From the beginning of August when it was released, Taylor Swift’s “Lover” album looked like it would be Album of the Year at the Grammys. The best selling album of the year, “Lover” spawned hit singles like crazy and lots of good press. It was also very well reviewed.
But then the nominations came, and Swift was swiftly dispatched. She received only Pop Vocal and Song of the Year nominations. And Best Pop Vocal Album. But the big enchilada– Album of the Year– she was denied.
It didn’t seem like Swift would perform on the Grammys, especially since three of those awards are handed out during an untelevised afternoon session.
This wasn’t the way things were supposed to go. Swift had written a song for the movie musical, “Cats” and there was every expectation she’d get an Oscar nomination. That way she could appear on the Academy Awards two weeks after not being on the Grammys, and the problem of PR and saving face would be solved. But “Cats” bombed, the song disappeared, and so did that plan.
So now we wait to find out if she’ll do the Grammys after all. As it turns out, Swift’s Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana,” starts playing on January 30th, a week after its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. The publicity from a Grammy performance would be swell. And who’s to say she won’t win some or all of her categories at Music’s Biggest Night? “Lover” is definitely the Best Song of the Year.
Niall Horan took his Taylor Swift admiration to a new level with an epic, power ballad cover of Swift’s Grammy-nominated single “Lover” for Spotify. He turned it into a duet with labelmate Fletcher.
Horan kicks off the song with a faithful rendition of the original folky track. As soon as Fletcher’s verse kicks in, however, the song overflows with electric guitar and big, open drums. The track picks up from there, continuing to grow bigger as their voices join together — soon it becomes an arena rock anthem.
“Always love being asked to get involved in the Spotify Singles sessions. It’s nice to get out of the comfort zone and try something different,” Horan wrote in a statement. “When it came to deciding what song I was going to do, there was only one option for me. ‘Lover’ is one of my favorite songs I’ve heard in a long time and Taylor is a good friend. Let’s hope she likes it.”
On Tuesday, the country singer-songwriter released his rendition of Swift’s steamy Lover standout “False God,” which Hurd recently covered throughout his recent Platonic Tour.
“Thank you @taylorswift13 for the song clinic. My favorite song off of Lover. We covered this live on Platonic, it felt like a deep dive into someone else’s poetry,” Hurd, 33, wrote on Twitter.
Swift, 30, was quick to offer her stamp of approval, replying, “Love this so much” alongside the praying hands emoji.
This, of course, isn’t the first time “To a T” singer Hurd has covered Swift: Last year, he covered her reputation track “Dress” on tour. And it appears Swift has been a longtime fan of Hurd and his wife, Maren Morris. Over the years, she’s included songs from both (Hurd’s “Love in a Bar” and Morris’ “Sugar”) on public playlists. And in 2018, invited Morris out onstage to sing her hit “The Middle” during a stop on her massive reputation stadium tour.
To this day she remains one of the most streamed and critically acclaimed artists ever, but the Tennessee country princess turned global pop-star had not only a major impact in the music industry. Here is how Miss Americana went from America’s sweetheart to cultural powerhouse and political activist.
Speak Now (2010)
At the turn of the decade, with already selling 7 million copies of her sophomore album ‘Fearless’ with two Top 5 Hits and winning Album of the Year at the Grammys in 2009, the country-star was no newbie to the music industry. However, with winning AOTY at only 19 years old, many criticized her for not pulling her own weight in the work and writing process. This led Taylor Swift to write her third studio album Speak Now completely by herself, which sold over one-million copies in its first week. And so her success as a music artist, earning her praise as one of the greatest songwriters, was only the beginning.
Taylor Swift dropped her fourth album Red, the second best-selling album of 2012 and #4 on the 100 Best Albums of the 2010s by both Rolling Stone AND Billboard. Also dubbed as her ‘’transition album’’, Red was a step away from her first three more-country albums. She took on major influences from pop and dubstep as she collaborated for the first time with Max Martin and Shellback, one of the biggest writers and producers in pop music.
The lead-single ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ earned Taylor her very first number 1 on the Hot 100. Like many others on Red, WANEGBT – while still country – was built as a pop song with a huge catchy chorus. Similarly, her next major non-conventional single was the dubstep-inspired hit ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ – which also became a global meme in pop culture – peaking at #2 on Billboard and charting for 36 weeks.
The iconic bold red lips, fedora hats, oversized glasses and baggy white shirts.
Her aesthetics also evolved: Taylor’s princess dresses and country style shifted into the iconic bold red lips, fedora hats, oversized glasses and baggy white shirts, in line with the hipster aesthetic of 2012 and the rise of Instagram. She was breaking into the mainstream and became an icon for many young adults as defined by her relatable millennial songs such as ‘22’.
This was also the era where her personal life became more interesting for the tabloids. Due to her confessional songs and high profile relationships, she was heavily scrutinized by the media for her dating life. Her good-girl image took a hit, and she was poised to reinvent herself. And so of course with all these developments, she put all of it into her upcoming work, which turned out to be – perhaps – one of the most monumental shifts in music history.
Her most daring project yet, Taylor Swift switched completely to pop music with – what many believe to be – her magnum opus 1989 in 2014. Named after the year she was born, 1989 signified her rebirth and took on inspiration from 80s synth-pop and vintage polaroid aesthetics. As she moved from Nashville to New York – an iconic shift moving away from the country-scene and going full pop diva – she also addressed her criticisms with a carefree attitude proven by her three number 1 songs from this timeless body of work.
The lead-single Shake It Off, an uptempo dance-pop track taking a jab at the hate she’s received, debuted at #1 and charted for almost a year. A few months later, for the first time in Billboard history, Taylor Swift became the first woman to replace herself at the number 1 spot with her second single ‘Blank Space’. Blank Space is a cheeky pop song making fun of how the media portrays her of having too many exes, earning her critical acclaim as a songwriter and lyrical genius.
1989 has been dubbed ‘’pop perfection’’ and one of the ‘’greatest pop albums of all time’’, by fans and critics alike, selling over ten million copies worldwide. It also won Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year at the Grammys, making Taylor Swift the first female artist to win AOTY two times.
Her 1989-era was also her most prolific: her personal life and public image became heavily covered in the media, being routinely called ‘‘annoying’’, ‘’greedy’’, ‘‘manipulative’’ and a ‘‘snake’’. One of the reasons for it was because she took her music off streaming services in protest of smaller artists not receiving enough money that they deserve. In addition, her resparked feud with Kanye West in 2016 was the final straw to Taylor Swift’s so-called ‘’downfall’’, as the internet collectively decided to cancel her.
After taking a hiatus being out of the public’s eye for over a year, Taylor Swift made her most iconic comeback to date with ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Charts. The music video addressed all the criticism she’s received the past few years, as well as her sexual assault lawsuit that she won after counter-suing a symbolic one dollar, pledging to donate money to organizations defending sexual assault victims.
Her musical persona was shifting to a darker aesthetic taking on the ‘’snake’’ imaginary people forced onto her, with music heavily inspired by electro-pop and EDM sounds. Reputation was Taylor’s catharsis as her public image was at an all-time low, which led her to hide her personal life from the media spotlight and come back stronger than ever, speaking out against injustices to her and others.
At the end of the decade, Taylor Swift broke her silence on politics when she endorsed a Democratic candidate in her home state, resulting in more than 160.000 people registering to vote. She also shifted back to a more bright-hearted and colourful aesthetic with ‘Lover’, the first album she has owned after a lengthy battle with her old record label. Lover was a celebration of love in all its complexities and in Taylor’s words: ‘love is also equality’, as she spoke out for LGBTQ rights with the single ‘You Need To Calm Down’. And thus she further petitioned the Senate to pass the equality act and donated 113.000 dollars to the cause.
Taylor Swift continues to use her platform and her art for good after finding her own voice and not staying silent anymore as explained in her recent documentary ‘Miss Americana’, detailing her tumultuous life this past decade and her fight against sexism in the music industry. So last year the AMAs have rightfully crowned her Artist of the Decade. Hated but also very beloved, even long after the 2010s, no one could ever possibly say ‘’who’s Taylor Swift anyway?’’
Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift writes about all kinds of love, from her teenage heartbreak to her family. Though she and actor Joe Alwyn rarely speak about their relationship publicly, the artist has composed many songs about it. Reflecting on her single “Lover” in 2020, Swift seemingly deemed Alwyn her chosen family.
Following the darker Reputation, Swift shifted to a pastel esthetic as she entered the era of her seventh studio album, Lover. In early 2019, the artist started to tease what was to come, beginning with her lead single, “Me!” Her first with Republic Records, Lover debuted in August 2019.
“This album is very much a celebration of love, in all its complexity, coziness, and chaos,” Swift wrote on social media. “It’s the first album of mine that I’ve ever owned, and I couldn’t be more proud.” Though her relationship with Alwyn earned a few songs on Reputation, Lover brought many more.
In addition to the success of the album as a whole, Swift has received praise for many of its songs. The third official single off Lover was its title track, which earned a dreamy music video released the same month as the album. “Lover” charted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 10.
The single also earned a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year. Though Swift didn’t win any of the three awards she was up for (including Best Pop Vocal album for Lover and Best Pop Solo Performance for “You Need to Calm Down”), fans noted that the “Lover” loss might have hit harder, as she wrote it by herself.