With the sudden announcement of Folklore, Swift’s position as the probable Super Bowl performer has definitely shortened. We’re only about six months away from the February 7, 2021 game, which makes Taylor’s appearance more likely. Six months into a press junket for an album is a perfect time frame to position Taylor for the Halftime Show.
Examining the Competition
Coming up behind Taylor is British powerhouse Adele. Back in May, Adele popped up after a long period out of the public eye with a surprise Instagram post. The photo, displaying Adele’s recent weight loss, brought on a ton of mixed responses from the public and press.
Regardless of the exact nature of people’s responses, the post reminded the general public of the power of Adele as a pop culture figure. Is she plotting an album drop similar to Taylor’s? If so, Adele could be another potential Super Bowl option.
Another artist people haven’t heard new music from in a long time is Rihanna. Despite constantly releasing albums in the early 2010s, Rihanna was constantly overlooked for the Super Bowl. While she’s been busy releasing makeup through her Fenty Beauty line, her absence from music has been a sore spot for entertainment fans.
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The music video for “cardigan” will premiere tonight, which I wrote/directed. A million thank you’s to my brilliant, bad ass video team – cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, producer Jil Hardin, executive producer Rebecca Skinner, AD Joe ‘Oz’ Osbourne, editor Chancler Haynes, special effects wizards David Lebensfeld & Grant Miller, and set designer Ethan Tobman. The entire shoot was overseen by a medical inspector, everyone wore masks, stayed away from each other, and I even did my own hair, makeup, and styling 😂
If Rihanna returns to music in the next couple of months, she may finally get her much-deserved Super Bowl spot. But both Rihanna and Adele’s odds rely on speculation and information we don’t even know yet. Taylor’s album is a surefire thing now, placing her with the best odds.
Taylor Swift is nothing short of a marketing genius. Each album release has been bigger than the last. She’s one of a few artists nowadays who still sells albums. The music industry has a lot invested in her success. If anything, Folklore‘s release may be strategically planned just so she can get the Super Bowl and cross it off her own bucket list.
Having done global tours, broken world records, and winning numerous awards, there is hardly any uncharted territory for Taylor Swift’s world domination to still conquer. She wants this and she’s probably going to get it.
Pick: Taylor Swift (+150)
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