Taylor Swift breaks record by winning Album of the Year for the fourth time
Taylor Swift took home Album of the Year for Midnights at the 66th Grammy Awards on Sunday evening. This is her record-breaking fourth win in the category.
34-year-old Swift previously won the Album of the Year award in 2008 for Fearless, in 2014 for 1989, and in 2020 for Folklore. With her fourth Grammy in that category, she leaves three-tme winners Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, behind her.
“I would love to tell you that this is the best moment of my life, but I also feel happy when I finish a song. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to do what I love,” said Swift, who beat Lana Del Rey and Jon Batiste, among others. She announced that a new album would be released on 19 April.
Swift was nominated in six categories and also won in the prize for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Other major winners
Miley Cyrus took home Record of the Year with her song Flowers. “This award is extraordinary, but I really hope it doesn't change anything because my life was beautiful yesterday, too,” said 31-year-old Cyrus. "Not everyone gets a Grammy, but everyone in this world is spectacular, so please don't think it matters."
The award for Song of the Year went to Billie Eilish for What Was I Made For, the title song of the film Barbie, while Best New Artist was awarded to R&B singer Victoria Monét.
Swift's staying power
Over the course of her career, Swift has evolved from an award-winning country music singer to one of the biggest pop stars in the world, winning Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2023. The Swift phenomenon has proven difficult to replicate or replace. With her enormous fan base, Swift has influence over popular culture, current events and even American elections.
A Newsweek Poll published on 28 January revealed that an endorsement from Swift would have the most significant impact on younger voters, with 18 per cent of voters saying they would be "more likely" or "significantly more likely" to vote for a candidate endorsed by Swift.
Alexandra Gold, a clinical fellow in psychology at MGH and Harvard Medical School, attributed Swift's reign to her relatability. "Even though there are aspects of her that maybe don’t feel very relatable (she’s a celebrity and lives a very different life from her fans) — what she is singing about, the lyrical content, as well as the emotions that underlie the lyrical content, are very relatable to a lot of people. There’s something that is very common to the human experience," she says.
Gold also refers to the demographic of Swift's fanbase, saying Millenials grew up alongside her and were having the same experiences and awakenings that she ultimately wrote about in real time. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Swift's presence on TikTok opened up a connection with Gen Z. Her hold over two of the generations that grew up with unlimited access to information on the internet has majorly contributed to her reach and staying power.
© PHOTO VALERIE MACON / AFP