Taylor Swift – Pop-Culture Icon

taylor swift

With eight #1 albums, a string of sold out world tours and more than one billion social media likes, taylor swift is a pop-culture icon with an intensely loyal following. Known for her ability to craft songs that resonate with listeners, Swift is also unafraid to tackle difficult subject matter in her music. Her most recent album, folklore, was a collaboration with several artists she had never worked with before.

The daughter of a stockbroker and homemaker, Swift began taking vocal lessons as a child and eventually won a local talent competition singing LeAnn Rimes’ “Big Deal”. She went on to win a few more contests, and at age 11, her musical ambitions were sealed when she scored the role of Sandy in a production of Grease, where she realized that her voice sounded country. Swift then started performing around Nashville and honed her songwriting skills.

In 2006, she signed with Big Machine Records and released her first self-titled album. “Tim McGraw” was the first single to come from that release, and it became a huge hit. It spent 275 weeks on the charts, and Taylor took the opportunity to tour with the album and make promotional appearances as well.

While the album did not chart as high as Swift had hoped, it was a huge success. The “Los Angeles Times” commented that she “writes ever-more convincingly and wittily about more nuanced relationship issues with an unapologetically big pop record that opens new sonic vistas for her.”

With her second studio album, Fearless, Swift continued her rise to superstardom. She won numerous awards at the CMA and ACM music awards, including ‘Female Artist of the Year’ in 2009. The album was certified Platinum, meaning it sold 1 million copies in the US. Fearless also spawned a number of hits, including the top 5 singles “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “Look What You Made Me Do”.

Her third album, Speak Now, marked a shift in sound for the young singer. The album featured a heavier electropop sound and a more mature theme. This was an important moment for Swift, who had been criticized in the past for being too pop-oriented and not staying true to her country roots.

After a three-year hiatus, Swift returned with her sixth album, reputation, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. It was a critically-acclaimed album, and its first single, “Look What You Made Me Do”, broke records for fastest and most views in the history of a music video. Reputation also marked the first time Swift wrote and produced her own material for a record, and the album was met with critical acclaim by publications such as “USA Today”. It became the most successful US album of the year, spending two consecutive weeks at #1. It spawned three other Top 20 singles, and won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.