A well-known mural on Legends Corner bar in Nashville, Tennessee, underwent a makeover last weekend – and it’s not one everyone is on board with. The mural on the side of the bar, which is located near Music City’s Ryman Auditorium, features country music greats Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash. Oh, and until a few days ago Taylor Swift was sitting between Nelson and Cash. But she’s now been replaced with Brad Paisley.
The original mural was shared on the Legends Corner Twitter page in December, with the caption, “No better way to spend a music city weekend.”
No better way to spend a music city weekend 🤠 pic.twitter.com/blGe0O70Bb
— Legends Corner (@LegendsCorner) December 19, 2020
Tim Davis, the artist behind the mural, explained to USA Today in an emailed statement on Sunday that local bargoers had 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,” Davis said. “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 artist clarified that the decision to replace Swift with Paisley was not his, but was made by the owners of Legends Corner bar. Davis has also set up a GoFundMe to raise $35,000 to fund a mural in downtown Nashville, dedicated to Swift.
“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,” Davis wrote on the fundraiser page.
Davis also revealed to USA Today that three more prolific country performers would be added to the mural throughout January, including an unidentified female artist he’s already “sketched out between Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks.”
Unsurprisingly, the mural makeover became a hot topic on social media. Swift’s fans insisted that the move was unfair, pointing out that the artist 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).
“Yes, there was space for both,” wrote Twitter user @americadynastyv. “But no, they literally removed THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, THE ARTIST OF THE DECADE.”
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 lvs fer & cath (@americadynastyv) December 25, 2020
Twitter user @ahmedsmith13 wrote, “Taylor Swift, an artist who has the most awarded country album in history and ‘has achieved both national and international prominence through at levels unique in country music,’ is having her spot on the legends corner mural given to Brad Paisley and for what???”
Taylor Swift, an artist who has the most awarded country album in history and “has achieved both national and international prominence through at levels unique in country music,” is having her spot on the legends corner mural given to Brad Paisley and for what??? pic.twitter.com/r5iisHF06H
— ahmed ™ (@ahmedswift13) December 25, 2020
One fan, Twitter user @futureofrep, decided some Photoshop action was called for…
i fixed the mural ❤
YOUNG TAYLOR RAN COUNTRY pic.twitter.com/ZiXxmUZmcA
— regina ✩彡 (@futureofrep) December 25, 2020
However, not everyone agreed that Swift even comes under the category of country artist. “She sure as hell isn’t one of the ‘country greats,'” wrote Twitter user @masonhardin46, adding, “hell Carrie Underwood is way better.”
She isn’t even a country artist lmao. She sure as hell isn’t one of the “country greats” 😂😂 hell Carrie Underwood is way better.
— Mason Hardin (@masonhardin46) December 27, 2020
So far, neither Swift nor Paisley have commented on the mural. But they actually go way back – in fact, Swift appeared in the video for Paisley’s song “Online” in 2007.