Is Taylor Swift The Top Artist Of The Year?

The year 2015 is swiftly coming to a close, which has the music industry looking nostalgically back on this year’s performances. Taylor Swift, in particular, stands out as an iconic singer in the pop industry. The former teenage country singer recently came out on top with her switch to the pop genre, and fans have gone wild over her newer stuff.

But is she the top artist of the year? That question doesn’t have a simple answer. There are a lot of factors that go into a decision like that, and she’s got a lot of competition from artists like Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Drake. Even Justin Bieber had a good year.

There may not be a definitive answer to this question, but there’s no doubt that T-Swift had a great year. Let’s look back at a few of her accomplishments and how she compares to the other artists trending now.

If there’s one singer for Taylor to beat this year, it would have to be Adele. The British singer and songwriter very recently returned from a three-year hiatus she took to begin raising her son, who just turned 3. She released her first single, “Hello,” almost immediately after her return, and that single reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with 1.11 million downloads in a week. In addition, views for the music video for Adele’s “Hello” smashed Swift’s record for her music video of “Bad Blood.”

In addition, Adele’s North American tour for her newest album, 25, sold out in a matter of 45 minutes. That includes six sold-out showings at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which is one more than Taylor Swift had during her Red tour.

The one thing Taylor has going for her is that she’s been around all year long, and Adele only came out of the woodwork a few months ago. Adele has also only been a big-time singer who’s won awards since 2011, but T-Swift has been making waves ever since 2008. When it comes to time and pay scale, Taylor will come out on top, but she’s not nearly as widely recognized as Adele internationally.

Ed Sheeran has also been closely tracing Swift’s musical footsteps. It’s a little ironic since before Sheeran was recognized on the top charts, he helped to co-write and sing a song with Taylor Swift for her album Red in 2012. It was entitled “Everything Has Changed,” with Sheeran’s vocals in the background. He accompanied Taylor Swift on her Red Tour in 2013.

Shortly after, Sheeran began receiving more attention for his works. The most memorable of his songs are likely “Thinking Out Loud” and “Photograph,” which broke records on the singles charts and gave Sheeran the praise he needed to step out into the limelight. “Give Me Love” and “I See Fire” also performed exceptionally well over the years.

It was also recently announced that Sheeran’s album has officially gone multi-platinum, which gives him a leg up on his attempts to catch Taylor Swift. Taylor has become a benchmark for many major artists, and Sheeran is doing his best to match it.

Regardless of the epic performances over the past year from artists all over, Taylor Swift is probably still the most lauded performer of the day. She’s been nominated for and won more Grammys than most artists, and her songs continue to outperform newer artists. It depends on who you talk to, but when you crunch the numbers and consider the amount of awards she’s won and the money she makes, it’s easy to say that Taylor Swift has had the best year of any other artist.

[Photo by Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images]