From the time that Taylor Swift had “Teardrops On My Guitar,” I can’t say that I would have pegged she’d be the mega-pop star she was today.
From being the sweet, innocent teen, to branching out and brandishing a sword in the music industry against haters, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, as well as many other celebrity feuds she’s encountered over the years, did we ever see Taylor moving from Country, to Pop, to dancing in an urban-type manner in 2017? I can’t say I did.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane – and here’s the evolution of Taylor Swift for her 28th birthday.
2007: “Teardrops On My Guitar” (The ‘Taylor Swift’ Self-Titled Era)
Ah… Innocence. Nobody knew who Taylor Swift was, but one song idolizing “Tim McGraw” brought her to the forefront of Country Music.
Creating her superstar, sold out tour, still playing an acoustic guitar on stage, and taking in all of her fans. The Taylor craze had truly kicked in, and she had built an empire for young girls to look up to for years to come. The “Fearless” era was the first time she had truly called out her first celebrity ex, Joe Jonas.
2009: The Kanye West Incident
It’s still cringe-worthy. The incident between Kanye West and Taylor Swift changed the course of history in Taylor’s career. Her first real “feud,” one that she still, to this day, says she didn’t ask to be a part of. Almost 8 years later, it’s still the center of her career, and the inspiration of many of her songs on reputation.
2010: ‘Speak Now’
Post-Kanye, Taylor Swift has a short stint with Taylor Lautner (who presented her award, in case you never picked up on that tidbit). Taylor and Taylor fell apart after their roles in the movie ‘Valentine’s Day,’ and “Back To December” was born: The only ex that Taylor Swift has written about that she admits SHE screwed it up. The album also features her calling out John Mayer, who she was rumored to be linked with (he later had a rebuttal), “Mean,” who was about a specific critic who dissed her performance with Stevie Nicks, “The Story Of Us,” another song about John Mayer (running into him at an award show), “Better Than Revenge,” about Camilla Belle allegedly “stealing” Joe Jonas from her, and a sort-of-olive branch to Kanye West, called “Innocent.” Safe to say, the more that Taylor Swift fell into musical Hollywood, the more her songs became about celebrities.
Taylor took a break from the Kanye issues she had, linked up with Ed Sheeran as a friend, and lamented on her relationships with Harry Styles in “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and Jake Gyllenhaal in “All Too Well.” I can tell you first hand, seeing her in concert for her Red Tour that “All Too Well” was an emotional song for her – she wasn’t putting on the fact that she had to actually stop and collect herself on our stop.
2014: “1989” AKA The Last Time We See The “Old” Taylor Swift, AKA “Bad Blood” Taylor
So, infamously during the ‘Red’ tour, according to Taylor, Katy Perry tried to yank some of her dancers onto her tour. Katy explains it differently, saying that she had let the team know that she would be going on tour, and to let their management know that they had signed on with her as well. Still, this didn’t bode well with the “frenemy relationship” that the pair had, and not only did Taylor Swift put out one of her most adult albums, taking swings at the media for painting her as a “serial dater” with “Blank Space,” but this is where the term “Squad” came into play, with the song “Bad Blood.” Allegedly (though pretty much confirmed being about Katy), Swift assembled the biggest girl squad she could for her music video, and enlisted IT Rapper of the Year, Kendrick Lamar to lay verses for a remix of “Bad Blood.” It became the most talked about video of Taylor’s career and featured many supermodels, both young (Gigi Hadid) to seasoned (Cindy Crawford). This became a black mark on Taylor’s career as well, because many started to point to her and say that she was “pitting women against other women,” and labeling her a mean girl, or an anti-feminist. Taylor still ranked high regardless, and went on a few year hiatus of new music. Still… NO songs about Kanye.
Vindication For Kanye: Video Vanguard Award 2015
Taylor calls Kanye West her friend, presents his award to him, and he even sends her flowers after the fact.
2016: Shading Kanye West After “Famous”
Taylor Swift addresses “Famous” lyrics, saying that you need to stand up when people try to take credit for your fame (Kanye West). Later, Kim Kardashian releases videos of Taylor agreeing to the lyrics of the song, and Taylor fires back, saying she didn’t consent to be called the “b” word.
After the Kanye/Kim Feud, Katy Perry, the media, and many other notes to address, Taylor takes it all on in “Look What You Made Me Do,” chasing a hip-hop vibe, a complete 180 from her Country roots. She dances with a team in what looks like a Beyonce-inspired set up, and has many Taylors, also referencing that the “old Taylor” is dead. Did we see this coming? Not entirely. But ‘reputation’ has since dropped, and from what we can tell, there’s still reminiscence of pop music on the album, but the singles that have been released are very Hip-Hop based beats, and Taylor is, to put it loosely, trying to rap.
As the ‘reputation’ tour is on – we’re wondering how she’s going to medley out all of her works together, as her timeline as morphed and molded, but it’s safe to say that Taylor Swift is probably the most morphed artist of this young generation, who’s faced more battles than even the most drastically changed stars: Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry included.
To many more years of Taylor Swift, and many more historical moments to make chronological lists of – and maybe in a few years, I can get certified as a “Swiftologist.”
Amy Cooper is one with the force and the force is with her.