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The 1975’s ‘The City’ Skyrockets in Streams Following Taylor Swift Live Cover

Swift took the stage at the band's concert at The U.K.'s O2 venue last week to perform their 2013 single.

If The 1975 wanted to find love for one of their earliest hits, then they know what the secret weapon is: a co-sign from the biggest pop star in the world, via a live rendition at their own concert.


Taylor Swift, who has long shared a mutual appreciation with the U.K. alt-pop quartet (and who may have even worked with them on still-unreleased Midnights sessions), made a surprise appearance at the first of their two headlining gigs at London’s O2 Arena last Thursday (Jan. 12). She played an acoustic version of her Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper “Anti-Hero” — technically the song’s live premiere — and then treated 1975 fans to a solo cover of “The City,” the group’s first-ever single and a highlight of their self-titled 2013 debut album.

Unsurprisingly, the performance — which enraptured social media and made headlines around the world — led to a considerable bump in consumption for The 1975’s original “City.” The song’s daily official on-demand U.S. streams nearly quadrupled from last Wednesday (Jan. 11, the day before the concert) to the following Friday — from 13,000 to 49,000, a gain of 276%, according to Luminate. The daily streams fell back from there, but still remained in the 20,000s, well above where it was before it got the Swift bump.

As for “Anti-Hero,” the other song Swift played — well, it probably doesn’t need any additional exposure to help its streams at this point. But it does hold on for an eighth week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 this week, making it her longest-running No. 1 to date.