AS she stepped out on stage at LA for the first leg of her Era's tour Taylor Swift, 33, oozed a confidence fans couldn't help but be in awe of.
It was a far cry from the broken 29-year-old who was close to hitting rock bottom four years ago.
From beef with Kanye West to an online spat with former flame Calvin Harris which kick-started the hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty, there was a time that people were seemingly ready to celebrate Taylor's downfall.
But according to PR expert Anthony Burr, the singing sensation has pulled off the ultimate comeback that's been nothing short of a total "masterclass."
So, just how has Taylor Swift gone from almost being cancelled to having a global tour that's smashing records to cleaning up at the VMAs?
1. Removing herself from the public eye
According to PR guru Anthony, things took a downturn for Taylor after the initial success of her album 1989.
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"She struggled to evolve and became a target for bad press and intrusions into her private life and celebrity relationships," he explains.
"Two ‘ok-ish’ albums followed and at this point many artists may have faded into mediocrity…but not Taylor."
And Anthony believes it's all thanks to her strategic timing…
"When previous clients of mine have reached a saturation point I often advise spending time away and this is exactly what Taylor did," he explains.
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"She spent a year in a self-imposed exile which succeeded in achieving several things.
"It allowed her to work out a way of hitting those high notes again (what she successfully did at the beginning of her career), not just with her sound and subtle change of music style, but as a public personality."
He goes on to say that when she came back into the public eye, she engaged more with her fan base through social media and became more strategic with how she dealt with the mainstream media.
2. The perfect campaigner
PR guru Anthony believes that Taylor's status as "comeback queen" is partly due to her being "lauded as a campaigner" who "stands up for the little guy and what is morally right in the industry."
He goes onto praise the way she's now taken ownership of her music and her disentanglement from media mogul manager Scooter Braun due to his rights over her music – adding that this has "influenced an exodus of other artists to leave his stable."
If you're not up to speed on the Taylor and Scooter Braun beef, let us fill you in…
In 2009, the music mogul bought Taylor's former record label Big Machine Records, meaning he now owned the masters to her first six albums.
Taylor slammed the revelation on Tumblr and called it her “worst case scenario," before claiming she’d faced “incessant, manipulative bullying” from him for years.
Since then, many A-list celebrities have reportedly and rathermysteriously left his production company – including the likes of Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande.
3. Reclaiming her identity
To regain control of her first six albums' master recordings, Taylor's been re-recording new versions, meaning she'll own the copyright to them.
The Grammy-winning singer recently announced she's set to drop her fourth re-recorded version of her ‘1989’ album on October 27, which will include 21 songs including five from her vault of unreleased songs.
Anthony explains that the updated version of the album will "have hers and hers alone stamp on it with the bonus of five more tracks to delight her fans."
He continues: "Her last few albums have been nothing short of sensational in terms of winning dozens of awards and hundreds of millions of album sales.
"The music has also become relatable to a wider fanbase of young teens but also mums and a few dads, me included, as we’ve seen her Eras tour playing to excited families and not just teens.
"And that is how she hits the marketing sweet spot of appealing to teens who want to be like her and their parents who see her as a fine role model."
Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce's rumoured relationship has sent 'Swifties' wild, but some believe there are clues to suggest it's little more than a 'promance.'
The pair seemed to all but confirm their relationship when the singing sensation was spotted in the Kelce family suite at Arrowhead Stadium.
It took just moments for the rumour mill to go into overdrive and for Taylor to find herself scattered across news outlets all over the world.
But it's the timing of it all that has caused speculation, as it comes just a month before the singer is due to release 1989 – Taylor’s Version, the latest in her run of re-recorded albums.
The new release of 1989 (Taylor’s version) coupled with her sell-out Eras tour will…cement her name in music folklore as the ‘comeback queen’ who won’t be going anywhere again anytime soon
And let's not forget her romance with the 1975 frontman Matty Healy…
The pair appeared to be going strong until Matty's controversial behaviour started evoking outrage on social media – including derogatory comments about the rapper Ice Spice.
Was it a coincidence that Taylor decided to end things after just a few weeks – only to then release a remix with Ice Spice, named Karma?
Whether Taylor's latest relationship is genuine or just a "professional romance" to boost sales, we bet she'll have no trouble when it comes to the success of her latest music.
5. Sell out Eras tour
Taylor Swift is a self-confessed mastermind.
In the 2022 track of the same name, from her album Midnights, she told fans: “What if I told you none of it was accidental?”
And whatever it is she's doing it most certainly working, as her Eras tour is set to become the highest-grossing concert in history – and has pushed her even closer to becoming a billionaire, aged just 33.
The lucrative tour has increased her personal wealth £580m ($740m) up from £446m ($570m) in April, according to Forbes magazine.
It comes after she extended her 52-date worldwide show to 146, which will see her perform everywhere from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
The first 22 dates brought in more than £240.4k ($300m), with the tour predicted to rack up a whopping $1.4bn by the time it ends on November 23 2024, in Toronto, Canada, according to touring industry trade publication Pollstar.
That's not to mention the fact that the tour sold a staggering two million sales on its first day of pre-sale alone, breaking the record for “the most tickets ever sold for an artist in a single day” – proving that Taylor really is a force to be reckoned with.
Anthony comments: "The new release of 1989 (Taylor’s version) coupled with her sell-out Eras tour will according to some sources make her a billionaire.
"But more importantly for her, it will cement her name in music folklore as the ‘comeback queen’ who won’t be going anywhere again anytime soon."
6. Squad reunited
Cast your minds back to 2016 when everyone (us included!) wanted to be a member of Taylor Swift's 'squad'…after all, who wouldn't want to hang out with the likes of Selena Gomez and Gigi Hadid?
But some people have cast doubt on whether Taylor's tight friendship circle, which is made up of famous faces, is all just a PR stunt.
Whether it's true or not, they don't seem to be going anywhere soon, with her A-list pals reuniting to rally around her following her split from Joe Alwyn.
In April this year, Taylor was spotted parading around with her "squad" once again as she was snapped out and about in New York with Gigi Hadid, Blake Lively, Danielle Haim, Alana Haim, and Este Haim,
The three Haim sisters as well as Blake Lively's husband Ryan Reynolds also reportedly followed Alwyn on Instagram at the time, according to Elle.
Earlier this week, the singer-songwriter was pictured putting on a stylish display as she enjoyed a night out with her close friendship circle in New York.
She was joined by Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Taylor Swift, Gigi Hadid, Zoë Kravitz and Channing Tatum as they enjoyed dinner at Italian restaurant Emilio’s Ballato.
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Meanwhile, original members of her squad have also shared their support for Taylor by attending her Eras tour – including Selena Gomez, who previously referred to Swift as her “only friend in the industry” in an interview.
Gigi Hadid and Lily Aldridge celebrated their bestie at one of her Nashville dates, while Cara Delevigne attended the first night of the tour in Arizona.
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