The Billboard Music Awards are airing tonight on ABC and the marquee event for the evening is the premiere of the video for Taylor Swift’s song “Bad Blood.” Some of you who are not Taylor Swift fans or fans of pop music in general may be wondering why anyone is getting excited over a music video in 2015 and/or why one of your children is scheming to prevent you from watching your shows tonight in favor of this. The answer is primarily that Taylor Swift is one of the biggest artists in the world right now, but also because this is a music video that has a cast featuring all of Taylor’s most famous friends and acquaintances as dangerous, black-leather clad badasses. There’s models:
And other musicians:
All in all, there are 18 individuals in this music video, for a song that’s less than four minutes long. I assume they’re going for more of a short film that will be longer than the song itself. “Bad Blood” as a song is about a feud that Taylor Swift had with another female pop star who tried to hire people off one of Swift’s tours in order to “sabotage” her. It is widely accepted that it’s Katy Perry, even though Swift herself won’t confirm it.
Also notable here is that Swift’s team has done an excellent job in keeping the song off the internet leading up to this premiere. It’s nearly impossible to find the actual, track version of “Bad Blood” if you didn’t buy 1989.
Premiering a video like this at the Billboard Music Awards is also a good move for Taylor because she is not the strongest live singer. She’s a great performer, and always throws herself into her performances 100%, but she’s not a belter and on big stages it can show. Premiering a big, expensive, video like this is less likely to be analyzed and picked apart (or vocal-track isolated) Monday morning. The director, Joseph Kahn, has experience making big, expensive, pop spectacles so the video will probably be pretty good.
And if YOU (or a young person you know) want to feel like you’re part of Swift’s coterie of ass kickers, Buzzfeed has a Bad Blood poster generator that will work with any photo you upload. My character name is “The Skeptic”:
Obviously if you have no time for this nonsense but still want to look pop culture savvy, the video will be available online tomorrow.