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Taylor Swift

taylor swift
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The global phenomenon herself needs no introduction. Selling over 50 million albums, a huge 78 billion streams and winning a whopping 390 music awards, I think her name does all the talking. Taylor Swift has stormed the world with her musical talent, somehow managing to write a song that resonates with everybody about everything happening in their life. I’m convinced she’s listening to our phone calls? Love or loathe her, you cannot deny the incredible global influence she has had over the last decade and it doesn’t look like she is taking a break any time soon. From a 16 year old girl writing country love songs in her room to selling out arenas and tours within minutes we have watched her grow alongside us, with her music and battles speaking volumes. At only 31, she is one of America’s most successful self-made female artists, with her selling statistics rivalling that of some of the best ever artists such as Elton John, Price and The Beatles.

“Just be yourself, there is no one better.”

Who is Taylor Swift?

Taylor Alison Swift is an American singer-songwriter. Her narrative lyricism, which often takes inspiration from her personal life, has received widespread critical praise and media coverage. Born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2004 to pursue a career in country music. Taylor was born on December 13, 1989 in Pennsylvania. Her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, is a former stockbroker and her mother, Andrea Gardner Swift, is a former homemaker who previously worked as a marketing executive. Her younger brother, Austin Kingsley Swift, is an actor. Swift has Scottish heritage and was named after singer-songwriter James Taylor. When Taylor was around 12, local musician Ronnie Cremer taught her to play guitar, creating that infamous sound we can now recognise as Taylor. She began song writing lessons, vocal coaching and finally released her first album ‘Taylor Swift’ in October 2006. Since the early days we have seen Taylor grow and flourish from a small town country girl to a sell out woman of pop. 

How did she become well known?

So how did Taylor go from the 2006 country girl next door to who she is today? An excellent but simple question. HIT AFTER HIT. In 2008 swift released her second album, Fearless. I’m sure we all remember this album as the one with ‘Love Story’, ‘You Belong with Me’ and ‘Fifteen’, I know I do! Love Story peaked at number four in the charts and her first stadium tour saw just a small gross amount of $63 million. Swift won multiple awards for this album and its stand out singles such as best music video, best country album, artist and album of the year; the list is endless. If you’re a Taylor fan you’ll know the rest of her albums didn’t disappoint. She went on to release Speak Now (2010), Red (2012), 1989 (2014), Reputation (2017) , Lover (2019), Folklore and Evermore (2020). 

Awards and achievements

Well, where do we begin? Swift has stormed ceremonies and continues to win award after award. I dread to think where she puts them all! Although her success dates back to her very first album, 2020 and 2021 has been hugely successful for Swift. Back in May we saw Swift take home the Global Icon award at the BRITs, the first female to ever do so. According to the Official Charts Company, Taylor is the UK’s biggest selling artist of 2021 to date. She is the only artist in history to have four consecutive albums sell over one million copies in their week of release (‘Speak Now’, ‘RED’, ‘1989’ and ‘reputation’), the only artist to have nine albums each sell at least half a million copies in a single week and the first and only female artist in the 21st century to score seven No. 1 studio albums in the UK (brits.co.uk). She is now the first female artist to win album of the year at the Grammys three times, recently taking home the award thanks to Folklore. Swift gave us all the love we needed by releasing three albums in the space of a year (Folklore, Evermore and Fearless (Taylor’s Version)) during the COVID-19 pandemic. I would be lying if I said I didn’t listen to these on repeat during the multiple lockdowns and we hope to see more from Taylor in the coming years. I don’t think she will run out of inspiration anytime soon. 

Taylor’s version

As with any celebrity, Taylor is no exception when it comes to having enemies as well as her own girl clan. If you have been following Tay’s journey at all you won’t be surprised to hear of the ongoing feud with her old record label and music executives Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta. This began in the summer of 2019 when Big Machine Records sold the label and with it, Swift’s old master recordings. This sale gave Braun ownership over all of the records Swift made prior to 2019’s Lover album, and they have refused to let Taylor perform any of her old hits, which were the foundation of her stardom! Swift announced in August 2019 she would record all of her old albums, recently releasing one of our old favourites, Fearless (Taylors Version). It would be an understatement to say I had forgotten what a bop this album was. 

This leads into Taylors ongoing complicated relationship with Kanye West (I just can’t keep up)! If we go back far enough you’ll remember when Kayne cut Taylor off at the MTV Music Awards in 2009, claiming Beyonce had the ‘best video of all time’ despite Taylor winning the award. Rude right? After this incident there were ups and downs between the pair, but when Kanye released the song Famous in 2016, the fire was reignited after a lyric claimed Kanye made Taylor famous. If I was Taylor I think I would be pretty cut up too? Despite this we continually see her rising from the flames like a phoenix, with fellow celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, Blake Lively, Marta Hunt, not to mention the rest, by her side and fighting her corner. She seems to come back stronger than ever and we salute a comeback queen. 

Views and visions

Over her years in the spotlight, Taylor has stayed relatively quiet about… well most things really. Touching on it in her recent documentary, Miss Americana (2019), Taylor explained she was through with keeping her opinions to herself because of what others might think or the backlash she might receive. In her documentary and on her social media we have seen her support what she believes is right, clearly stating her allegiance to the LGBTQ+ community and expressing her political stance on female empowerment and equal rights. Her music video for You Need to Calm Down (2019) took an equality-first stance, criticizing haters and homophobes, ending with a call to followers to support her Senate petition in favor of the Equality Act, tied in with the celebrations of Pride Month. The video showed many famous members of the LGBTQ+ community such as Laverne Cox, Hannah Hart, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the famous 5 from Queer Eye and even RuPaul. Not many pop stars could make an anthem whilst also promoting equality and inclusion and we are here for it. Her documentary on Netflix gave us a much better insight into her everyday life and we got to see how fame affected her mental and physical health, with Taylor touching on her eating disorder. We now see her flourishing in the limelight, looking healthier and happier than ever, using her influence to voice worthy causes and raising awareness of injustices in the beauty industry, whilst also maintaining a balance, privatising her dating and personal life. 

What’s next for TS?

There’s just no telling what Taylor will surprise us with in the next few years. I am expecting to see her continually support and fight for equal rights and the LGBTQ+ community, hear her name at a multitude of award shows and see her face plastered across social media. What I do know is this extraordinary woman is far from finished and I know I am not the only one who is excited for more re-recorded albums, reigniting the memories of my teenage years. Taylor once said “I’m intimidated by the fear of being average”, but I don’t think she needs to worry about that. 

https://www.instagram.com/taylorswift/

https://www.taylorswift.com/

https://www.brits.co.uk/news/taylor-swift-to-receive-global-icon-award

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