The Evolution of Taylor Swift, Album by Album

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, James Devaney/GC Images

By Alyssa Giannone


Taylor Swift has been on top of the world since 2006 when her self-titled debut album dropped, back when she was a country music star. But her music has made some changes over the years, as well as her persona, and she’s currently one of the most controversial celebrities in the music business. 


The pop-star’s single “Look What You Made Me Do,” and accompanying music video, which was released during MTV’s Video Music Awards, caused quite the stir in the pop culture pot earlier this year. So while Taylor takes a look back at her old selves in this video, let’s take our own look back at Swift’s shift from teenie-bopper country star to girl with a self-proclaimed bad reputation, album by album.

2006-2007: debut album drops

Denise Truscello/wireimage






Back when TayTay was just a girl crying on her guitar; a curly-haired country gal who consistently wore cowboy boots and sang cute little songs like "Teardrops On My Guitar" and "Our Song" and "Tim McGraw," solidifying her place in the country music world... For now.





2008-2009: fearless

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
NBCUniversal/contributor/Getty Images

Taylor is on top of the world holding a sparkly guitar and wearing a different sundress every day. She's all over the radio with her songs "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me," both reaching No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts and No. 1 in our hearts. 

And, in a dramatic turn of events, Taylor's public life hits an all-time high when her beef with Kanye starts after he interrupts her Video of the Year speech at the 2009 VMAs, making it an iconic moment in the direction of Tay's career.

2010-2011: speak now

bryan bedder/Getty Images
kevin winter/Getty Images

There's a new sheriff in town, and she's ditched the cowboy boots for heels and the sundresses for Hollywood glam looks. Taylor also continues winning big awards, like People's Choice, American Music, and the coveted Grammy 4 times in 2010. Her drama with Kanye hasn't come to a head quite yet, mostly because her fans still feel bad for her. But how long does a victim-card really last?

2012-2013: red

Vera anderson/wireimage






Taylor's music and look continues to change, as the then-23-year-old soars in the charts, and not just country music charts. Her song "I Knew You Were Trouble" hits No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and her other single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" becomes a pop music sensation. Her personality in the public eye gets less bubbly and more icy, and her songs start getting more and more vindictive. 

2014-2016: 1989

Christopher polk/Getty Images

Taylor's image as America's sweetheart self destructs, and her new album resonates with little girls and adults alike. She changes her image from goody-two-shoes-with-a-cute-bad-side Taylor Swift, to in-touch-and-emotionally-mature-recording-artist Taylor Swift, growing her fanbase tremendously and her popularity within the Hollywood celebrity scope. And she rocks a brand new, adorable short haircut.

2017: new album, Reputation

James devaney/GC Images




After a three-year run of artistic maturity, Taylor has found herself on the cusp of becoming either a laughing stock or a hero. After her drama with Kanye and Kim Kardashian, the now-pop star has been found out on the wrong side, lying to her entire fan base. She deleted any trace of a social media presence and then surprise-dropped her newest single "Look What You Made Me Do" and a controversial, self-bashing music video. The accompanying full album Reputation dropped November 10, and has started a new chapter for Taylor and her devoted fans. But just where will it leave everyone else in her celeb scope? 



Up next:

Axelle/bauer-griffin/filmmagic



Taylor Swift wasn't at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, but see why she made our list of the Top Iconic Moments from 2017.