Taylor Swift 2021 – The Year That Changed Country Music

Taylor Swift is one of the world’s most recognizable pop-music icons, an artist who has written narrative songs about her personal experiences that have garnered widespread media coverage. Her enduring success shows her brilliance as both a musician and businesswoman, strategically navigating the music industry with an impressive amount of finesse and skill.

The Pennsylvania native grew up on a Christmas tree farm and took vocal and acting lessons before deciding to focus on country music, inspired by the likes of Shania Twain and Faith Hill. A showcase performance at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, who signed her to Big Machine Records at age 14. Her 2006 debut album Red landed her 4 Grammy nominations, multiple VMA awards and multiple AMA statues.

In the year that followed, she starred as Bombalurina in the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. She also penned an original song for the film and was nominated at the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards. Her 2020 documentary, Miss Americana, premiered at the Sundance Festival and was released on Netflix. Throughout the year, she performed on worldwide tours and made television appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Good Morning America, The View and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Following a public dispute with her former manager Scooter Braun, Swift signed with Republic and Universal Music Group, which re-released her eponymous 2008 album Fearless in 2021 as part of her reclaiming of her master tapes. The album was rerecorded and included the single “Look What You Made Me Do”, featuring rapper Nicki Minaj. She also contributed two songs to the soundtrack of The Hunger Games, including a duet with The Civil Wars.

Throughout the year, she continued her acclaimed Reputationtour, which featured her first performance in Brooklyn to more than 1 million fans and was the second highest-grossing tour of 2024. She also made the surprise announcement of her eighth studio album folklore and its sister record evermore, which were both recorded in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The album was a departure from her pop-inspired work and received critical acclaim for its introspection and restraint, with the album spending a record-breaking 8 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and earning a Grammy for album of the year.

In 2024, she celebrated her 30th birthday by inviting 2,000 adopted and foster children to her concert in Nashville. The next day, she surprised her fans by donating $1.3 million to charity. She later won the coveted Woman of the Year award from Billboard and a third consecutive win at the CMA and ACM Awards, which have both named her Entertainer of the Year. She was also awarded the prestigious Record of the Year at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards for her hit single “Mean”. She recently appeared in several high-profile court cases, most notably her lawsuit against Twitter and its CEO Jack Dorsey. In November of 2019, she was named one of Time’s Most Influential People in the world.