In 2006, a young country artist released her self-titled album: Taylor Swift. Flash forward to 13 years later, and she has become a global superstar.
Whether or not they like her music, almost everyone knows who Taylor Swift is. I have been listening to her music since “Love Story” was released in 2011, and it has grown up with me. Her music is both deeply personal and widely relatable. Even though I do not have the same experiences as Swift, I feel like I know her because of her music. She also writes or co-writes every song on her album which can be hard to find in today’s music industry.
Swift was recently honored at the Time 100 Gala, a list of the 100 most influential people according to Time Magazine. At midnight on April 26, she dropped her new song “ME!” featuring Brendon Urie, which is an upbeat anthem about self-acceptance. Although she released the new single, she has yet to announce the title of her seventh studio album. Her new album theme looks as though it is going to be all pastels and sparkly hearts, a welcome throwback to her early career.
Swift has faced endless criticism, and yet she handles most, if not all, of it with dignity and strength. After the release of her album Fearless, critics stated that Swift was only successful because of co-writers. She wrote Speak Now by herself at age 19. In 2016 and 2017, she was being called a snake on social media because of a scandal with the Kardashians. Instead of letting that get to her, Swift made snakes the central theme of her album Reputation, making millions of dollars off of snake-themed merchandise, music and her stadium tour.
Before the release of her album 1989, Swift decided that she wanted her fans to be able to listen to the album first, so she started hosting what she called “secret sessions.” She invited fans into her own personal homes, baked cookies, and listened to her brand new album with them. This continued with Reputation and is rumored to continue with her upcoming album.
Swift stays relevant by interacting with her fans on social media platforms, making her feel more accessible. She will often follow people on Tumblr, like their pictures, join Instagram live streams or screenshot profiles in an effort to interact with her fans personally.
Swift will surprise fans regularly with presents and other things they might need. A recent example hits close to home, with a Swift fan in Idaho Falls. This girl’s mother was in a coma for three years and the family was struggling with medical bills. Taylor Swift donated $15,500 to her and her family.
Swift also has donated in the past to a student struggling with loans, a pregnant woman struggling with homelessness and a fan in the hospital. She created “Swiftmas,” where she found fans’ likes, dislikes and interests, and she sent personalized Christmas presents to their homes.
Although it may be popular to hate Swift, she is a genuinely nice person with real skills and talent. She knows how to write music. She knows how to connect with people all over the world while simultaneously making her music deeply personal. She may be a global pop star, but she still is a genuine person who helps fans feel as though she could be their best friend.