Miss Americana: Taylor Swift’s journey to the top

With March being Women’s History Month, a significant artist to recognize this month has to be none other than Taylor Swift. When it comes to music, everyone has their own opinions, as it is a very subjective topic. However, it would be foolish for people to discredit the impact Swift has on the music industry. 

Swift has loved music from a very young age. Her passion was the main motivation behind her family’s move from her hometown of West Reading, Pennsylvania to Hendersonville, Tennessee, where she could pursue her musical career in Nashville. 

She signed her first songwriting deal in 2004 with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, followed by her signing a record deal with Big Machine Records in 2005. A year later, her debut self-titled album “Taylor Swift” was released. 

So far, Swift has released nine studio albums, exploring many different musical genres. Starting with her first album exploring country, with her second album being a country pop sound. 

From that moment on, Swift has experimented with different sounds such as rock, synth-pop, urban, and indie folk, as well as alternative rock. The variety found in her catalog guarantees that anyone can find something they like. 

That fifteen year old girl signing her first contract and dreaming of a musical career in Nashville went on to become one of the best-selling musicians ever. She received numerous awards for her music, some being 11 Grammy Awards, 25 Billboard Music Awards, 34 American Music Awards, and an Emmy Award.

One of her crowning accomplishments in regards to awards have to be her Billboard award naming her Woman of the 2010s Decade and her American Music award recognizing her as Artist of the 2010s Decade. 

Swift has also gone on to advocate for many issues. Her single called “You Need to Calm Down” from her album “Lover” has shown support to the LGBTQ+ community and spoke out against homophobia. 

Another example of her advocacy is another single from “Lover” called “The Man,” in which Swift discusses sexism and advocates for women’s empowerment, not only in the music industry, but all around the world.

Currently, her biggest act of advocacy has to be her process of rerecording her first six studio albums. Her problems with her label Big Machine Records resulted in the rights to her masters being sold. 

What this means is that although Swift owns the songs, she does not own the final recordings that included the music production and that are well known by the public. This caused her to decide to record all of her albums and release them again, this time adding “(Taylor’s Version)” to their titles to make a distinction between the old versions and the new ones. 

Although at first many thought that Swift would never do such a thing and even if she did, it wouldn’t bring success, but that turned out to be completely different from the reality. So far, she has released her second and fourth studio albums, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version).” 

Both albums were massively successful and brought together both her new fans who discovered the older albums for the first time, as well as her old fans who were ecstatic to relive the magic of her older works again. 

By taking this step, Swift has paved the way for many musicians who are in a similar situation as her, some of them already following in her footsteps. Her impact on the music industry is undeniable and it is what earned her the Artist of the 2010s Decade award.  

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