“Superstar” by Taylor Swift
The life of a female pop star like Taylor Swift is such that anytime she drops a song based on romance, whether good or bad, fans are going to speculate that it is about this or that person in particular.
In Taylor’s case, the basis of such theories is further exacerbated by the fact that she dated quite a few celebrities, though perhaps more so because she has a tendency to write songs based on actual people who have made a mark on her life.
So there has been speculation, first and foremost, that the titular “superstar” upon whom this song is based is actually a country singer by the name of Jake Owen who, at one point in time, a young Taylor Swift was totally enamored with. But if this song was written about an actual musician, which it likely was, at the end of the day that is really beside the point.
In fact we may have made a mistake earlier, as arguably the subject of the song isn’t the superstar as much as it is the narrator herself. For the song’s thesis sentiment is simply that she is enamored with this individual. And this is pretty much the same way any teenage girl would be towards a superstar male vocalist that she really digs.
Or put into even more plain language, the vocalist is a fangirl of the addressee, the superstar. Judging by the bridge, this is someone whose artistry she admired even before he blew up. And now he is playing in front of big crowds, with lots of “girls in the front row”. And ultimately she knows she is just one amongst many.
Or as the singer puts it in the chorus she is “no one special, just another wide-eyed girl” as far as he is concerned. Yet that humble realization does not change the fact that she is “desperately in love” with him. Indeed she even goes to sleep at night “dreaming about” him. And she is willing to put it all on the line for the opportunity to see him live or even better score an autographed pic.
And concerning this perhaps being Jake Owen, such is definitely a possibility. The beginning of the second verse in particular reads as if Taylor may be singing about someone she shared a stage with, as she once “opened… for Jake Owen”. But even if such was the case, she obviously did not use the reality of their parity to try to kick it to him. Instead it’s like she’s content just to be a fan.
Or put alternatively, yes, there is obviously a romantic undertone to this song. After all, as noted above the vocalist has admitted to loving the addressee. But it isn’t of that amorous type. It’s more akin to a girl going to sleep every night with her favorite artist’s picture on the wall, listening to his music and fantasizing about the two of them being together. Or rather let’s say that sometimes a crush alone is edifying enough.
Did Taylor Swift write “Superstar”?
Yes, she did. But she didn’t do it alone. The composition of this song marks another collaboration between Taylor, Liz Rose and Nathan Chapman. Swift wrote the tune with the former artist and produced it with the latter.
Release of “Superstar” and “Fearless”
The first issuance of this track transpired on 26 October 2009. It was part of the Platinum Edition of Fearless, i.e. an extension of Taylor Swift’s highly-successful second album.
At that time, the label behind the song was Big Machine Records. They still are, as far as the original version of “Superstar” is concerned. But there’s also a Taylor’s Version of the track that came out in 2021.
It is a rerecording of the originally, which Swift was compelled to do after getting into a major beef with Big Machine. Or more specifically they sold the masters of the original recordings of her first six albums (i.e. the ones she released under them) to an outside company, Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. And Taylor totally did not agree with that transaction.
As of the writing of this post, we still have yet to see how the entire rerecording and rerelease of Fearless, this time under Republic Records, will fare chart-wise. But the original was a massive success, in fact outselling any other full-length in United States during 2009.
The success of that particular project established Taylor Swift as a superstar herself. And one of the reasons she can pull off a gutsy move like re-recording her best-selling album is because over the years she has never really let up. For instance, her last six studio albums leading up to the release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (2021) topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart.
In fact she released two full-lengths in 2020 alone, respectively Folklore and Evermore, which both accomplished that difficult feat. However, it should be noted that Evermore by far appears to be her least-selling album to date. FYI: we’re making this observation just four months after its release!
Either way Swift is further securing her financial feature with the re-recording of Fearless, even if now there will be two official versions, as the 2021 masters she will actually own.