Taylor Swift took the big bang approach for her Billboard Music Awards live debut of her new song “Me,” starting with an introduction by a marching band (we know, been done), and then seguing into a Mary Poppins-like dreamscape of umbrellas… everywhere.
In fact, Swift and Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie flew over the crowd in a ski-lift like chair fitted out to look like and umbrella. It was the big finish to a mega-watt stage performance.
Swift, now the ripe old age of 29 (for a pop star), drew comparisons to Madonna, including some who said the song marked another pivot in her image. But both observations are off base.
Swift long ago crossed over into the world of pop, and mega stage productions are also nothing new to her. So forget the Beyoncé comparisons, as well.
If anything, the song and performance were vintage Swift. The only thing lacking were the biting lyrics and tabloid frothing over who was Swift’s latest diss.
If there was any comparison at all, the production was reminiscent of Katy Perry’s “One of the Boys” days, circa 2007-2009.
Swift wore a multi-colored, off-the-shoulder fringed bodysuit, but she left the big entrance to Urie. He descended from the rafters suspended by a wire that a stage hand quickly unhooked.
Taylor, for her part, just walked out onto the stage. Maybe she thought her mere appearance was entrance enough.
It must have been crowded overhead. As the song neared its finale, a bevy of performers floated down to the stage holding umbrellas, amid a torrent of confetti.
The song was released by Republic Records on Sunday (Apr. 26) It’s the lead single from her upcoming seventh studio album. Swift makes no apologies for the fact that it’s a fluffy bubblegum pop tune.
Swift shares writing credit with Urie and Joel Little, and production credit with Little.
In an interview with Robin Roberts during the NFL draft (of all places), Swift said the song is about “embracing your individuality and really owning it.”
But, well, “Me” is kind of a loaded pronoun that’s also seasoned with an ample dose of egoism. But, hey, Taylor egotistical? Well that’s your call.
The music video for “Me!” premiered on YouTube at midnight. Swift and Dave Meyers are listed as directors.
The video broke the Vevo record, as well as the YouTube record for most views in the first 24 hours for a lead female video, and the third most-viewed overall earning 65.2 million views, according to Forbes magazine.
It also broke the Vevo record of the fastest video to reach 100 million views, hitting that mark in a blazing 79 hours.
Check out her Billboard performance and the music video below.