Taylor Swift is the best-selling female recording artist in history, but her musical catalog reaches far beyond the bops that put her on the charts. Her songwriting showcases a talented and complicated singer/songwriter with a gift for describing intimate moments in life, both big and small.
In addition to her songs, Taylor is also a director and a philanthropist. She’s a rare celebrity who is able to reach a wide audience and have a positive impact on people’s lives.
The singer/songwriter began her career by appearing at open mic nights in Nashville when she was just 16. She quickly rose to fame, landing a development deal with RCA Records and eventually making her way into the mainstream music scene.
Over the years, she’s released six studio albums with a combined total of more than 80 million copies sold. She’s also won multiple Grammy Awards, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and has been nominated for an Emmy. Her philanthropic work has included supporting women’s rights and fighting for LGBT equality, donating to numerous causes over the years.
With her sixth album, reputation, Taylor went on an emotional rollercoaster ride. It featured a reimagining of her infamous feud with Kanye West, a political statement on the 2016 election, and a whole lot more. The record was a massive hit with both fans and critics, and its lead single, Look What You Made Me Do, became one of the most successful debuts ever for a pop single.
The album was also a testament to her growing skill as a songwriter. It explored more nuanced relationship issues and found Taylor expanding her facility for characterization in an age of social media cynicism. The Los Angeles Times called it “an unapologetically big pop record that opens new sonic vistas for her.”
Swift’s empathetic lyricism is on full display here in a deeply personal account of being stood up at a birthday party and getting a call from someone saying, “It’s all over for us.” It’s an epic of heartbreak that makes every inconsiderate act that led to this point seem like something out of the Fall of Troy.
A piano ballad for the ages, this is an intimate Swift song about loving someone so deeply that it’s hard to let go even when you know you have to. The lyrics are infused with religious imagery and nods to private tragedies we’ll probably never hear about, making it one of her most achingly poignant songs.