For years now, die-hard Swifties have been campaigning for triple j to allow Taylor Swift to enter the Hottest 100 countdown.
It all started in 2015 with Taylor’s 1989 chart-dominating track ‘Shake It Off’, a track that was controversially left off the Hottest 100 voting ballot as it was never played by the youth broadcaster.
The omission of ‘Shake It Off’ sparked the viral #Tay4Hottest100 campaign, which saw an army of Taylor Swift fans take advantage of the Hottest 100 voting feature that allows users to write in a song for submission to the poll. With all their might, they manually wrote in for the track to be included.
It was a campaign that saw the collaborative powers of Swifties, Buzzfeed and KFC join forces. “Let’s teach those music snobs a lesson,” wrote BuzzFeed’s Mark Di Stefano at the time. “Get around #Tay4Hottest100.”
triple j weren’t having a bar of it and swiftly stopped the campaign in its tracks, banning Swift from the race. The station argued that the campaign unfairly rigged the results. Based on the precedent that triple j doesn’t allow artists who have reaped the benefit of commercial campaigns to enter. Thanks for nothing, KFC.
This year, however, it looks as though Taylor Swift is eligible for the race. Over the course of 2020, triple j has played Swift’s Folklore Bon Iver collaboration ‘exile’ multiple times. The proof is in the pudding:
Now if we look at the eligibility check list for triple j’s Hottest 100 for 2020, songs that make the cut need to meet three requirements:
- An eligible song must have had its initial release (online or on-air) between 1 December 2019 and 30 November 2020.
- Covers, live recordings of previously unreleased songs and remixes are eligible.
- If a song has been significantly reworked (edited/remixed/re-recorded) after its initial release, the reworked song is eligible. Live versions of songs by – and previously released by – an act are ineligible.
If we go by this criteria, Taylor Swift is technically eligible for the triple j Hottest 100 for 2020 given how ‘exile’ was released and played on the radio station within the time frame required.
Yet despite this thrashing, the song is nowhere to be seen on the voting list. Another gross miscarriage of justice for our queen of perfectly-crafted pop songs. What will it take for Taylor Swift to earn the respect of the j’s? The album is produced by Hottest 100 stalwart Aaron Dessner of The National after all.
triple j has a lot to answer for and their silence is, quite frankly, deafening.
Check out ‘exile’ by Taylor Swift feat. Bon Iver:
Voting for the Hottest 100 2020 is open now, and this year, the prize is looking a little different. Where Golden Ticket winners would traditionally score a Golden Ticket granting them access to every triple j-supported festival and gig over a year, coronavirus has kind of cucked live music.
So in place of this, the station are introducing the triple j AAA party. triple j will host a party for the winner and 20 of their nearest and dearest. The hullabaloo will see a bunch of presenters and DJ’s head to your hometown to throw the ultimate bash.
You can vote here.