And that is why Taylor Swift is music's Woman of the Decade.
On the eve of her 30th birthday, the world-famous pop star accepted Billboard's inaugural Woman of the Decade honor at their Women in Music Awards event. Swift recalled what she described as the past "magnificent, happy, free, confused, sometimes lonely but mostly golden" 10 years in a soul-baring speech that touched on the past, present and future for female artists in the industry. The 10-time Grammy winner spoke in length about losing the rights to her master recordings to Scooter Braunin a deal that she said was agreed to without her "approval, consultation or consent."
Her speech began in part, "So what does it mean to be the woman of this decade? Well, it means I've seen a lot. When this decade began I was 20-years-old. I had put out my self-titled debut album when I was 16—the album that would become my breakthrough album, which was called Fearless. I saw that there was a world of music beyond country music that I was really curious about. I saw pop stations play my songs "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me" for the first time, and I saw that as a female in this industry some people will always have slight reservations about you. Whether you deserve to be there, whether your male producer or co-writer is the reason for your success, or whether it was a savvy record label."
"It wasn't," Taylor remarked with a smirk. "I saw that people loved to explain away a woman's success in the music industry and I saw something in me change due to this realization. This was the decade when I became a mirror for my detractors. Whatever they decided I couldn't do is exactly what I did. Whatever they criticized about me became material for musical satire or inspirational anthems. The best lyrical examples I can think of are songs like 'Mean,' 'Shake It Off' and 'Blank Space.' Basically if people had something to say about me I said something back in my own way. This reflux dictated more than just my lyrics."