At the close of 2015, everyone interested in music is asking how good of a year Taylor Swift had. Over the last few years, the former country singer seems to have blossomed in a new pop genre, with record-breaking listens, music video views, and downloads. Anyone who’s paid attention in 2015 knows that Taylor Swift is peaking on the edge of greatness, and has already gone down in history.
There’s been a lot of attention placed on Adele lately for her sudden comeback and exciting new album, 25. For just a few minutes, the world almost forgot about Taylor Swift and her accomplishments. They almost forgot that the album 1989 has become one of the furthest reaching albums in pop, with the most downloads of 2014. And that her platform of stardom has risen in popularity past stars like Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jackson. Or that as a star, she’s reached out to other stars, helped them find their fame, and making a whole squad of friends along the way.
Let’s look at some of T-Swift’s major accomplishments this year.
Released 1989.Okay, technically she released this number one best-selling album at the end of October of 2014, but it was only a part of the 2014 music scene for two months, and it was still making headlines in 2015. Besides, the Grammys counted the cutoff date for the previous year as September 30 of 2014, and that’s good enough for me. So, we’ll count it as 2015.
Once this album was released, it was met with wild success. Swift initially described the album as her first official pop release album, even though a few of her previous albums had pop songs within. The album’s lead single, “Shake It Off,” was the number one song on Billboard’s Hot 100 for several weeks running, as were her songs “Bad Blood,” “Style,” and “Wildest Dreams.”
It sold 3.66 million copies by the end of 2014, making it the best selling album in 2014, and by February of 2015, it had sold 8.6 million copies, with more to come. It broke records for most downloads, and songs within received most views on YouTube and most listens on streaming services before Swift pulled them from the catalog. All in all, there’s no question this album will go down in history.
Righted the Wrongs of Streaming Services. Taylor made headlines when she refused to let Apple Music and other streaming services play her music because she as the artist would not be paid for those listens. She wrote an open letter in June of 2015, criticizing Apple Music for not offering royalties during the free three-month trial period. Then, she pulled her music from the catalog.
Shortly after, Apple righted their wrong by recognizing their mistake and announcing they’d begin paying artists during the free trial period. After that, Swift and several other artists who had pulled their music from the catalog returned it for use on streaming services.
Received Thee More Grammy Nominations. In the 2015 Grammy Awards, her hit No. 1 single, “Shake It Off,” received three new Grammy nominations, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The results of the 2015 Grammy Awards have not been decided, but it would not be surprising if she added three new Grammys to her list of seven.
Won A Whole Bunch of Awards. It doesn’t go unnoticed that Taylor Swift has won a lot of awards in her short time in the limelight, many of which were delivered this year. In 2014, she was awarded the Billboard Woman of the Year Award. By the end of 2015, she was noted as one of the top five music artists with the highest worldwide digital sales. That’s thanks to the 40 million albums and 130 million single downloads she’s managed to get thus far.
She currently has seven Grammy Awards, 19 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards, 22 Billboard Music Awards, one Brit Award (which she gained in 2015), 25 Teen Choice Awards, and one Emmy. You can also find her name in the books of the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
She’s Just a Good Person. Say what you will about Taylor Swift, but it’s hard to argue that she has the world’s best interest in mind. She’s spoken openly about women’s rights and equality, seen to it that lonely girls find a friend, helped to raise cancer awareness after her mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and helped to give celebrities a better name in general. She’s also helped with the organization “Fight the New Drug” in an effort to banish pornography.
She’s also a world class philanthropist, donating money and time to needy causes. This year alone, she partnered with Scholastic to donate 25,000 books to New York City Schools, donated proceeds of the song “Welcome to New York” to NYC’s children’s music program SING, donated $50,000 to the Seattle Symphony, and helped with numerous other causes.
You may not like her music, but you can’t deny that she’s had a killer year. The only people who could possibly beat her are dead or disbanded, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson. In 2015, Taylor Swift has undoubtedly become one of the greats.
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