Taylor Swift: Why fans aren't listening to her anymore

Taylor Swift has achieved major accomplishments since releasing her self-titled debut album in 2006. Hits like "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me" skyrocketed her to superstardom, and her critically acclaimed albums like 2012's Red and 2014's 1989 yielded even more beloved songs, sending Swift into further ascension. And don't get us started on all the infectious hits she's penned for others (ahem, Calvin Harris' "This Is What You Came For"). We could really go on here, but the point is that she seemed poised for eternal greatness.

However, with the Grammy and Billboard award-winning singer and songwriter's success came controversy. From rifts with some of the industry's most popular acts to poorly received music, Swift's had a bit of a fall from grace, and she just hasn't managed to attract the same levels of attention as she did before. But why? We'll discuss that here as we explore the real reason people aren't listening to Taylor Swift anymore.

'Famous' made her infamous

The Taylor Swift-Kanye West feud can be traced back to 2009, when the rapper interrupted her acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards to let the audience know Beyoncé had been robbed of the honor. But the pair's bad blood hit the fan in 2016 when West released his song "Famous" from his seventh studio album The Life of Pablo, which featured the risqué line, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? / I made that b*tch famous."

The rapper was quickly criticized for the lyrics, with many people deeming them as misogynistic, but he maintained that the Reputation singer had approved the song long before its release. Swift, however, claimed otherwise and slammed West for the line in a fiery speech at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

That's when his wife, Kim Kardashian, swept to West's defense, releasing the alleged footage of the singer speaking to her hubby about the song, in which Swift can be heard saying that the name drop was a "compliment." Needless to say, the incident subjected Swift to major backlash, with many social media users trolling her with snake emojis and brutal comments — which brings us to our next point…

Playing victim backfired

The leaked call left Swift publicly embarrassed and desperate for ways to try to save face, so she tried turning the snake into a means of empowerment and even used reptilian imagery throughout her Reputation world tour.

Swift got candid about her embracement of snakes with the audience on the opening night of her tour in May 2018, saying, "A lot of people were calling me a lot of names on social media. And I went through some really low times for a while because of it" (via People). She added that she wanted to use the snakes in her tour to "send a message to you guys that if someone uses name calling to bully you on social media … [it] doesn't have to beat you. It can strengthen you instead."

Some of her fans loved the moment, and things were finally looking up for the singer. But she just wouldn't let the backlash go, and she went on a huge spiel about being "misunderstood" during an acceptance speech at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.

That time, her fans weren't having it, and they hastily let her know on social media, because — evidently — she'd already had her moment.

Earth, Wind & Fire was a natural disaster

There are few cover songs that are infinitely better than the original versions, especially when it comes to R&B. Some might say Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and Aretha Franklin's "Respect" are honorable mentions, for example. But there are other songs, like Earth, Wind & Fire's classic hit "September" that can never be outdone — no matter who tries it.

Unfortunately, Swift found that out the hard way after sharing her cover of "September" in April 2018, which Billboard said appeared to be an effort to give a "1978 funk hit a warm country-tinged feel." Her fans were all but impressed with the rendition, arguing that the "Look What You Made Me Do" singer had destroyed the track. Even Allee Willis, the co-writer of the song, agreed, saying Swift "was as lethargic as a drunk turtle dozing under a sunflower after ingesting a bottle of Valium," and had made one of the "peppiest, happiest, most popular songs in history" absolutely "boring" (via TMZ).

Yikes.

T. Swift vs. Nicki Minaj

Swift injected herself right into the middle of drama with fellow superstar Nicki Minaj in 2015. The "Super Bass" rapper had taken to Twitter to voice her frustration with the MTV Video Music Awards nominations, specifically the snubs of her and Beyoncé's ridiculously fun single "Feeling Myself" and her bootylicious track "Anaconda" for Video of the Year.

In one particular tweet, Minaj expressed her dissatisfaction that videos celebrating women with "very slim bodies" often get nominated over those without, which Swift apparently took umbrage at.

The singer — who was nominated for Video of the Year, alongside Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, and Mark Ronson — lashed out against Minaj within the hour, saying, per Billboard, "I've done nothing but love & support you. It's unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot.."

Minaj, of course, was blindsided by Swift's message, as her comment was likely directed at MTV rather than the nominees. But (thankfully) the two managed to patch things up fairly quickly and even performed at the show together.

Then their reconstructed friendship seemingly came crashing down yet again in early 2017, when Minaj was featured on Katy Perry's alleged Swift diss "Swish Swish." The rapper had even sent out a cryptic tweet just moments after Swift released the braggadocious track "Look What You Made Me Do" in August 2017, writing, "Sit down. Be humble" — in case you were thinking the feature was just a coincidence.

There's a new act in town

Cardi B took the world by storm when she released her earth-conquering, chart-topping single "Bodak Yellow" in 2017, and there's a good chance she took a lot of fans from other entertainers, too.

In fact, by the time Cardi's debut album Invasion of Privacy rolled around in April 2018, she was an international phenomenon who managed to surpass records that were only held by Swift with her LP. According to People, the album garnered 100 million streams on Apple Music in just over a week and is the platform's fifth most streamed album of all time. The streams are reportedly more than double the amount held by Swift for her Reputation album. Granted, the project wasn't available on the platform for three weeks after its release, but you've gotta admit that Cardi's accomplishments are pretty big feats for a newcomer.

There aren't any harsh feelings between the two, though, as Swift sent Cardi flowers in 2017 to congratulate the rapper on her success. Additionally, Cardi later raved about her love for the singer in an interview with People. Who knows — Swift might be able to get some of those fans back with a future collab.

Welcome to the app life

Who needs to repeatedly listen to Taylor Swift's music to feel closer to her when her fans can actually interact with her in real life? Perhaps that's the idea the "Blank Space" singer had in mind when she joined up with Glu Mobile — the same company that created the hugely successful games Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Nicki Minaj: Empire — to design her app The Swift Life, which released in December 2017.

The app gives her fans exclusive access to her very own social network, with designs similar to Instagram and Tumblr, where they get photos, videos, and news updates directly from the singer herself. Users of the app can also chat with fellow Swifties from around the world about their shared love of the artist, communicate with the singer by using "SwiftSends" on posts to get her attention, and earn "Taymojis," which are really adorable to leave peppered on other people's posts, TBH.

Missing in action

Swift mysteriously disappeared from the public eye in the middle of 2017, purging traces of herself from several of her social media accounts and her website, which left her fans desperately searching for her and prompted a slew of theories online regarding her whereabouts.

Even so, by the time the fall rolled around, Swift was still MIA and had only released one single, "Look What You Made Me Do," from her then-upcoming album Reputation. Swifties were having a complete meltdown over the singer's low profile, so Elvis Duran, host of Z100's Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, attempted to give fans some clarity about Swift's retreat, explaining she was simply overwhelmed by giving away so many "pieces of her life" (via New York Post).

"[In the past,] she's been out there giving away pieces of her life, and people have run with it, and maybe taken advantage of it," he dished. "I think it might have burned her to a degree."

Luckily, Swift later returned to the spotlight, but, considering she reportedly hadn't done any promotion for her project around its release, it's safe to say many people just didn't know she had music coming out.

Moving on with Katy Perry

Taylor Swift and Katy Perry's relationship soured in 2013 amid reports that three of Swift's dancers had abandoned her during her Red tour to work on Perry's Prismatic tour instead. Swift subtly acknowledged beef with an unnamed former friend in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone. "For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not," she explained. "She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, 'Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?'"

Then she all but called out Perry, saying, "She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me … So now I have to avoid her."

Perry sent out a cryptic tweet just a day after the article's release, urging her fans to "watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing," and what followed after were countless jabs from the singers in interviews and allegedly in songs like Swift's "Bad Blood" and Perry's "Swish Swish." Unfortunately, the beef forced some of their most dedicated fans to choose a side — until the two finally reconciled in 2018, when Perry sent Swift a literal olive branch as a truce.

That said, Swifties are likely busy jamming out to all of Perry's hits they missed out on over the years due to their allegiance. Us included.

She fights companies, too

Swift's drama extends further than just Nicki Minaj or Katy Perry. She's actually had rifts with streaming giants, too, including Apple Music and Spotify. After pulling her music from the platforms, she opened up about her problems with them in a 2014 op-ed with the Wall Street Journal"Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for," she wrote. "It's my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album's price point is. I hope they don't underestimate themselves or undervalue their art."

She went to blows with Apple Music the following year as well, expressing her dissatisfaction that the platform wouldn't pay artists for music customers listened to during their free trials. However, she apparently mended fences with both streaming services shortly afterwards, as her music is available on them at the time of this writing. Still, her return might have been a little too late.

Advocacy efforts

At the time of this writing, Taylor Swift has seemingly carved out more of a name for herself doing advocacy work than making music. Back in March 2018, she was busy speaking out in support of gun reform following the tragic Parkland shooting — which resulted in the deaths of 17 students and staff members — and donating to March For Our Lives, a campaign set up by student survivors of the tragedy.

In April 2018, she pledged her support for sexual assault survivors and donated to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) following the emotional trial of radio host David Mueller, whom she accusing of groping her in a 2013 meet-and-greet. And when she's not doing serious work, she's spending time getting to know her fans on a more personal level — like the time she threw a pizza party in her apartment for some Swifties in 2014.

Her efforts are commendable, to say the least, and have captivated many of us beyond measure — possibly more than her music has.