2015 was most definitely the year of 1989. Taylor Swift made this year her own with her critically acclaimed album, sold out tour, seemingly never ending string of good deeds, and, of course, her much lauded girl squad. Taylor dominated this year so thoroughly and in a way that we haven't seen in recent times, it's hard not think of this year as her own.
Despite all the good aspects of 1989, the 12 month long roll out and promotion of the album felt laborious at times. Taylor was calculated, cunning, and methodical in most instances. From her social media presence to her innumerable tour guests, every step Taylor took seemed to be divined by the Gods.
October 27, 2014 - Taylor releases 1989
November 3, 2014 - Taylor announces 1989 Tour
December 31, 2014 - Taylor releases "Swiftmas video" of her gifting fans for the holiday period
January 23, 2015 - Taylor goes on holiday with Haim, the first of many girl squad trips
June 21, 2015 - Taylor authors blog post to Apple
May 5, 2015 - 1989 world tour kicks off in Japan
May 17, 2015 - Taylor debuts "Bad Blood" during the Billboard music awards starring her famous girl squad
June 27, 2015 - Taylor is joined by Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Serena Williams, Martha Hunt, Karli Kloss, and Cara Delevingne on stage.
August 8, 2015 - Taylor performs "Trap Queen" with Fetty Wap on stage
August 14-15, 2015 - Taylor's Santa Clara dates (two nights) gross over $13 million dollars
September 29, 2015 - Taylor and HAIM perform "Hot in Herre" with Nelly
September 30, 2015 - Taylor donates $50k to back up dancer's nephew with cancer
Over the year Taylor managed to drum up publicity for 1989 by just being her usually inoffensive self and, while we loved her girl squad, her relationship with Calvin Harris and her charitable works, it was hard not to develop a serious case of Taylor fatigue.
1989 definitely had a dark side. In a strange set of trademark papers made public, it was revealed that Taylor had attempted to trademark the words "this sick beat" and other phrases found on the record. Though it might have been good business, it seemed strange for the girl who made a career out of being nice to pursue this line of action.
Then there was the incident with Nicki Minaj. Apropos of virtually nothing, Taylor showed a rare bit of insecurity by responding to a tweet from the rapper concerning "slim white women". In true Taylor style, the pair patched things up with a performance at the VMAs but it showed a not often seen moment of unsisterly behaviour inconsistent with the image that Taylor spent much of the year crafting.
1989 was a landmark record. The production and lyrical content on the record will certainly go down in pop as game changing for the genre. Taylor proved her might, taking on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. And she finally let bygones be bygones with Kanye West, no longer content with being the sad girl who had her award tarnished by the rapper six years ago.
Whether you loved 1989 or not, there is no getting around the fact that it was a game changer. Not just because of the record itself or the impact it has had on pop music, but for Taylor's insanely effective roll out campaign. She made the influence of one album last for over one calendar year, proved the importance of sisterhood, and taught a lesson in how to grab headlines without becoming a controversial.
Taylor made 2015 the year of 1989 and it's doubtful anyone will be able to replicate her landmark success in the near future.