The Year in Music 2022: Taylor Swift dominates with new album, awards, honors and more


When is a year in music NOT dominated by Taylor Swift? While it’s true that most of her activities were confined to the latter half of 2022, she still managed to take over the news cycle, even inspiring what seems to be a reckoning of the entire concert ticket industry. Here are just a few of Taylor’s many, many accomplishments in 2022:

–On May 18, Taylor was awarded an honorary doctorate in fine arts from New York University and delivered the commencement address, to boot, complete with an Easter egg that nobody noticed until after the fact. She told the graduates, “Breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out,” which was later revealed to be a lyric on the song “Labryinth” from her album Midnights, announced three months later. 

–In June, Taylor did a Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival about All Too Well: The Short Film and in September, she did the same at the Toronto International Film Festival, leading to speculation that she was campaigning for an Oscar nomination for the project. In Toronto, she said that she’d love to direct a feature film.

–In August, Taylor became the first artist ever to win Video of the Year three times at the MTV VMAs, taking home the trophy for All Too Well: The Short Film, and only the second artist to win best direction twice for directing their own videos. But the biggest surprise that night was Taylor announcing that a new album was coming on October 21. A few hours later, she confirmed it would be called Midnights.

–In September, Taylor was named Songwriter of the Decade at the Nashville Songwriters Association International, where she performed the 10-minute version of “All Too Well” and discussed her songwriting process.

–In October, records shattered with the arrival of Midnights. Debuting at number one, it was the first album to sell over 1 million copies in a week since Taylor’s own Reputation in 2017. Taylor is now tied with Barbra Streisand for the most number-one albums for a female artist: 11. Also, songs from Midnights took over the entire top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, making Taylor the first artist ever to do so.

–The lead single from Midnights, “Anti-Hero,” gave Taylor her ninth number-one hit and made her the only solo artist to have had five singles debut at number one. The song reigned atop the Hot 100 for six weeks until it was dethroned by Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

–In November, Taylor received four Grammy nominations and won six American Music Awards, including Artist of the Year, bringing her career AMA total to 40.

–Also in November, Taylor announced her 2023 Eras Tour. When she put the tickets on sale, a record 2 million were sold in a single day. But the process itself was a nightmare, with many fans finding themselves unable to purchase tickets despite having the correct access codes. Other fans reported the Ticketmaster website crashing and enduring hourslong waits.

An angry Taylor called out Ticketmaster for letting her and her fans down, and though the ticketing giant apologized, the damage had been done. The Senate’s Anti-Trust Committee announced it’d be holding hearings regarding Ticketmaster’s alleged monopoly; a number of fans filed a class-action lawsuit; and the entire concert ticket industry was called into question.

–In December, Taylor was named Billboard’s Top Female Artist of 2022. She also received a Golden Globe nomination for her song “Carolina” from the film Where the Crawdads Sing and announced that she’d be directing her first feature film based on an original script she wrote. “Carolina” also made the Oscar short list for Best Original Song.


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