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12 Years of Taylor Swift: Career Highlights by Year

With Taylor Swift’s very first album coming out twelve years ago, it’s a perfect time to look back on her career and how far she’s come. From her country debut in 2006 to a record-shattering international stadium tour in 2018, Swift’s growth is undeniable.

2006 – Released her self-titled debut album, Taylor Swift

With 11 self-written songs, Taylor Swift’s first album is certified four-times platinum. Swift wrote this album when she was just fifteen and sixteen years old!


2007 – Nominated for her first AMA

Swift was nominated for her first American Music Award for Country Female Artist. Though she didn’t win that night, she currently holds the record for most female AMA awards, with 23 wins.

2008 – Released her sophomore album, Fearless

Taylor Swift’s second album is considered her breakout album, with successes such as “Love Story” and “Fifteen.” Swift believes this album was extremely simple, but accurately represented her life and music style at the time.

2009 – Received her first Grammy Award

Fearless proved to be a huge success, as it earned itself an Album of the Year Grammy. This was Swift’s first Grammy Award, but she famously had to miss her high school prom to accept it!

2010 – Released Speak Now

Swift’s crossover album Speak Now is entirely self-written, with no co-writers. Speak Now mainly marked Swift’s transformation from emerging artist to superstar status.

2011 – Speak Now World Tour

The Speak Now World Tour was Swift’s first international headlining tour (but second headlining tour, after Fearless). It was a largely successful tour, with two stages, pyrotechnics, and heavy production.

2012 – Released Red

The Red album is generally the fan favorite, and true epitome of successful pop country. With mega hits such as “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and powerful ballads such as “All Too Well,” Red has the best of everything.

2013 – Awards Show Success

Swift won 43 awards in 2013, which is equivalent to nearly one award each week! She broke many records this year, as Red was a huge success.

2014 – Released 1989

1989 was Taylor Swift’s first foray into the pop world without a trace of country influence. With successful singles like “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space,” 1989 is one of her most beloved projects.

2015 – 1989 World Tour

Swift’s fourth international tour had opening acts Vance Joy and Shawn Mendes, complete with many surprise guests, from Gigi Hadid to Steven Tyler. The 1989 Tour had a stage extending through half the floor, lifts, and light up bracelets for the audience.

2016 – Received Album of the Year Grammy

Swift is the only artist to snatch the Grammy Award for Album of the Year twice! Her acceptance speech was particularly impactful, as it preached for young girls and women to own their success.

2017 – Released reputation

reputation is Swift’s most recent album, and arguably most provocative. It dropped as a surprise after a three year hiatus, and includes smashes like “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Delicate.” reputation is about finding love in spite of what others perceive of you.

2018 – reputation Stadium Tour

The reputation Stadium Tour is arguably Swift’s most impressive tour (I went six times…), complete with three stages, a ten story screen, and two lifts. The tour is currently going on in Australia and will conclude in Japan in November.

Taylor Swift’s twelve year career is possibly the most impressive in history. She has metamorphosed through the years, yet remained iconically “Taylor Swift.” Swift has already hinted at new music, and fans have begun theorizing about what the future holds!


Hi, I'm Taylor, and I'm a freshman at Tulane! I'm from Long Island, NY and I love fashion, food, and music.
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