Trace Taylor Swift's Country to Pop Transformation in 5 Songs

From "Tim McGraw" to "Shake It Off": How she slowly crossed over from country phenom to pop superstar

When Taylor Swift announced her "very first documented, official pop album," more than a few country traditionalists rolled their eyes. "Swift has always been pop," they said – and they weren't completely wrong. It's undeniable that the superstar's musical output has always contained a rather strong pop influence (to be fair, so has almost all mainstream country music over the past decade); and in her eight years in the spotlight, she's never tried to imitate the robust twang of, say, Waylon or Reba.

"Shake It Off" may be her poppiest single yet, but our new cover star Taylor Swift seemed to have her sights set beyond Nashville's borders from the very start. Already country's biggest crossover star, Swift is now poised to become one of biggest stars in pop. Here, in five songs, is how it happened.

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