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Who’s Taylor Swift anyway?

On Nov. 1, Taylor Swift announced that she would be making her grand return to touring following the recent release of her album “Midnights.” This announcement shocked many of Swift’s fans as she’s been on a tour hiatus since Lover Fest got canceled due to the pandemic in 2020, and since then she’s gained an even larger following. So for all of the new Taylor fans and veteran Swifties who are looking for a refresher, here is a brief summary of everything you need to know for the upcoming The Eras Tour.

Taylor Swift made her debut in the music industry as a country artist, releasing her first album “Taylor Swift” when she was just 16 years old. She instantly rose to fame, topping the Billboard 100 charts with her single “Tim McGraw.” In 2008, just two years later, Swift released her second album “Fearless,” which earned a lot of publicity not only due to the two Grammy wins, but also because of the infamous MTV incident with Kanye West. The public humiliation she faced earned her many supporters across the nation, including Barack Obama, who was president at the time, calling West a “jackass.”

Swift went on to release two other country albums: “Speak Now” in 2010 and “Red” in 2012. However, following the Grammy loss of Album of the Year for “Red,” Swift decided to take her music an entirely different direction and released her first pop album entitled “1989” (i.e., the year she was born) in 2014. This new sound was met with a generally positive response and earned both Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album at the 58th Grammy Awards, which made Taylor the first female artist to take home the trophy for Album of the Year twice. 

Despite her musical success, Swift was earning massive public attention in a negative light. Not only was she under constant scrutiny for being perceived as an artist that only wrote breakup songs, but Kanye West also released his song “Famous,” where he claimed that he made her famous and used vulgar language to depict her. He also went on to include a naked mannequin of Swift in his music video for the record, which Taylor did not consent to. Kanye’s wife at the time, Kim Kardashian, released a tape of a phone call between West and Swift which Kim claims is evidence of Swift granting consent; however, Swift revealed that he did not reveal the lyrics and refrained from mentioning the content of the video. All of this combined with an eating disorder, which she kept hidden from the public, became overbearing and ultimately led Swift to go on a hiatus. 

After two years of staying out of the public eye, the music icon made her grand return with the album “Reputation” – a homage to all of the past versions of herself that she was now abandoning. Her tour was incredibly successful and became the highest-grossing tour in U.S. history. However, things were taking a turn for the worse behind closed doors. 

When she was 15 years old, she signed a deal with the record label Big Machine Records that granted them ownership of her past work. She attempted to buy her masters back, but the record label was purchased by Scooter Braun in 2019. Braun had previously worked with Kanye West, so it should come as no surprise that he would only offer Swift back her masters if she signed an agreement stating that she would never speak of Braun unless it was in a positive light. Swift ultimately denied this manipulative offer, and instead opted to re-record her music, granting her full rights to her work. 

This explains the recent re-releases of her albums “Fearless” and “Red,” which only leaves her albums “Taylor Swift,” “Speak Now,” “1989,” and “Reputation.” She has since separated from Big Machine Records and has released four new albums under her own name: “Lover,” “Folklore,” “Evermore,” and “Midnights.” It’s expected that songs from all these albums will be featured on The Eras Tour, but then again, Swift is full of surprises, so there’s really no telling!

Taylor has an incredible influence across the nation, which is made evident by the fact that she won both Artist of the Year and Artist of the Decade at the 2019 American Music Awards. While the success she has achieved is commendable, it also makes it more difficult for fans to score tickets; the verified fans presale for The Eras Tour caused the Ticketmaster site to crash. With such a high demand, it’s expected that the stadium tour will be completely sold out, possibly topping the record Swift set with her previous tour. 

Who knows what the music icon will do next, but for now, new and veteran Swifties alike will be left waiting in anticipation for the tour to begin. 

Tanya Fedak is a freshman at the University of Florida who is double majoring in journalism and political science. She has always had a passion for journalism, and you can see some of her work in The Stanford Daily! When she's not writing, she's either listening to Harry Styles or Taylor Swift, performing in a musical, reading, or planning her next vacation. She's incredibly excited to join Her Campus UFL and to work with such a talented group of individuals!