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Here’s why I expect Taylor Swift to sing at Apple’s 9/9 event

Of all the theories put forward so far for why Apple needed to book the 6,000-seat Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for next week’s product launch, a guest appearance by Taylor Swift is the only one that rings true for me.

A new store concept? Boring. Living rooms to show off HomeKit and Apple TV? Logistical nightmare. Demo space for the press? There must be a better way. A showroom for the Apple car? Dream on.

But Taylor Swift? She’d easily fill that venue—the biggest ever for an Apple product launch. And after her “love note” to Apple—the one that got Tim Cook to change the company’s policy about paying independent musicians, she’s practically the poster child for Apple streaming music service.

It’s become an Apple tradition to wrap up each event with a musical guest. Cold Play, U2, Nora Jones, Elvis Costello, to name a few.

The rumor that this might be Taylor Swift’s turn surfaced last week and was quickly shot down by Business Insider’s Matt Weinberger:

“Sorry, Swifties: It looks like pop idol Taylor Swift won’t be celebrating her renewed relationship with Apple by showing up to its September 9th event in San Francisco, because she has a show in Houston, Texas the same day.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 3.08.21 PMSorry Matt, but that’s hardly dispositive. Flights from San Francisco to Houston take 3:45 hours gate to gate—plenty of time to hop from a 10-12 a.m. event in San Francisco to a 7 p.m. show in Houston, even with the 2 hour time difference.

One puzzler is that there is no evidence that invitations were sent to anyone but the usual 750 or so journalists and special guests. Who could get invitations like that and keep their mouths shut?

Apple employees could. Wouldn’t a Taylor Swift performance be the perfect way for Tim Cook to reward his staff for all their hard work?

Neither Apple nor Taylor Swift’s publicist have returned our request for comment.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.