Keeping with my own Summer Kick-Off tradition, I hung back in the meet-and-greets with the artists that performed at the 95.5 PLJ concert and asked them what they were looking forward to this summer.
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A few weeks ago, I wrote that Rachel Platten “has experienced a lot in 2015.” And that was before she performed her hit “Fight Song” in front of 50,000 people with Taylor Swift.
The latest chapter of the fairy tale that has been Platten’s year might trace back a little further in time, but for our sake let’s rewind to about a week and a half ago. Swift, in the midst of her massive “The 1989 World Tour,” was set to perform at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field. Backstage she held court with Platten and a couple of country artists: singer Kelsea Ballerini and the group Little Big Town.
This is public knowledge because of Swift’s Instagram page. The “Shake It Off” singer posted a series of videos to the social network, including one of her and the rest of the crew singing along to “Fight Song.”
A week later the 34 year-old artist found herself in the middle of Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, singing her uplifting anthem with Swift.
And to think, when I spoke with Platten just after her birthday in May, she was simply looking forward to touring with Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri this summer.
“I can’t wait! I’m so excited,” she told me before joking about the tour’s title, “Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too.”
“Thank God (the word ‘Boys’) was added (to the title),” she added while laughing. The trek kicks off July 10 at Mohegan Sun Arena. “So sorry!”
Platten probably still can’t wait to support Caillat and Perri but the singer has to be just as excited about the trajectory of her single on the charts. Prior to the Swift co-sign, “Fight Song” peaked at 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s now at 25.
On the Nielsen BDS Pop Chart, the single moves to 30 this week, up five spots and over 400 spins. That chart reflects the number of times a song is played on Top 40 stations across the country.
It is probably not a coincidence that this all takes place after Platten’s cameos with Swift. Still, it is a testament to the Massachusetts-born singer’s talent along with the fact that “Fight Song” clearly had a lot more fight left in it as well.
Rachel Platten has experienced a lot in 2015 – from performing her uplifting anthem “Fight Song” on “Good Morning America” to enjoying cupcakes emblazed with her face.
“Which I didn’t even know you could do!” exclaimed Platten of the dessert, which friends at her record label served for her birthday last week. “It makes them more delicious.”
Everything has to taste better for the New England-born singer these days. Platten dropped her first album in 2003. Her next release came eight years later. Both were recorded independently from a major label. Then Platten, “Fight Song” in tow, shopped around her and the track from label-to-label. I jokingly mention that she “may have heard ‘no’ a few times;” rightfully so she quickly dismisses this.
“I think I’ve been rejected by probably every single person in the industry,” she responded, with little sense of hyperbole in her tone. “But I just won’t give up. I don’t know. I have this crazy little thing in my head that won’t quit.
“I didn’t care. Of course it hurt, but something in me just wouldn’t let me stop. I felt like I had this message to give the world.”
So did Columbia Records, the label that signed Platten and released her Fight Song EP. In addition to the “GMA” performance, Platten is enjoying her greatest chart success yet. “Fight Song” peaked last week at 11 on the Billboard Adult Pop chart; it’s been on the chart for 11 weeks.
“As I spread this message, I get the privilege of listening to other people’s struggles and what they’re working on overcoming, and what I’ve found to be so true is that we all have something,” she said. “Sometimes we’re shy about saying it publicly; sometimes we don’t want to declare it. But when you do there’s this power that comes from that, and you get this rush of love and support from your friends and family.”
And that rush will probably continue through the summer for Platten, as she tours in support of co-headliners Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri. The “Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too” trek kicks off at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on July 10.