A mural on Legends Corner bar in Nashville, Tenn., commemorating some of the greatest country artists received a major facelift over the weekend: Taylor Swift got booted and Brad Paisley got her old spot.
The mural on the side of the honky tonk bar near Music City’s historic Ryman Auditorium includes Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Now, Paisley is perched on a barstool between Nelson and Cash where Swift once sat.
Although the prominent pop star has shifted away from her signature country sound, Swift remains a highly decorated female powerhouse in the genre. Numerous fans pointed out that the 31-year-old singer-songwriter became the first woman to win the prestigious Pinnacle Award at the 2013 CMA Awards. She also won entertainer of the year in 2009 and 2011. But now only three female country singers — McEntire, Lynn and Parton — will remain represented in the legendary painting out of the 14 total artists.
Tim Davis, the artist behind the mural, told USA Today in an emailed statement on Sunday that local bargoers have specifically complained and even spat on Swift’s picture because they felt “betrayed” by her pop superstardom. “I have heard many complaints here in Nashville about Taylor being on the wall with country legends since she is currently focused mainly on pop. Some inebriated bar hoppers have spit on her image specifically, feeling betrayed by her venture from country. I guess this is to be expected, but by in large, the people of Nashville love her, as do I.”
The decision was ultimately made by the owners of Legends Corner bar and not Davis himself, he clarified. Davis also organized a GoFundMe to raise $35,000 to paint a mural solely dedicated to Swift in downtown Nashville to honor her legendary country-pop crossover. “As a music powerhouse in her own right, and having introduced many to the country music genre, she should be featured on a prominent mural in Music City that showcases both her country roots, and her earned status as the queen of pop,” the fundraiser page description read.
Davis also revealed to USA Today that three more prolific country performers would be added to the mural throughout January, including a female artist he’s already “sketched out between Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks,” according to his statement. He has yet to reveal her identity.
See the Swifties’ reactions to the news of the Evermore singer’s removal from the mural below.
I’m at a loss for Taylor’s removal from the mural in Nashville. She expanded the boundaries of country music and brought so many fans to the genre that wouldn’t have listened otherwise. Country music would not be as popular as it is today were it not for Taylor Swift.
— “Hi Adammm!!!” LOVER SECRET SESSIONS – NASHVILLE (@TheAdamReeves) December 25, 2020
i fixed the mural ❤
YOUNG TAYLOR RAN COUNTRY pic.twitter.com/ZiXxmUZmcA
— regina 🧣 (@futureofrep) December 25, 2020
Yes, there was space for both. But no, they literally removed THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, THE ARTIST OF THE DECADE. I just feel bad for them, bye.
YOUNG TAYLOR RAN COUNTRY pic.twitter.com/lbPsAYRqh3
— vale (taylor's version) (@dejavuswft) December 25, 2020
Taylor Swift promotes a new face of country music which actually makes country more popular worldwide and amongst different ages and social backgrounds, and how do they repay her?
By painting a man over her in Nashville’s Country Artists mural. Why am I not surprised.
— “Josefina, right?” (@BeFearlessBeYou) December 25, 2020
Taylor Swift reinvented and popularized the country genre globally. At a young age she achieved a lot of records that marked the history of this genre, she deserves to stay in The Iconic Legends Corner Mural in Nashville.
YOUNG TAYLOR RAN COUNTRY pic.twitter.com/gJqzAj99vC
— JD 🤺 (@juan_repspace) December 25, 2020