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Here's the Real Reason Taylor Swift Left Country Music in 2013

Why did Taylor Swift leave county music? The singer switched over to pop sometime around the release of "1989" and she hasn't looked back — until now.

Leila Kozma - Author

Mar. 22 2021, Updated 4:42 p.m. ET

Singer Taylor Swift is making her grand return to country music at the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards and fans are still trying to wrap their heads around the fantastic news. 

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However, they didn't forget how Taylor abruptly left the country music world shortly before the release of her top-selling album "1989," which marked her transition into pop. 

So, could the new gig mean that she's about to change artistic directions again? 

So, why did Taylor Swift leave country music?

Taylor had her first breakthrough as a singer at an extraordinarily young age, having moved to Nashville with the sole purpose of building a career in the music industry in 2004. 

She signed with Sony/ATV Music Publishing aged 14, which put her on a steady path to success as a country musician.

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why did taylor swift leave country music
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Her self-titled studio album became an instant hit, and her follow-ups — "Fearless" (2008), "Speak Now" (2010), and "Red" (2012) — were no different. 

However, in before the release of "1989" in 2014, Taylor made the switch to pop.  

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"As far as my music direction goes, I'd always like to keep people on their toes, in that regard, I think that's the best way to be exciting" Taylor described how she arrived at the decision in a previous interview with CBS This Morning

"I think on my last album, when the song "I Knew You Were Trouble" came out, and spent seven weeks on No. 1 of the pop charts that was kind of like a warning flair, like this is working, this comes naturally to me." 

She went on to add, "I don't think that people were surprised that I went in the direction of pop, I think people were surprised that I was honest about it." 

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The unorthodox move came as a shock to devoted fans, many of whom saw her as an epoch-changing musician and the mastermind behind songs like "Our Song" or "Mean." 

"Folklore" marks a new beginning for Taylor Swift.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Taylor revealed that she likes to imagine where her songs would be played, creating finely-tuned, intricately-detailed mood boards in the process. 

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Source: Instagram

"Sometimes I’ll have a strange sort of fantasy of where the songs would be played. And so for songs like "Paper Rings" or "Lover" I was imagining a wedding-reception band, but in the Seventies, so they couldn't play instruments that wouldn't have been invented yet. I have all these visuals. For "Reputation," it was nighttime cityscape," she explained

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"'Lover' is, like, completely just a barn wood floor and some ripped curtains flowing in the breeze, and fields of flowers and, you know, velvet," she added. 

why did taylor swift leave country music
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"Folklore" marks a new beginning for the star just the same. Unlike previous albums, it features more subdued, melodic songs and tunes inspired by early 2000s indie rock music. 

According to a handful of fans, however, it could also precipitate further artistic changes down the line — such as Taylor's return to country. 

Her forthcoming performance at the ACM Awards would surely corroborate these suspicions as well. 

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