Taylor Swift is a Force to Be reckoned With in the Business of Music

taylor swift

From a farm in Pennsylvania to the world’s largest arenas, Taylor Swift has made a career out of making music. But her story is more than that of a talented artist; it’s also one of savvy business. The pop star has proven that it is possible to be a master of multiple genres, while staying true to your fan base. “Oftentimes fans will rebel if artists stray from their original genre,” says music journalist Nick Nobile, but Swift has done just that without sacrificing her fan base. “She’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the business of music.”

She won her first musical competition at age 10 and became a regular performer at the Berks Youth Theatre Academy. After a successful performance at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, she signed with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records at age 14. By her sophomore album, Fearless (2008), Swift had garnered dozens of accolades and a worldwide following.

The release of her third album, Speak Now (2010), found Taylor tackling her personal life in a candid and intimate way. The record was peppered with references to her relationships with artists like John Mayer, Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers and Twilight actor Taylor Lautner. It was the first time that Swift had ever written songs about her personal life on an album.

With her fourth album, Red (2012), Swift further expanded her sonic palette by working with a diverse group of producers. She collaborated with a number of established names, including Max Martin, Liz Rose, Dan Wilson and Ed Sheeran, and some newcomers, such as Jack Antonoff and Bon Iver’s Justin Meldal-Johnson. The result was an eclectic, emotionally charged set of tracks.

When Swift reimagined her own catalog in 2019, she made headlines with her unprecedented move to sell off her original label and masters. She then began an ambitious project to rerecord all of her albums in a new style. She released her first entry into this reimagined canon, the ode to youthful romance Lover in 2019, followed by a more restrained, ruminative effort called folklore and its sister record, evermore, in 2020.

In 2022, she returned to the soft, bed-like sound of her early work with Midnights, which she described as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.” Swift then turned up the romance with the 2023 release, Reputation, and the following year launched an awe-inspiring multi-year Eras Tour. This was her most successful run yet, with her shows selling out stadiums across the globe.