Adding further fuel to the argument that she’ll one day be the Queen of Everything, Taylor Swift has been named Record Store Day Ambassador for 2022. And not just North America, but the world.
That’s a first for the singer-songwriter, who originally surfaced in her mid-teens as a big-haired Nashville country star, effortlessly transitioned into multi-pop during her 20s, and has made it a mission to stick it to the music-industry machine in her 30s.
Taking to the Record Store Day’s website to comment on her Global Ambassador crown, Swift said this: “I’m very proud to be this year’s Global Ambassador for Record Store Day. The places where we go to browse and explore and discover music new and old have always been sacred to me. Record stores are so important because they help to perpetuate and foster music-loving as a passion. They create settings for live events.
“They employ people who adore music thoroughly and purely,” she continued. “Those people and shops have had a rough few years and we need to support these small businesses more now than ever to make sure they can stay alive, stay eccentric, and stay individual. It’s been a true joy for me to watch vinyl sales grow in the past few years and we, the artists, have the fans to thank for this pleasant surprise. Happy Record Store Day, everyone! Stay safe out there.”
Before you go suggesting that Swift’s PR team wrote the above, consider that the singer has not only been vocal about her support for indpendent record stores in the past, but has also helped out on a grassroots level. The 32-year-old made headlines in 2020 at the start of the Pandemic by stepping up for the staff of Nashville’s iconic Grimey’s New & Preloved Music store.
Swift donated an undisclosed amount of money to the store's full-time staffers after they were forced home during lockdown measures. Later in the summer she shipped signed copies of her 2020 album Folklore to help generate traffic at a time bricks-and-mortar stores across the globe were hurting.
To the surprise of no one, Grimey’s owners Anna Lundy and Doyle Davis were quick to endorse Record Store Day’s choice for 2022 ambassador.
In a statement, Grimey’s said, “Swift has shown her love and support for independent record stores by not only supporting our shop specifically during the dark, early days of the pandemic, when she directly donated to help us support our staff, but also by steering her eager, excited, and dedicated fans to independent record stores, places that many of them visited for the first time while in search of her signed CDs.”
Past Record Store Day Ambassadors for North America have included Jack White, St. Vincent, and Pearl Jam. Fred Armisen wore the crown in 2021, while Brandi Carlile served as Ambassador in 2020. Record Store Day has never had a global ambassador until now.
Swift’s been busy during the Pandemic, releasing two albums of new material in 2020 (Folklore and Evermore) and winningly re-recording her older records (Red and Fearless) as part of a fight over rights to the masters in her back catalog. All those albums have been released on vinyl, helping old-fashioned records outsell CDs over the past two years.
Swift has promised a special Record Store Day vinyl release for fans which will be announced in the coming weeks.
And, as always, expect special drops from a whole host of artists who rightly understand that physical records smell better than MP3s, not to mention streaming services.
Record Store Day returns for its 15th year on April 23, 2022.