Taylor Swift’s fans refer to the 32-year-old singer as “the music industry.” According to Rolling Stone, during the past few months, Swift “may be as close to that moniker as she’s ever been.”
Frankly, Swift has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds lately, at least those who pay any attention to the music scene. With the release of her tenth studio album “Midnights,” Swift continued her streak of back-to-back hits. In addition, Swift hinted at a visual concept album, where each “Midnights” track will get its own visuals, most definitely chock-full of “easter eggs,” or hints at Swift’s next announcement or exciting career move.
Swift emphasized that “Midnights,” an album with a nighttime, sparkly and moody aesthetic with 1970s-esque promotional photos, follows “13 sleepless nights scattered throughout [her] life.” In reality, it featured 20, as the extended edition released three hours after the standard on the night of Oct. 21.
Swift has reinvented the modern pop star. From her debut in 2006 to her fifth studio album “1989,” in 2015, Swift worked on a two-year album cycle, releasing a new project every other year, with tours in between. In 2016, however, Swift’s life took a turn for the worse…and then the better.
After a public falling out with rapper Kanye West, Swift became the target of cancel culture, perhaps beginning the trend of “canceling” celebrities when they misstep or make small mistakes. From 2016 to mid-2017, Swift went on hiatus, a period that her fans refer to as “the drought.” But Swift came back stronger than ever, releasing 2017’s “Reputation” which follows the events of the preceding year, where she lived as the target of negative public opinion and hate.
Since “Reputation,” Swift has truly not stopped creating, setting her apart from her pop counterparts. In 2019, Swift released “Lover,” another successful pop project, followed by pandemic-era sister albums “Folklore” and “Evermore.” These two projects served as turning points in Swift’s sound; she entered the world of folk and alternative music with massive success, the projects especially impressive because of the short production time. They featured Swift’s writing at the top of its game: poignant, completely imaginative, and for the first time not autobiographical. “I’ve found that the more I write, the more I keep writing,” Swift said to “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon. “I don’t know what’s been going on but in the last six or seven years I’ve just been constantly making things, and the more things I make, the happier I am.”
Among these commercially-successful and widely enjoyed albums, Swift began to re-record her previous works after losing the rights to her albums to entertainment executive Scooter Braun. While initially devastating, Swift turned this situation into a way to strengthen her connection with her fans; now, she releases songs “From the Vault,” or previously unreleased songs alongside the re-recorded pieces. One could argue no other major singer today possesses the popularity or sheer amount of notable projects to make the re-recordings a worthwhile task. Most recently, Swift released “Red (Taylor’s Version)” in 2021.
Swift’s ability to produce complex writing with such frequency makes her unique. She had managed to reinvent the modern pop star; just last year, she created an entire short film to tell the story of her song “All Too Well,” with the inventive medium receiving considerable awards recognition at the 2022 Video Music Awards. Finally, Swift’s career has set unprecedented records in the music industry; this year, she became the first artist in history to occupy all ten spots on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles list, making it the first time the top ten artists were solely female. Her “Midnights’’ release sold 1.5 million copies in its first week, a monumental number for the streaming era, and the record only beats the one Swift set herself in 2017 with “Reputation.” “Midnights” became the fastest album to hit 1 billion streams on Spotify, shattering many other streaming records along the way. According to Rolling Stone, “as Taylor Swift often does, she has once again moved the goalposts regarding what the music industry can see as possible from a major pop star.” Fans at Pace can find Swift in Atlanta on April 28, 29 and 30 for her upcoming 2023 stadium tour. Not shockingly, this tour has already set records on Ticketmaster, prompting the site to crash multiple times during the November sale due to “historic demand.”