Taylor Swift, Kanye West

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Hey, we've got an opening monologue for Taylor Swift.

"Hi, I'm Taylor Swift, as you know," the teen titan could start off with on tomorrow's Saturday Night Live. "And I'd like to thank Kanye West for helping you know that."

OK, so the lines aren't funny. But they are true.

The SNL gig—as host and musical guest? The honor of being the first female country performer to pull that desirable double duty since Dolly Parton more than 20 years ago? The album that's been out forever and is back climbing the charts?

Yup, somebody owes Mr. West a muffin basket.

Think we're going off half-cocked (like a certain rapper, perhaps?) by suggesting that the Video Music Awards incident, featuring the boorish West and the sideswiped Swift, was the best thing that ever happened to the latter's career?

We don't.

"Her brand is definitely seeing significant growth," Marvet Britto, president and CEO of the Britto Agency, a public-relations and brand-strategy firm, told us.

The "her" is definitely Swift. And, according to Britto, the West moment was definitely a defining moment.

"I think that there were people who were vaguely familiar with Taylor Swift [before the VMAs]," Britto said, "and they immediately became interested in who she was."

Now, Swift can give credit to herself, too, because if she'd been an ass to West's ass-plus-you-know-what, then all career-boosting bets would have been off. But Swift didn't match West, jerk move for jerk move. 

"She handled the debacle so eloquently," Britto said.

Or as Personal Public Relations' Bonnie Russell puts it: "By the time she got the microphone back [from West], millions wanted to protect her."


Now, understood: Swift was a star before West; Swift was selling albums (a lot of them) before West; Swift was a teen idol before West.


She wasn't on Oprah before West.  She wasn't hosting SNL before West. And, no, she wasn't going to hockey games with New Moon's Taylor Lautner before West.

To be clear, we're not suggesting Swift fork over a commission to anybody but her agents. We're not arguing West be excused for leaving his assigned seat. We're not even suggesting Swift thank West for hijacking her moment.

We're just saying Swift shouldn't ever forget the people who made her the superhot performer who dates superhot hotties that she is today.

Even if one of those persons deserving of credit is a superhot hothead.

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