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The evolution of Taylor Swift

2017-12-14 15:52

Cape Town - Whether you call her a snake or a pop megastar, Taylor Swift is undoubtedly a phenomenon. From breaking records with her new album Reputation to being on the cover of Time magazine as part of the group of female “silence breakers” in the #MeToo campaign, 2017 has been a big year for the starlet.

In honour of Taytay’s 28th birthday on 13 December we take a look at 12 of her career milestones spanning from 2006 to present day.

2006: Country darling

Taylor released her debut album and was considered a Country artist. The world fell in love with the fresh-faced newcomer when she released iconic hits such as Teardrops on My Guitar.

2008: Fearless diva

Taylor’s Fearless album started crossing over to the pop genre even though it’s still considered a Country album. Her confidence shone through with singles like Love Story and You Belong with Me. Love Story topped the Billboard Top 100 chart for two consecutive weeks and she was voted CosmoGirl of the Year.

2010: Speak Now released

After Fearless raked in the awards, Taylor released the album Speak Now, which made it to the top of the Billboard Chart for 11 non-consecutive weeks. It was in-between these two albums that Kanye grabbed the mic from Taylor and declared that Beyoncé should have won music video of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009. Taylor went on to win a Grammy for Album of the Year for Fearless.

13 August 2012: We Are Never Getting Back Together is released

Taylor’s good girl image was slowly starting to fade and her fuzzy ringlets were replaced with a sleek haircut. The single We Are Never Getting Back Together signalled her final departure from Country music. It was the first time in Taylor’s history that her single reached No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

22 October 2012: Red released

The tracks All Too Well and 22 are the most memorable tracks from Taylor’s commercially successful album Red. The album sold 1,21 million copies in its first week and climbed to No 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart. In typical Taylor fashion, she used her album to take subtle jabs at former flames, in this case One Directioner Harry Styles.

2014: Shake It Off hits the world

Taylor released a single from her fifth album, Shake It Off. It became Taylor’s second No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The track pokes fun at the media’s inaccurate reporting on her personal life and showed that she was determined not to let anyone get her down.

4 November 2014: 1989 released

Electro-inspired tracks such as Style and Blank Space were proof that Taylor was taking her move to pop music seriously.

9 August 2017: Taylor calls out sexual assault

Taylor accused radio DJ David Mueller of groping her at a meet-and-greet at a concert in 2013. When Taylor laid a complaint against him, Mueller’s employment was terminated. Mueller then went on to sue Taylor for $3 million in damages for what he says was a “false claim”. Taylor counter-sued – and won – for a symbolic $1, saying that she wanted it to serve as inspiration for victims of sexual assault.

25 August 2017: Look What You Made Me Do raises eyebrows

The single is what some people would call a “powerful clap back” to all the people who sent hate her way. It’s suspected that the song is aimed at Kim Kardashian and Kanye West after the two exposed Taylor for agreeing to derogatory lyrics about herself in one of Kanye’s songs. A recording of Taylor and Kanye’s telephone conversation in which she agreed to the lyric was particularly scandalous as she had previously feigned shock and anger upon hearing the offending song, Famous.

2 September 2017: Ready For It is out

The second single off her latest album, Reputation, is all about her signature electro-pop sound. Once again the lyrics are filled with implicit references to ex-boyfriends.

10 November 2017: The album Reputation is released

The long-awaited album sold 1,04 million copies in four days. Taylor’s sixth album surpassed even Ed Sheeran’s opening sales of 919 000 for the album Divide. This makes it her fourth album to sell a million copies in a week. The album’s success came as a bit of a shock after it was slated by critics – it spent three weeks on the Billboard Top 200 chart.

3 days until #reputation

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6 December 2017: Taylor features on Time magazine’s Person of the Year cover

Time magazine chose to honour the thousands of women who in 2017 spoke up about sexual harassment. The cover featured five “Silence breakers” who have come forward in the recent past, including actress Ashley Judd for calling out big-shot producer Harvey Weinstein. Taylor Swift also featured on the cover for successfully suing DJ Robert Mueller earlier this year for groping her buttocks. 


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