Thanks to her non-stop album release schedule, Taylor Swift has been through many “eras” over the past few years, from folklore to Midnights. But she truly marked a new era four years ago today — August 23, 2019 — with the release of Lover.
Lover was Taylor’s first album as part of her new record deal with Republic, and her first since 2017’s Reputation, which documented her reaction to her “cancellation” following her 2016 Kanye West feud. Lover, by contrast, was much lighter and whimsical, ditching the darker themes of Reputation for a literal pastel-colored palette.
Led by the campy single and video “Me!” — a duet with Panic! at the Disco‘s Brendon Urie — Lover spun off three more hits: “You Need to Calm Down,” “The Man” and the title track. It was Taylor’s sixth consecutive album to debut at #1 in the U.S. and was nominated for three Grammys.
Notably, “The Man” video marked Taylor’s solo directorial debut, a craft that would become increasingly important to her in the coming years.
Taylor’s massive promotional push for Lover included an August 22 appearance on GMA, where she confirmed that beginning in November of 2020, she’d be re-recording all of her previous albums. That project — a result of her very public dispute with her former record label over ownership of her master recordings — would make headlines over the next three years.
In lieu of a regular tour, Taylor planned “Lover Fest” festival shows in LA and Massachusetts, but due to the pandemic, that event was canceled, as were Taylor’s plans to release another Lover song, “Cruel Summer,” as a single. It would take four years and the Eras Tour for “Cruel Summer” to become the hit it was destined to be: It’s currently at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.