Tánaiste Joan Burton gave concertgoers a surprise last night when she became the latest in a line of celebrities to join American singer/songwriter Taylor Swift onstage in Los Angeles.
Pop princess Swift has made headlines in recent weeks, having invited such well-known personalities as Justin Timberlake and Selena Gomez to duet with her in a series of sold-out shows. The leader of the Labour Party took her place beside Swift to rapturous applause from the twenty thousand-strong audience in the entertainment capital of the US, before launching into a rousing rendition of Swift’s international hit, “Bad Blood”. Burton reportedly opened by dedicating the tune to the Right to Water movement.
A source for an Tánaiste claims the appearance had been “in the works for some time”, with several weeks of hard graft involved in honing the politician’s musical ability and stage presence. Burton has allegedly claimed that stepping into the shoes of Swift’s collaborator Kendrick Lamar for a hip-hop version of the song was “daunting, but worth it”.
A young fan from Bantry, who travelled to the US specifically for the concert, says she will remember the moment “forever”. “You really wouldn’t expect Joan Burton to be much of a rapper, to be fair, but she killed it up there. I’d almost go as far as saying she’s the Dr Dre of her generation.”
Burton’s decision to take part in the performance is considered by many to be a political move as the Republic’s next general election draws ever closer. Public support for Labour has seen a drop in recent years, and inside sources say party leaders are pushing for a drastic image overhaul. Many hope that Burton’s upcoming collaboration with Jeremy Corbyn, recently elected as the leader of the British branch of the Labour Party, will help in boosting support for the party on both sides of the Irish Sea. “An album is definitely in the works, I can tell you that much,” Alfredo Martinez, a music producer with Politicised Records UK, revealed this morning. “And a lot of people are very excited about it.”
Byline can exclusively reveal that the as yet untitled album is set to be released in early December 2015, and will feature such songs as “Straight Outta Corbyn” and “Fuck the Politicisation of the Healthcare System”. An explosion of interest in the project has meant the album will be available to pre-order from Labour’s website from the 25th of September.