Taylor Swift Named Billboard’s “Woman of the Year”



Taylor Swift has been named Billboard’s “Woman of the Year” for 2014.

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For the second time in her career, country darling-turned-pop star Taylor Swift has been named Billboard’s “Woman of the Year.”

The “Shake it Off” singer, who also nabbed the honor in 2011, is the first artist to ever be chosen twice. And with the way her career has been going these past few years, it’s really not that surprising.

“1989”–Swift’s latest and first pop album–sold 1.29 million copies in its first week, which is a feat no artist has been able to achieve since 2002. She is also the first artist to achieve the 1 million-albums-sold-in-a-week milestone three times.

Despite her earlier successes, most of the people in her life didn’t think she could pull off making the switch from country to pop in such a grand fashion–in fact, many thought she would fail.

“Everyone, in and out of the music business, kept telling me that my opinion and my viewpoint was naive and overly optimistic — even my own label,” Swift tells Billboard. “But when we got those first-day numbers in, all of a sudden, I didn’t look so naive anymore.”

Even music mogul Scott Borchetta, the man who discovered Taylor, didn’t agree with her plans for “1989.”

“When I knew the album had hit its stride, I went to Scott Borchetta and said, “I have to be honest with you: I did not make a country album. I did not make any semblance of a country album.” And of course he went into a state of semi-panic and went through all the stages of grief — the pleading, the denial. “Can you give me three country songs? Can we put a fiddle on ‘Shake it Off’?” And all my answers were a very firm “no,” Swift recalls. “It felt disingenuous to try to exploit two genres when your album falls in only one. I never want to pull the wool over people’s eyes, because people are so much smarter than a lot of marketing professionals give them credit for.”

Swift also shares: “Convincing members of my team that [the pop move] was a good call [was my biggest challenge this year]. People seem to love the album, and we’re all high-fiving each other, but I remember all the sit-downs in the conference rooms, where I would get kind of called in front of a group of people who have worked with me for years. They said, “Are you really sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want to call the album 1989? We think it’s a weird title. Are you sure you want to put an album cover out that has less than half of your face on it? Are you positive that you want to take a genre that you cemented yourself in, and switch to one that you are a newcomer to?”

“And answering all of those questions with “Yes, I’m sure” really frustrated me at the time — like, “Guys, don’t you understand, this is what I’m dying to do?” The biggest struggle turned into the biggest triumph when it worked out,” she adds.

Read more of Taylor’s Billboard interview HERE.

Picture by: Billboard

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