Artist Details

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is that rarest of pop phenomenona: a superstar who managed to completely cross over from country to the mainstream. Other singers performed similar moves -- notably, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson both became enduring mainstream icons based on their '70s work -- but Swift shed her country roots like they were a second skin; it was a necessary molting to reveal she was perhaps the sharpest, savviest, populist singer/songwriter of her generation, one who could harness the zeitgeist and turn it personal and, just as impressively, perform the reverse. These skills were evident on her earliest hits, especially the neo-tribute "Tim McGraw," but her second album, 2008's Fearless, showcased a songwriter discovering who she was and, in the process, finding a mass audience. Fearless wound up having considerable legs not only in the U.S., where it racked up six platinum singles on the strength of the Top 10 hits "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me," but throughout the world, performing particularly well in the U.K., Canada, and Australia. Speak Now, delivered almost two years later in the autumn of 2010, consolidated that success and Swift moved into the stratosphere of superstardom, with her popularity only increasing on 2012's Red and 2014's 1989, a pair of records that found her moving assuredly from country into a pop realm where she already belonged.

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