Taylor Swift's Top 15 Songs of All Time

2017 DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert In Houston - Taylor Swift Performance
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Taylor Swift (born Dec. 13, 1989) is one of the hottest female singers in pop music today. Since her first album debuted in 2006, she's sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and earned dozens of awards for her singing and songwriting talent. An aspiring musician from an early age, Taylor Swift signed her first recording contract in 2004 and released her self-titled debut two years later. She hasn't looked back since.

Influenced by Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, and other female singers, Taylor Swift initially pursued a career in country music. But with each subsequent album, she moved toward a pop-rock style, best exemplified by her blockbuster 2014 album "1989." Like her previous two albums, "1989" sold more than a million copies in its first week, a record no other female recording artist has matched. That success continued with "Look What You Made Me Do," the debut single from her sixth album "Reputation." It became the most-watched video in the first 24 hours of its release in August 2017.

'Look What You Made Me Do' (2017)

Taylor Swift Reputation
Courtesy Big Machine

The first single from Tayor Swift's sixth studio album, "Reputation," is a polarizing record. Many critics and fans embraced her journey into a darker pop sound and exploration of her villainous reputation as depicted in the press. However, others saw her words as somewhat petty and focused on revenge instead of a more positive approach to solving problems. 

Commercially, the song was an immediate success. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its second week of release. Its opening week of 353,000 copies sold was the best single week of sales by a female artist since Adele's "Hello" two years earlier. The accompanying music video directed by Joseph Kahn broke records for the most YouTube views in a 24-hour period. 

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'Wildest Dreams' (2015)

Taylor Swift 1989
Courtesy Big Machine

"Wildest Dreams" found Taylor Swift moving into new, dreamy pop directions. It was the official fifth single from the album "1989." Some observers recognized the influence of Lana Del Rey in the song. The recording samples "With Every Heartbeat" by Swedish artists Kleerup and Robyn. 

Joseph Kahn directed the accompanying music video, which was filmed in California and Africa. In the clip, Taylor Swift portrays a fictional actress named Majorie Finn after her grandmother Majorie Finlay, and Scott Eastwood plays a character named Robert Kingsley. Joseph Kahn has said the clip is influenced by classic movies such as "The African Queen," "Out of Africa," and "The English Patient." "Wildest Dreams" reached No. 1 across mainstream pop, adult pop, and dance music radio.

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'Bad Blood,' Featuring Kendrick Lamar (2015)

Taylor Swift Bad Blood
Courtesy Big Machine

Reportedly, the song "Bad Blood" was inspired by a conflict between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. It includes one of the more powerful phrases in a Taylor Swift song, "Band-Aids don't fix bullet holes." Taylor Swift claims the subject of the song tried to sabotage a concert tour by hiring away key people.

The original version of "Bad Blood" was remixed with a new instrumental track and raps from Kendrick Lamar. Joseph Kahn again directed the accompanying music video. He also directed the video for "Blank Space." The "Bad Blood" video features a long list of female guest stars, including Ellie Goulding, Lena Dunham, and Cindy Crawford.

Following the debut of the music video at the Billboard Music Awards, the song quickly went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped both the mainstream and adult pop radio charts. "Bad Blood" won an MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year and the Grammy Award for Best Music Video. It also earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Duo or Group Performance.

"Bad Blood" was the third No. 1 pop hit from Taylor Swift's album "1989." It went to No. 1 at mainstream pop and adult pop radio while climbing inside the top-10 at adult contemporary and dance radio. "Bad Blood" reached No. 4 on the U.K. pop singles chart.

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'Shake It Off' (2014)

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
Courtesy Big Machine

With "Shake It Off," Taylor Swift announced she was leaving the country music world behind. It is a big, brassy, bold pop record that answers her critics by ignoring their hate and dancing confidently into the future.  "Shake It Off" was co-written with Max Martin and Shellback, who also produced the record. The song spent four weeks atop ​the U.S. charts.

Debuting at No. 12 on the mainstream pop radio chart, "Shake It Off" tied the all-time highest debut: Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover" in 1993. "Shake It Off" reached No. 1 across mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio. The recording earned Grammy Award nominations for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

The music video was directed by Mark Romanek, noted for such celebrated videos as Johnny Cash's "Hurt," and "Scream" by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. He has won three Grammy Awards for Best Music Video. 

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'Blank Space' (2014)

Taylor Swift - Blank Space
Courtesy Big Machine

"Blank Space" was the second single from Taylor Swift's "1989" album. It debuted at No. 1, spending seven weeks on top. What's more, it displaced "Shake It Off" from No. 1, making Taylor Swift the first woman to succeed herself at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. "Blank Space" also hit No. 1 on mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio. It has sold more than four million digital copies. Many publications listed "Blank Space" as one of the top-10 songs of 2014.

The accompanying music video was directed by Joseph Kahn and features Taylor Swift as an over-the-top villain. It won Best Pop Video and Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. "Blank Space" earned Grammy Award nominations for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. 

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'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' (2012)

Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Courtesy Big Machine

Taylor Swift headed mainstream pop territory on the first single from her album "Red." It was co-written and co-produced by Swedish pop masterminds Max Martin and Shellback. The song sold 623,000 copies in its first week, giving it the second-best digital single sales week of all time. It hit No. 1 on the pop chart in its second week. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" earned a Grammy Award nomination for Record of the Year. It reached the top 10 across mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio. The song barely missed the top 10 at country radio, despite being a mainstream pop song.

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was inspired by a conversation that took place after a friend of Taylor Swift's ex-boyfriend visited the recording studio. The friend told about rumors that he heard of her getting back together with the boyfriend. Taylor Swift has described the writing of the song as one of her most humorous songwriting experiences. Many have speculated that the ex-boyfriend was actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

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'Begin Again' (2012)

Taylor Swift Begin Again
Courtesy Big Machine

"Begin Again" from "Red" was widely praised for returning to Taylor Swift's country music roots. The subject matter of the lyrics is the experience of falling in love again after the end of a previous relationship. The song was praised for having more emotional depth than some of Swift's more pop-oriented songs.

Certified platinum for sales, "Begin Again" reached the top 10 on the country and pop singles charts. Philip Andelman directed the accompanying music video, which was filmed in Paris. 

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'Back to December' (2010)

Taylor Swift Back To December
Courtesy Big Machine

Back to December" was the second single from Taylor Swift's third studio album, "Speak Now." It was widely recognized as the first time that she apologized in a song. Actor Taylor Lautner is speculated to be the subject of the song. The lyrics express remorse and ask for forgiveness after a breakup. Critics praised her lyrics and her vocal performance.

Country and pop radio both embraced "Back to December." Yoann Lemoine, known for his direction of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" clip, helmed this video as well. Male model Guntars Asmanis appears as Swift's love interest.

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'I Knew You Were Trouble' (2012)

Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble
Courtesy Big Machine

"I Knew You Were Trouble" is from the album "Red." It was co-written and produced by pop master Max Martin. The song features elements borrowed from the dance music genre called dubstep. Lyrically, "I Knew You Were Trouble" tells the story of a girl developing a negative relationship with a "bad boy." Some speculated that the song was about Taylor Swift's own relationship with John Mayer.

"I Knew You Were Trouble" was first released as a promotional single, selling over 400,000 copies in its first week and opening at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later, as an official single, it hit No. 1 on both mainstream and adult pop radio. The accompanying music video was directed by Anthony Mandler and won Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. 

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'Mine' (2010)

Taylor Swift Mine
Courtesy Big Machine

Released as the lead single from Taylor Swift's third studio album, "Speak Now," "Mine" details her tendency to run from love. She says that the song shows what it would be like if she let her guard down. Critics praised the lyrics for taking on an adult view of love. It incorporates power pop elements into what is otherwise a straightforward country song.

"Mine" debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard pop singles chart. It also landed inside the top 10 on the adult contemporary, adult pop, and country radio charts. Taylor Swift co-directed the accompanying music video with Roman White, who previously directed the video for "You Belong With Me." Jaclyn Jarrett, daughter of professional wrestler Jeff Jarrett, plays a younger version of Swift in the clip. The video was shot in Kennebunkport, Maine. Former president George H.W. Bush attended the premiere of the music video in Kennebunkport with approximately 800 other residents.

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'You Belong With Me' (2009)

Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me
Courtesy Big Machine

Taylor Swift wrote "You Belong With Me" after overhearing a male friend argue over the phone with his girlfriend. The song was co-written with Liz Rose, a frequent collaborator on Taylor Swift's early songs. It is one of the most overtly pop-oriented of her singles from her first two albums. "You Belong With Me" was nominated for Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

The accompanying music video won the MTV Video Music Awards accolade as Female Video of the Year, which led to a notorious altercation with Kanye West. He interrupted her acceptance speech and insisted that Beyonce should have won the award. Later, when Beyonce won the Video of the Year award, she called Taylor Swift back onstage to give her the opportunity to complete her speech. Kanye West later issued a formal apology.

"You Belong With Me" reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the country chart. It also topped the adult contemporary radio chart while reaching No. 2 at adult pop radio. "You Belong With Me" has sold more than four million copies.  

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'Love Story' (2008)

Taylor Swift - Love Story
Courtesy Big Machine

"Love Story" was the lead single from Taylor Swift's second album, "Fearless." She says she wrote the song when she was dating a guy who wasn't the popular choice. "Love Story" uses references to "Romeo and Juliet" as the words unfold. It was Taylor Swift's first top-5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and her third No. 1 country hit.

Critics widely praised "Love Story" as Taylor Swift's best work to date. When "Love Story," reached No. 1 at mainstream pop radio it became the first country song to do so since Shania Twain's "You're Still the One" in 1998. "Love Story" also topped the adult contemporary chart and even crossed over to the Latin songs chart.

The accompanying music video was directed by frequent collaborator Trey Fanjoy. It is a period piece that draws from medieval and Renaissance time periods. Former "Nashville Star" contestant Justin Gaston portrays Taylor Swift's love interest in the video. The clip was filmed at Castle Gwynn south of Nashville. "Love Story" won the Country Music Association Award for Video of the Year.

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'Teardrops on My Guitar' (2007)

Taylor Swift - Teardrops On My Guitar
Courtesy Big Machine

Taylor Swift's second hit single details the pain of loving a boy named Drew who is dating another girl. The song was inspired by a real-life relationship with a boy of the same name. "Teardrops on My Guitar" was a major pop breakthrough for Taylor Swift, landing at No. 13. It spent nearly an entire year on the Billboard Hot 100 and ultimately sold nearly three million digital copies. It also broke into the top 10 across mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio.

A remixed version that toned down the country music instrumentation was played frequently on pop radio stations. "Teardrops on My Guitar" also went all the way to No. 2 on the country chart. Actor Tyler Hilton appears as Taylor Swift's love interest in the "Teardrops on My Guitar" music video. The clip earned a nomination for Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards.

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'Our Song' (2007)

Taylor Swift - "Our Song"
Courtesy Big Machine

Taylor Swift wrote "Our Song" for a talent show during her freshman year in high school. After classmates made positive comments about it, Taylor Swift pushed to record it for her debut album. The lyrics discuss a young couple who don't have their own special song but instead use events in their relationship to take the place of a song.

"Our Song" was Swift's first No. 1 country hit, and it also rose to No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Taylor Swift the youngest person to solo write and record a No. 1 country song. It ultimately earned a quadruple-platinum certification for sales and spent six weeks at the top of the country charts. The accompanying music video, directed by Trey Fanjoy, was also a success. It won Country Music Television awards for Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year.

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'Tim McGraw' (2006)

Taylor Swift - Tim McGraw
Courtesy Big Machine

This is the song that started everything for Taylor Swift. It is both her first single released and her first song published. She says she wrote it during high school math class. The song details memories of a summer romance triggered by a song by country star Tim McGraw. "Tim McGraw" was finished as a song in collaboration with country songwriter Liz Rose. The record hit the top 10 on the country chart and peaked at No. 40 on the pop chart.

The accompanying music video for "Tim McGraw" was directed by Trey Fanjoy, who worked extensively with country star Reba McEntire. Actor Clayton Collins appears as Taylor Swift's love interest. It won the 2007 Country Music Television Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year.

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Lamb, Bill. "Taylor Swift's Top 15 Songs of All Time." ThoughtCo, Nov. 20, 2017, thoughtco.com/top-taylor-swift-songs-p2-3243845. Lamb, Bill. (2017, November 20). Taylor Swift's Top 15 Songs of All Time. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-taylor-swift-songs-p2-3243845 Lamb, Bill. "Taylor Swift's Top 15 Songs of All Time." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-taylor-swift-songs-p2-3243845 (accessed November 20, 2017).