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Shake It Off: The Happiest Grammys

Happy Taylor“Just think: while you’ve been getting down and out about the liars and dirty, dirty cheats in the world, you could have been getting down to this sick beat.” Thus speaks Taylor Swift on the breakdown of Shake It Off, the perky first single from her 2014 album, 1989. When the song was released last August, the American public, fed up with bad news, decided they agreed. Shake It Off went in at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Swift’s sanguine, non-confrontational message—“Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”—became a slogan for a year of pop music where conflict was taboo.

Self-esteem is a pronounced theme in the nominations for this year’s Grammy Awards. Along with Shake It Off, Meghan Trainor’s positive-body-image anthem, All About that Bass, is up for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, while Iggy Azalea joins them in the former category with Fancy, on which she raps, “Can’t worry ’bout no haters,” while her featured guest, Charli XCX, belts out, “Feels so good getting what I want!” Meanwhile, Pharrell Williams’s spring-of-2014 smash Happy (technically released too early for this year’s Grammys but sneaking into the Pop Solo Performance category with a newer live recording) declares: “Here come bad news talking this and that . . . Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine.” And in Let It Go,from the ubiquitous Frozen, up for Best Song Written for Visual Media, Idina Menzel (as Snow Queen Elsa) announces, “I don’t care / What they’re going to say / Let the storm rage on . . . no rules for me I’m free!”

Story continues at Maclean’s

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