There aren't many true superstars left in the music world. Sure, there are plenty of people who make a big splash, but how many artists can pick up some buzz and then turn that into a sustainable career? When you consider her reach and her ability to diversify, it's possible to say that Taylor Swift is the country's biggest music star at the moment. On this day last year, Swift released her second album Fearless, which expanded on the promise of her self-titled debut and blew her pop-country sound open to embrace every listener at once. It's rare that an attempt to be everything to everyone actually pays off, but Swift's Fearless is the exception to the rule. 52 weeks later, Fearless remains in the top 10 on the Billboard album chart and has sold over four million copies. In fact, the only album on the chart whose sales are even close to Fearless is Swift's own self-titled debut, which broke a record for most consecutive charting weeks (it'll log its 159th this week).
But of course simple album sales do not necessarily a superstar make. Rather, Swift's ubiquity owes to her ability to co-host the CMT Awards, duet with T-Pain, take Kanye West's stage-crashing in stride while winning the VMA for Best Female Video and host "Saturday Night Live" (all of which she has done in the past six months). Like any good 21st century star, she has also taken the art of the music video very seriously. All the clips from Fearless are deeply cinematic affairs, including the quirky "You Belong With Me" and the lush "Fifteen." But it's the clip for "Love Story" that really put Swift over the top, casting her as the princess that all the girls in her audience want to be.