Taylor Swift is celebrating her 25th birthday today, and it’s hard to believe how much she’s accomplished in her first quarter century.
This year has been a particularly interesting one for Taylor Swift. Her influence has been felt outside the bounds of just the music business, and spread into technology, fashion, and general culture. Everyone always seems to know what’s going on with Taylor Swift, that’s the kind of attention she seems to garner these days.
Many people spend the 24th year of their lives getting their careers started, taking internships, embarking on entry-level positions and testing the waters. Taylor Swift is well into an already extremely fruitful career. She spent her 24th year dominating American popular culture, after years of an already large impact and list of accomplishments.
When you’re as big a star as Taylor Swift, every album release is like seven Superbowls rolled into one massive multi-month campaign. Taylor’s latest is called “1989” (the year of her birth) and rolled out in the fall. It sold 1.287 million copies in its first week in the US. Prior to the album release, probably one of her biggest hit singles came out, inspiring a nation of people with low self-esteem to “Shake It Off.”
Despite the nostalgic title, Taylor’s latest album is much more a signal to her future than her past. Swift has ditched country, at least for now. Rather than sitting at that intersection of pop and country as she always has, Swift made an album this year that Christina Aguilera could have made. Things have changed.
With “Blank Space,” she became the first female artist to succeed herself as number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after dominating it previously with “Shake It Off.”
She’s also on the short list for Time Person Of The Year. And delved into the weeds of tech business when she made the decision to yank all of her songs off Spotify, saying that artists should value their art and make sure that people are paying enough money for it.
“I didn’t see that happening, perception-wise, when I put my music on Spotify. Everybody’s complaining about how music sales are shrinking, but nobody’s changing the way they’re doing things. They keep running towards streaming, which is, for the most part, what has been shrinking the numbers of paid album sales,” she told Time Magazine.
She also performed at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show and was an advisor for contestants on the TV show “The Voice.”
That’s quite a year, and we’ve only just begun the album campaign madness of “1989.” Not to mention, the fight with Spotify is hardly over, and will likely reignite in 2015.
It seems like yesterday she was just a teenager crooning advice to her contemporaries, identifying with the struggles of being a kid turning into an adult, “when you’re 15, somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them.”
She’s come a long way — from little country songs idolizing Tim McGraw, to enabling teen girls in tough times to respect themselves, to public musical shade thrown at John Mayer, Swift has done so much for someone so young.
Happy Birthday Taylor, welcome back to December.
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