America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift, announced at the ACM Awards that she will no longer be part of the country music scene, officially naming pop as her designated genre.

The country music industry has been doing everything in its power to hold onto its top money-maker, and it’s no secret that Taylor Swift dominates the music business. From the charts to the headlines, a consistent spotlight is always shining on Swift. She is the winner of 16 American Music Awards, seven Grammys, and 34 Billboard Music Awards. As an artist, her success has gone beyond what anyone would have predicted when she started as a mere teenager with the hit “Tim McGraw” (2006).

Swift’s journey began when she moved to Nashville at the age of 14 with an artist development deal with RCA Records. After wrestling with management conflicts, Swift was finally able to get her name out to country music lovers. With the release of her album, Taylor Swift (2006), she marked her territory as an artist to watch as she continued to build her success. “Teardrops on my Guitar,” “Our Song,” and “Picture to Burn” topped the charts, expanding from the sole country airwaves to top mainstream radio stations. Her next album Fearless (2008) crossed that bridge and occupied both genres with hit songs “Love Story” (the first country song to reach No. 1 on the Mainstream Top 40 Chart), “White Horse,” and “You Belong with Me.” Swift became the first country artist to top the charts of multiple music genres and continued with her ability to hit both target audiences following the release of Speak Now (2008).

With her continued work in the spotlight, the argument between pop and country fans began over what genre of music Swift should be considered. Her original start as a country artist blurred as her songs gained popularity on pop radio stations as she transitioned to the pop spotlight with a new album. Red (2012) dominated the charts with songs about channeling emotions and inner strength. Songs such as “We are Never Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” highlight one of the most relative ideas that everyone understands: being hurt or betrayed and then rising above. Her image changed to a strong woman with the power to overcome all the challenges presented, establishing herself as a role model and heroine.

The battle between the two industries over one artist is understandable. America loves Taylor Swift not only for her music but because she is has become a symbol of class, talent, and normalcy. People have seen her grow up, watched her struggle for her fame, and lived her life alongside her through her songs. Everyone can relate to Swift. As an artist, she has settled into her own skin the best is still unfolding. Her sass and quirkiness make her lovable. She has revealed her deepest feelings about heartbreak, critiques, and life in the spotlight to millions of people through music. Her newest album, 1989 (2014), has been another mark of success for the young star with hit songs “Blank Space” and “Style.”

Taylor Swift was born to shake it off as a pop star, and for now, country music will have to say goodbye to their beloved prodigy and await a new artist to steal the spotlight once again. After countless heartbreaks, Swift is now the heart breaker as she says goodbye to country music. Although Swift and country are never ever getting back together, she sent her love to the genre at the ACM Awards on April 19, and gave thanks to the industry for being the ones to launch her career. The love is returned as country music is thankful that her talent and hard work helped to redefine the industry as one that can compete with top hits and leave its mark on the charts.

“I’m so happy, so happy I learned to write songs in a town like Nashville. I’m so grateful that I learned to write songs in a town like Nashville. I’m so grateful that I learned what hard work is from my heroes who are all sitting here. And I’m so unbelievably proud that I learned to treat people with kindness and respect from country music. I love you so much,” said Swift.

Swift was presented the Milestone Award to celebrate her impact on country music.

For more information about Taylor Swift’s upcoming 1989 World Tour check out her website.

Taylor Swift
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