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Midnights Era


“Meet me at midnight.” With the release of her tenth studio album, Midnights, Taylor became more universally loved than ever before. When 20,000 people regularly started showing up outside her sold out “The Eras Tour” stadium shows, it became clear that something unique was happening. Streaming records made it clear as well: Sixteen years into her career, Taylor had managed to hit a new height of popularity. Welcome to Taylormania.
Taylor dropped off the radar during the first half of 2022 while she was working on her secret new project, Midnights, spending most of her time in London with then-partner Joe Alwyn. Over the new year, tabloids were reporting engagement rumors, which were neither confirmed nor denied by Taylor’s publicist. The media was simply craving new Taylor content because her public appearances had become rare; in May, she received an honoray doctorate degree from New York University and held an inspiring commencement speech for the Class of 2022. She also appeared at select film festivals, to promote her short film for “All Too Well.” It all felt like the calm before the storm.
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Meet Me At Midnight

Just as August 2022 was coming to and end, Taylor shocked the music world by finally announcing her very well-kept secret at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards while accepting the “Video of the Year” award for “All Too Well (The Short Film)“:

«I wouldn’t be able to re-record my albums if it weren’t for you. You emboldened me to do that. And I had made up my mind that if you were going to be this generous and give us this [award], I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand new album comes out October 21. And I will tell you more at midnight.»

She kept her promise, revealing on social media that the record (unsurprisingly) contains 13 tracks. “This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams,” she wrote. “The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching — hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve … we’ll meet ourselves.” During the following weeks, Taylor tried out a new rollout strategy: no single, no surprise drop 12 hours later. Instead, she spent two months posting cryptic videos on TikTok at midnight, unveiling song names and lyric billboards to tide over her increasingly spiraling, clue-hungry fanbase.

Songwriter-Artist of the Decade

Ahead of the release of her new album, Taylor was named the “Songwriter-Artist of the Decade” for her work in the 2010s by the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). The decade award is metrics-driven, determined by chart success and the writer’s percentage of songwriting credit on each hit. On September 20, she gave a 13-minute speech at the NSAI 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards, which took place at Nashville’s storied Ryman Auditorium. She discussed her history as a songwriter, the way she categorizes the songs she writes, and her process of re-recording her first six albums.

«I’m up here receiving this beautiful award for a decade of work, and I can’t possibly explain how nice that feels. Because the way I see it, this is an award that celebrates a culmination of moments. Challenges. Gauntlets laid down. Albums I’m proud of. Triumphs. Strokes of luck or misfortune. Loud, embarrassing errors and the subsequent recovery from those mistakes, and the lessons learned from all of it. This award celebrates my family and my co-writers and my team. My friends and my fiercest fans and my harshest detractors and everyone who entered my life or left it. Because when it comes to my songwriting and my life, they are one and the same.»

Before closing out her speech, she also said: “Writing songs is my life’s work and my hobby and my never-ending thrill. I am moved beyond words that you, my peers, decided to honour me in this way for work I’d still be doing if I had never been recognized for it. […] Writing songs is a calling, and getting to call it your career makes you very lucky. You have to be grateful every day for it, and all the people who thought your words might be worth listening to. This town [Nashville] is the school that taught me that. To be honoured by you means more than any genre of my lyrics could ever say. Thank you.”
Taylor Swift for Midnights (Beth Garrabrant, 2022)
Taylor Swift for Midnights (2022)

A Real Legacy to Leave

During a 12-month stretch that would’ve been memorable for any one milestone — becoming the first-ever Record Store Day “Global Ambassador,” receiving an honorary doctorate from NYU, marking six years with partner Joe Alwyn — Taylor took over the fourth quarter of 2022 with the release of Midnights. As always, the build-up to the album’s release on October 21 was impeccably curated, as were Taylor’s subsequent press stops and her surprise appearances, such as showing up at the MTV Europe Music Awards and the American Music Awards to accept her “Favorite Pop Album” win for RED (Taylor’s Version) in person. Upon release, Midnights was streamed a record-breaking 228 million times on Spotify in the first 24 hours, In just one day of sales, it became the top-selling album of 2022. For the fifth time in her career, one of Taylor’s albums sold more than 1 million copies in its first week, moving an astonishing 1,5 million units – a career best for Taylor and the first album to do so since her own reputation back in 2017. She also became the first artist to occupy the entirety of the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 in history. Speaking to Jimmy Fallon, she said:

«I’m beside myself, really. It’s actually a concept record but it’s my first directly autobiographical album in a while because the last album that I put out was a re-record of my album RED. So that has some space, you know? I wrote that stuff a decade ago. folklore and evermore was storytime and mythology like, ‘I’m creating a character, they went and did this and felt this way.’ So I’m feeling very overwhelmed by the fans’ love for the album. I’m also feeling very soft and fragile. The two can exist at once. But the fact that the fans have done this, like the breaking of the records and the going out to the stores and getting it, it’s…you know, I’m 32, so we’re considered geriatric pop stars. They start to put us out to pasture at age 25, I’m just happy to be here.»

Breaking Ticketmaster

As Taylor turned 33 on December 13, she was turning the page on one of her most industry-influencing years yet (which is saying a lot) — one that’s seen US officials literally making a federal case out of how popular she was. In fact, in addition to the US congress more than four dozen of her fans were suing Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation over the technical-difficulty-plagued rollout of ticket sales for her 2023 “The Eras Tour,” alleging fraud, misrepresentation and antitrust violations. Responding to the class-action lawsuit, Live Nation said in a statement posted to its website that it “takes its responsibilities under the antitrust laws seriously” and “does not engage in behaviors that could justify antitrust litigation, let alone orders that would require it to alter fundamental business practices.” Though verified fan club members were supposed to have a leg up on the competition with invite codes, it almost felt as if the shows were sold out before the pre-sale even began. At least 12 million unique visitors, including automated bots, joined the fray, resulting in hours-long waits, and a crashing website, though 2 million tickets were ultimately purchased in one day. Ticketmaster announced on November 17 it cancelled the general public sale “due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.” Taylor wasn’t happy about this turn of events at all:

«It goes without saying that I'm extremely protective of my fans. We've been doing this for decades together and over the years, I've brought so many elements of my career in house. I've done this SPECIFICALLY to improve the quality of my fans' experience by doing it myself with my team who care as much about my fans as I do. It's truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.»

The next day Ticketmaster apologized to Taylor’s fans and whoever had a “terrible experience” trying to secure “The Eras Tour” tickets. At the behest of Taylor’s team, Ticketmaster started reaching out December 12 to fans who were registered to participate in the pre-sale to offer them an “additional opportunity” to buy seats. But Live Nation and Ticketmaster weren’t out of the woods yet: The Justice Department had opened an antitrust investigation into their business practices, so the cost of superfandom was destined for a clash on Capitol Hill.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held its much-anticipated hearing into Live Nation and the lack of competition in the ticketing industry at the end of January 2023. During the hearing, several lawmakers credited the Taylor debacle — and her vocal fanbase — with putting Ticketmaster back in the spotlight, though acknowledged that the problem is much bigger than any one artist. The hearing, which stretched on for more than three hours, included probing questions, defiant statements and more than a few Taylor references.
Midnights: Moonstone Blue Edition (2022)


Midnights October 21, 2022 Midnights is Taylor’s tenth studio album, released on October 21, 2022, through Republic Records. A concept record about nocturnal ruminations, it was written and produced by Taylor with longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff. She has described the album as a collection of

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Omnipresence In American Culture

It seemed like Taylor was, once again, an omnipresent force in American culture, this time around without actually having to lift a finger. Considering her ever-growing resentment towards fame, constantly being the focus of attention was probably more uncomfortable for her than flattering. Up until the start of “The Eras Tour” on March 17, 2023, she was once again laying low, busy with tour rehearsals in the UK and US. The line between her private life and career had never been more clear.

To be fair, she didn’t need to go out and promote Midnights; the album stayed atop the charts around the globe for weeks on end, while “Anti-Hero” officially became her longest-running No. 1 in the US to date. The night of the Grammys she might have lost out on what would have been a very deserving win in the “Song of the Year” category for “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” but she still took home an awrd for “Best Music Video” and was the brightest star of the night, being the darling of the host, audience and social media crowd. With a relentless barrage of triumphs leading up to “The Eras Tour”, Taylor managed to become bigger than ever before.

The Eras Tour

How do you measure the impact of a musician in 2023? Streams can be bought. Awards can be finessed. Is it when demand for show tickets leads to a congressional hearing about Ticketmaster’s policies? Or when flight attendants shout out a fanbase making a pilgrimage to see the opening night of a tour, in a city officially renamed to Swift City to mark the occasion? Or when TikToks of merch inspirations and setlist predictions rack up millions of views? Nearly a decade ago, TIME ran a headline declaring ‘Taylor Swift Is The Music Industry’ and those with even the slightest pulse on pop culture could tell she’d only grown more omnipresent since. It all led to a warm evening in Glendale, Arizona, where months after delivering her most commercially-successful album to date, Taylor debuted a discography-spanning setlist that lasted over three hours and kicked off an aptly-named stadium run, likely to become the highest-grossing concert tour of all time. “The Eras Tour” had arrived.
Taylor Swift for Midnights (Beth Garrabrant, 2022)

Split from Joe Alwyn

On April 8, 2023, it was announced that Taylor and Joe Alwyn had broken up after more than six years of dating. A source close to the pair, assumed to be Taylor’s publicist Tree Paine, confirmed the news to People: “They had plenty in common and fell in love in a safe bubble while she was retreating from the world during reputation. Then the pandemic hit, and they were locked down together and able to continue growing their relationship in this insulated way. But he didn’t really ‘know’ her yet outside of that bubble. Joe has struggled with Taylor’s level of fame and the attention from the public. The differences in their personalities have also become harder to ignore after years together. They’ve grown apart.”

According to multiple sources, it was “more of Taylor’s decision” to break up. She and Joe had been “talking about marriage as recently as a few months ago.” But at the end of the day, the couple wasn’t ready for a future together. “Taylor didn’t see them working out in the long run,” says the insider, who added they had a deep connection and Taylor hopes they can be friendly in the future: “They are friendly. She doesn’t have anything bad to say about Joe. They just grew apart. Taylor is staying very focused on her tour right now.”
General Information
Associated AlbumMidnights
Beginning of EraAugust 2022
End of Era
TourThe Eras Tour
AestheticNight time
Midnight blue
StyleFaux fur coat
Collared sweaters
Sweater vests
Wide leg pants
Neutral colors
Glitter eyeshadow
Long, wavy hair
The Eras Era (2021-present)Midnights Era (2022-present)
Midnights Era

Midnights (2022)

Midnights Songs

The Eras Tour

Taylor's Discography

Taylor's Discography