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Will Taylor Swift Follow in Bruce Springsteen's Footsteps?

While it's possible, it's hardly necessary.

As Swift's catalog expands and she vows to "never change in the same way twice," the 23-year old must be asking herself the same question. That leads to a dichotomy. But not necessarily one that's all that difficult to make sense of.

Swift can try to top The Red Tour.

But where's the value in that?

She already has more money than she'll ever need. At this point, it's probably more important -- personally and from a larger pop cultural perspective -- to take her incredible musical talents to the next level. Flesh them out. Test them. Push them to the limit.

That's where the other fork in the dichotomy comes in. Does Taylor Swift change course and follow in Bruce Springsteen's footsteps?

Similar to how Springsteen has done it on recent tours (though The Boss has thrown anything resembling a playbook out the window over the last couple of years), I could see Swift scripting the first four or five songs on the tour that supports her next record. And then ripping through another 20 or so hits -- new and "old" -- with little, if any, interruption save a stop down for a slow number or two and several chances to talk to the crowd.

Swift's talents, her desire to challenge herself musically, her growing list of songs and, maybe most importantly, a crowd she connects with as much as Bruce does with his makes this strategic shift almost obvious.

This isn't Dylan going electric in 1965; it's the natural evolution of a superstar singer-songwriter, musician and performer who can, if she makes the tough choices, stand the test of time. We could be watching Taylor Swift rock Rio the way Springsteen did last month 40 years from now.

There's no doubt in my mind. She's just that good.

But how does the massive Swift touring apparatus continue to monetize her superstardom if they take things down a notch?

They step further into the 21st Century, embracing the digital age and new revenue-generating techniques in ways we have never seen before.
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