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NEAR TRUTHS: VARIANTS

TAKING BOWS: Chatter abounds about the news that Taylor Swift is doing a new D2C push expressly intended, it seems, to continue her run at #1 and prevent Billie Eilish from debuting at the top of the chart with her first album since 2021. Tay has held the top spot on the chart for four weeks now and is thought to be determined to hold onto it in the face of superstar Eilish’s big bow. Taylor’s THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT is about to mark 3.5m in U.S. activity. The Swifties appear to be insatiable when it comes to anything in the Taylor store.

Eilish has plenty of parti-hued LP offerings in her own online shop, though, in the words of one member of her camp, she doesn’t “give two shits” about her first-frame chart standing. Eilish refused to drop a single ahead of the album release, emphasizing her focus on getting fans to listen to the entire work. The industry as a whole would very much like to see her bow in the top spot as recognition of her artistry.

What Eilish has achieved by age 22 is extraordinary, including a brace of Grammys and two Oscars, not to mention a fan base that will follow her anywhere. Team Billie remains strongly supportive of her vision and the integrity of her 10-song album. Even those agents, managers and label folk not associated with the artist, meanwhile, are said to be rolling their eyes at the D2C maneuver designed to deprive Billie of the top spot.

STRONGER ESPRESSO: Island’s Sabrina Carpenter looks set to become a very substantial act in the near future. Her single “Espresso” remains one of the biggest songs in the world—it’s #3 at Spotify global and Top 5 U.S.—and it’s expected she’ll be announcing an arena tour in the very near future. Her success is further evidence of the Taylor Swift halo effect, as Carpenter’s record blew up after she joined La Swift on the massive Eras Tour. It’s interesting that Carpenter is a Red Light Management client; Coran Capshaw’s behemoth reps many of the top-grossing acts in the biz, yet it’s hard to recall the last time the firm—known for its formidable strength in rock, country, jam bands and EDM—has launched a major pop star. But manager Janelle Lopez Genzink (whose Volara Management is partnered with RLM) and team are thought to be more than capable; so far, they’ve built an admirable foundation for a pop career.

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