The Evolution of Taylor Swift: How the “Pop Princess” Has Changed Through the Years

It’s time to take a trip down memory lane and see just how far Taylor Swift has come (to the point of being bashed by the Kardashians for blatantly lying). Fame will do that to you. It’s been 10 years since the country-turned-pop-diva (I’m going to use diva because that’s what she’s been lately) since she released her first, very sweet country album.

With so much drama circulating Taylor Swift lately, I feel like it’s time to take a look at each of her major albums and her highlight of each year. Do you believe that sweet, kind celebrities never change? You be the judge.

Taylor Swift (self-titled country album) – 2006


One of Taylor Swift’s first performances.

In 2006, sweet, an innocent country musician with long tangled, curly blonde hair released her first major album, self-titled Taylor Swift. It was your classic country album. Not many people knew who Taylor Swift was… at all. You might have seen her CD sitting in the CD aisle at Wal-Mart or some grocery store and wondered who that was (I know I did at one point). She was basically your average country star with little fame to her name. Her song Teardrops on My Guitar (yeah, remember that one?) was taking off, but with that song, she was mostly a one-hit-wonder at the time.

Highlight of this Era: Not a lot happened to Swift this year. Her major highlight? Releasing that first album and seeing several songs climbs in the Hot Country Songs chart. She was a small name in the country world, but soon would be growing fast with being known for putting her personal life into her lyrics.

Fearless – 2008


Taylor Swift on her first headlining tour, Fearless.

Two years later, the country musician released her second album, Fearless. The fan base was growing, but was still too small to call Swift a major celebrity at the time. She was winning major awards and went on her first headlining tour. Her songs were hits, but with the younger crowds. That was, until this happened.

She was already known to many as a girl who dated a lot guys–and then proceeded to write about breakups in her very personal songs. By this time, she’d already dated Joe Jonas and wrote a song about him and was currently dating Taylor Lautner (who would soon get his very own song dedicated to him as well).

Highlight of this Era: Swift made a name for herself, well, Kanye West sort of helped her with that one. West stole Swift’s thunder back in 2009 (a year into releasing Fearless) when she beat out Beyonce for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards. This was probably the most defining moment for Taylor Swift. No one (and I mean, basically no one… knew who she was). She was sweet, innocent Taylor Swift claiming an award when a rapper took the mic from her during her acceptance speech.

Speak Now – 2010


Taylor Swift performing Back to December.

A couple years later, after Kanye had stormed Taylor’s stage and that drama had died down, the country music star was still making country music. She was writing about her personal life in every song, including Innocent, which was a song dedicated to Kanye West in response to the incident at the VMA Awards. Swift was a household name by 2010. Sure, we can blame it on the Kanye West incident (that did have a major role in catapulting her career), but Swift was performing sold-out shows and was very involved with her fans. She was very adamant about always thanking them, and always doing special things for them. It was during her Speak Now world tour that she would write lyrics on her arms and play covers to make sure that her tour was spontaneous and still had a “raw” feeling.

Highlight of this Era: Swift was notably dating older men. She had apparently dated John Mayer (who inspired her hit song Dear John) and shortly after was dating Jake Gyllenhaal who inspired other songs on her album Red.

Red – 2012


Taylor Swift steps out in sequin-tops and a more pop-centered look.

Two years, later, Taylor Swift released Red, her fourth studio album, but this time, fans noticed that country was starting to lack within the music. You can hear more pop in songs like 22, I Knew You Were Trouble, and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Some songs still held onto her country roots, incorporating subtle country sounds here there. You can hear a small amount country in songs like Everything Has Changed and Red. She had seemed to ditch the long curly locks for a more relaxed look, with bangs of course.

Highlight of this Era: Taylor Swift’s romantic life was becoming the center of media attention. Brands were latching onto this, some calling out Swift, others defending her. This would soon inspire her hit Blank Space from her album 1989 where she digs at the fact that people think she’s an obsessive dating pop diva (more on that in a moment).

1989 – 2014

Taylor Swift slams Kanye West during her 2016 Grammy’s acceptance speech for “claiming” responsibility for her fame.

This brings us to now. A lot has happened with the Swift franchise these past couple years. Swift recently released her fifth album almost exactly two years ago. She cut her hair. She dropped some extremely popular singles with some well-produced music videos. Her 1989 Era, as fans will refer to it, has had the most drama. It all started with a dig at Apple Music (and then proceeding to capitalize on it), some drama with Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and with now ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris. Throw in some added cheating rumors, a sudden boyfriend switch, a secretive song, and several Twitter rants to create the ultimate Taylor Swift drama era there has ever been.

Highlight of this Era: The highlight of this era? You can find it here, and it surrounds the Kardashians and Taylor Swift (and how Taylor Swift was caught lying).

Overall, it’s safe to assume these past two years for Taylor Swift have revolved around her capitalizing off of drama and things she does not originally support, and then suddenly changes her mind. Now that you’ve seen the evolution of Taylor Swift, you can judge for yourself just how diva she has become.