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2014: The Year in Taylor Swift

The performances, music videos and news stories that made a platinum year

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

It seems any year that Taylor Swift releases a new album becomes Taylor Swift's year. Since her 2006 debut, she's dropped an LP every other autumn, capping off the year with a new entry in her public diary, a young person falling in and out of love with herself and others. At 16, we met a girl in love with Tim McGraw's music and love itself, marking the beginning of a national obsession with Swift —strengthened by 2012's Red and reaffirmed with this year's 1989.

In 2014, she shifted the narrative. As hard as people tried to focus on who the lyrics were about, Swift provided a reminder that she's the protagonist in these stories. She became an artist and a renegade who took some risky turns in her love life that she transformed into successful leaps in her music. It was a year of power moves for Swift, in which she backed herself with a rotating but loyal girl gang. If the "best people in life are free," as she sighs at the end of the chorus on her track "New Romantics," then the new, enlightened, unrestrained Swift is one of the greatest out there. Here's a look at her last 12 months.

Taylor Swift

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

November 5th: ‘1989’ Goes Platinum

A change seemed to do her good: 1989 became the first and only album to receive a platinum certification in 2014, having done so in its first week alone.

Taylor Swift at the AMAs

Swift at the AMAs

Christopher Polk/AMA2014/Getty Images for DCP

November 23rd: Taylor Swift Wins the Dick Clark Award for Excellence at the AMAs

Swift opened the American Music Awards with one of her more elaborate awards show performances. Performing "Blank Space," she murdered her many on-stage boyfriends and set roses on fire. In an acceptance speech for the inaugural Dick Clark Award for Excellence she stuck to her choice to pull 1989 from Spotify: "To the fans who went out and bought over a million copies of my last three albums, what you did by going out and investing in music and albums is you're saying that you believe in the same thing that I believe in…[You believe] that music is valuable and that music should be consumed in albums and albums should be consumed as art and appreciated."

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift/Instagram

December 13th: Taylor Swift Parties Like She’s 25

Swift would capped off her year with a massive celebration of her 25th birthday. In her TriBeca apartment, she hosted a gaggle of celebrities, including Karlie Kloss, the Haim sisters, Sam Smith, Justin Timberlake, Jay Z and Beyoncé.

Taylor Swift

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

December 31st: Taylor Swift Welcomes 2015 From New York

We can only imagine how Taylor Swift will celebrate 2015, a year promising her next big tour. To cap off 2014, she will partake in the classic pop-star ritual of appearing at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve in Times Square tonight.

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