How Taylor Swift Dominated Music in the 2010’s

Sydney Range, Reviewer

    With her lyrics, work ethic, and ever-changing sound, Taylor Swift is without a doubt one of the most recognizable names in the music industry. She has gone through so much just to get to where she is today, and she’s on top. How exactly did she do this? Let’s find out…

    Swift started music in 2006 with the release of her debut album, Taylor Swift. The album sold 40,000 copies in its first week, an outstanding achievement for a newcomer. With her second album, Fearless, Taylor gained even more recognition. She was nominated for Best New Artist at that year’s Grammy Awards. Fearless went on to be nominated for even more Grammys, winning Album of the Year. The whole world wanted to see if she could continue this kind of success at such a young age.

    Speak Now, Swift’s third album was released in 2010. It was more of what we expected from her- break up ballads and breathtaking lyrics. Taylor Swift was not nominated for a Grammy however. This may seem like the end of her reign, but I assure you it’s not.

    Red has been quite the conversation starter as of recently. Swift has been rerecording her old albums, most recently this gem. What made Red so revolutionary? Well, it saw her transition into pop music. Before this, Swift was a country singer. It was what she was known as- a 22 year old country singer from Pennsylvania who writes break up songs about her famous exes. Red was more of this, but far different because she’d never had this sound before. A lot of the album is country, with the staples “Stay Stay Stay” and “Red”, but also has pop songs with country twang singing, such as “22” and “I Knew You Were Trouble”. This was a great career move since Red was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys.

    Taylor seemed to be back on track. Especially after 1989, her all pop album. With the sweet little country girl gone, her success skyrocketed. 1989 won a Grammy for Album of the Year, something she hadn’t done since 2008. 1989 was where Taylor found her new home. At least for a little while…

    Reputation is Swift’s dark horse. She went into bad girl pop because of everything the media was saying about her. Scandals were flying at her like paper airplanes in an elementary school classroom. Everyone was calling her a snake, so she took on that role. The payoff wasn’t exactly what she hoped. Swift wasn’t nominated for a Grammy once again. It seemed like it could’ve been another Speak Now, although we all know from her past that she fixed that problem with reinvention….

    That’s exactly what Taylor did. Lover is in no way a dark record. The first single, “Me!”, was simply sugar, spice, and everything nice. The whole record was about love and the people she loved. Yet once again it didn’t pay off. Lover was also not nominated for a Grammy. It was successful still but just not in the way she hoped.

    With 2020 being the year it was, many musicians were left with nothing to do. You know who used that to their advantage? TAYLOR ALISON SWIFT! Folklore was an album full of beautifully written and gorgeous (pun intended) sounding songs. Taylor, I believe, truly found her calling. She went back to country sounding, but not country, songs. Just like Red, Taylor found a light at the end of the tunnel. She used free time to make some of her best written songs, and it paid off! Swift won Album of the Year the third time in her career, a feat only done by men until that point. Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and Taylor Swift have all achieved this. 

    Did Taylor stop after this? No. She released evermore as well in 2020. This record is quite similar to its predecessor. These are considered to be sister albums, and not one is more beautiful than the other. evermore is also everything fans could have hoped for. 

    What is Swift doing after this success? She’s rerecorded Fearless and Red as of present day, and she isn’t stopping any time soon. I think it’s safe to say that Taylor is here to “Stay Stay Stay” for years to come.