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Taylor Swift vs. Rihanna: Who's more real?



We're one day away from a back-to-back pop explosion at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Two of the biggest stars in pop music, Rihanna and Taylor Swift, take the stage on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.

This leads us to wonder: Who's more popular? Who's more beloved? Who, it must be asked, is more real?

We tend to embrace one in spite of her messy lifestyle — a bad-news relationship with Chris Brown, drug use, exhibitionism — because Rihanna resembles us and our foibles. But we are becoming increasingly pricklier with the other — even though Swift's a Pollyanna compared to Rihanna — because she is becoming less and less real.

Sean Daly has a thoughtful breakdown of Taylor Swift vs. Rihanna from a variety of experts, critics and cultural observers. Click here to read it.

As for the shows themselves: Rihanna performs with A$ap Rocky at 7:30 p.m. Friday; tickets are $36.75-$122.75. Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran perform at 7 p.m. Saturday; tickets are sold out.

[Last modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 1:46pm]


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