17 artists we want to see join Taylor Swift's tour
Janet Jackson, Tavi Gevinson, and Kathleen Hanna are on our wish list.
By now, the special guests on Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour are as big of a conversation topic as Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour — and for good reason: So far, the “Shake It Off” singer has hosted big stars ranging from folk legend Joan Baez to rap newcomer Fetty Wap.
The Queen of Pop — who performed “Ghosttown” alongside Swift at March’s iHeartRadio Music Awards — was almost a guest on the New Jersey stop of the 1989 tour, but wasn’t able to go because she was “rehearsing and [she] had to shoot a video the next day,” she told Andy Cohen in a recent EW cover story. There’s still a chance they could reunite onstage though: When Cohen asked Madonna about what they had planned for that Jersey show, she wouldn’t budge. “I’m not gonna tell you,” she said, “because we might still do it.”
Jackson’s about to make her comeback with a new album and an already-scheduled world tour, so now’s the time for her to remind the Swift’s younger fans who she is (not like they could actually ever forget). Her own tour kicks off Aug. 31, but that leaves plenty of time to jump on Swift’s stage for a quick — and probably magical — stop.
This Rock and Roll Hall of Famer can make any — really, any — collaboration work, so partnering with Swift would be easy. And Ronstadt is a fitting mentor for Swift as she continues her evolution from country crooner to shameless pop star: Ronstadt has bounced between genres throughout her career and even has Grammy Awards in the country, pop, and Mexican-American categories to her name.
Most of Swift’s guests are singers, but Simpson could add something new to the show: her sweet, sweet saxophone-playing skills.
Swift’s far removed from country at this point in her career, but that doesn’t mean she can’t go back. Underwood has mainstream appeal, even for those Swift fans who are more into Top 40 than twang, and would give Swift a chance to return to her roots.
Parton recently told People that she thinks “that little Taylor Swift has done just amazing” — and it’d be pretty amazing for the two to get together onstage. “She knew exactly who she was, she had her dream, and she stuck with hit,” Parton said. “That’s what you gotta do. I’m so proud of her.”
“Welcome to New York” never sounded as sad as when Adams covered it for an upcoming album of 1989 covers performed in the style of The Smiths — and since he’s only debuted snippets of his versions on his Instagram, Swift’s tour would be the ideal place to premiere one of his covers in all its full-length, rock-inspired, kinda-gloomy glory.
Punk rock and Taylor Swift don’t necessarily go together at first glance, but Hanna could make it work. Bonus? She’s already a vocal supporter. “I think she has super-clever lyrics, and I love that she writes her own music,” Hanna told The Daily Beast in 2013. “Some of the themes she writes about are stuff I wish was there for me when I was in high school, and I’m so happy she really cares about her female fans.”
It only makes sense for two pop stars particularly skilled at selling out stadiums to combine their talents — especially because it turns out Spears is a big fan. “I think she’s adorable,” she told E! News at this year’s Teen Choice Awards. “I love her music. Her music makes me so happy. She’s very level-headed. She’s a very, very smart girl, very wise.”
Gevinson wrote Elle’s June cover story on Swift, and started by right away declaring her loyal allegiance to everything Swift: “Since the age of 14, I have littered — excuse me, adorned — the Internet with Taylor Swift analyses,” the Rookie founder wrote before complimenting the musician for her agency and mentioning going over to her house to cook chili — in other words, hanging out in front of thousands of fans on a stage seems like the natural next step in their friendship.
Although Swift is becoming known for giving newer musicians stage time, it’d be a welcome change if she hosted some stars who’ve been around for a bit longer. Raitt, who — like Swift — is known for her guitar-playing, award-winning songwriting, and radio-ready singles, is someone whose songs are instantly recognizable — and someone who’s likely been a huge inspiration for Swift.
The guests themselves are surprises on Swift’s tour, but what they do once they arrive onstage is predictable: They sing one of their most popular songs and Swift occasionally contributes vocals. But Love is not predictable — and would likely turn her cameo into one of the tour’s more memorable (if insane) ones.
Alt-rock godmother and former frontwoman of Sonic Youth Kim Gordon would be an excellent choice for Swift to up her cool cred. In recent years, Gordon’s acted as a wrestling coach for Peaches, published a best-selling memoir, and opened up about her publicized split from Sonic Youth co-founder Thurston Moore. Yep, Swift could learn a lot from Gordon.
In our wildest dreams.