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  • Writer's pictureKaity Naphys

A Look Back Into Taylor Swift's Career

Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated new album, “Midnights,”at midnight on Friday. With this release, Swift has reached a huge milestone in her career. “Midnights” is Swift’s 10th album (or 12th if you’re counting her two rerecorded albums). In honor of this, let’s take a look at some of the highlights from Swift’s 16 years of being one of the biggest names in music.

Early Success

Swift released her self-titled debut album on Oct. 24, 2006. With songs like “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops On My Guitar,” Swift’s debut is a country album. Swift experienced her first taste of success with this album debuting at number 19 on the Billboard 200 chart. A little over two years later, Swift released her sophomore album at 18 years old. Similar to her first album, “Fearless” was a country album, but with elements of pop and rock. It entered the Billboard 200 at number 6. This album scored Swift her first four Grammy wins in 2010. “Fearless” won Album of the Year and Best Country Album, and her song “White Horse” won Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Swift became the youngest artist to receive Album of the Year. “Speak Now,” Swift’s third album, came out on Oct. 25, 2010. Swift took home two more Grammys as a result of her song “Mean” from this album.

Transitioning into Pop Music

The 2012 release of Swift’s “Red” marked the beginning of a new era for Swift. “Red” was Swift’s first pop album and featured some of her most well-known hits, like “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “22,” and “We are Never Getting Back Together” (which was her first number one single in the United States). Two years after the release of “Red,” Swift released “1989.” Titled after the year Swift was born, this album is Swift’s highest selling album to date. “1989” included three number one singles, and won Swift three Grammys, including Album of the Year. This album also produced one of the most iconic music videos in recent years: the “Bad Blood” music video. This video features Swift’s “squad” comprised of familiar faces like Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez, Hailee Steinfeld and more. Some members of this squad even made appearances on stage throughout Swift’s tour.

Making a Comeback

After receiving backlash because of a feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Swift took some time off. In August 2017, Swift cleared all her social media. She then posted a short clip of a snake (which is what she was called at the height of her feud with West and Kardashian) as a teaser for her new song “Look What You Made Me Do.” This song was yet another number one song for Swift to add to her ever-growing list. This song was the lead single off her sixth album “Reputation.” Thus began one of Swift’s most notable eras. Both her music and her style became edgier and darker, with themes such as karma and revenge being prominent throughout the album.

Switching Things Up

In stark contrast to “Reputation,” Swift’s 2019 album “Lover” is brightly colored, and all about – you guessed it – love. At the time this album was released Swift had been with her now boyfriend (or possibly fiancé?), Joe Alwyn, for quite some time. Although Swift did not win any major awards or have any number one songs off “Lover,” songs like “Me!” and “You Need to Calm Down” performed well on the charts.

Surprise Sister Albums

On July 23, 2020, Swift announced that she would be releasing her eighth album, “folklore,” at midnight on July 24. With no publicity prior to release, Swift still achieves massive success with this album. “Cardigan,” a single from this album, hit number one on the charts and Swift takes home Album of the Year once again. Less than six months later, Swift announced another album, yet again just hours before the release. This album, titled “evermore,” also has a number one hit in the song “willow.”

Taylor’s Version

As a result of Swift’s music catalogue from her first record label being sold to manager Scooter Braun in 2019, she decided to rerecord her first sixth albums. In April 2021, Swift released “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” followed by the release of “Red (Taylor’s Version)” in November 2021. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” features one of Swift’s most beloved (and record-breaking) songs: “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version).”


While accepting an award for Video of the Year at the American Music Awards in August, Swift announced that her tenth original album, "Midnights," would be released on Oct. 21, 2022. In the months leading up to the release, Swift took to social media to announce the track list song by song in a series she called “Midnights Mayhem with Me.” According to Swift, this new album is about “13 sleepless nights” throughout her life.

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