33 Reasons Why Taylor Swift (and Everyone Around Her) Had the Best Year Yet

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33 Reasons Why Taylor Swift (and Everyone Around Her) Had the Best Year Yet

One No. 1 album, gobs of award show love and countless "boyfriends" we at home can only dream of coming in contact with. The year 2012 was an important one for Taylor Swift, Popdust's Artist of the Year, as well as almost everyone who came in contact with her. From blokes like Ed Sheeran to the beloved '90s characters like Cher Horowitz, let's examine the Taylor Swift Effect, shall we?

The Best (and Worst!) of 2012

We decided ... the year's top 100 songs!

And asked you ... to vote for your favorite!

Ranked ... every Taylor Swift song!

Chatted with ... Carly Rae Jepsen!

Looked back ... at Chris Brown's Twitter feuds!

And showed you ... the year's most NAKED pop stars!

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She Reminded Us That "Jersey Shore" Isn't MTV's Only Original Program

Taylor loves a good fairytale, so being gullible enough to believe that a mobile songwriting expedition—by the ocean no less—could potentially ruin someone else's special day helped MTV welcome back Ashton Kutcher's prank series in style. And dropping her jaw with such commitment kept known prankster Justin Bieber looking funny to his fans.
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She Helped Us Learn How "She" Does It

Taylor's name-drop of a former middle school frenemy led helped us learn that those girls with the shiny hair who haunt our middle school days are people, too, and sweet ones at that. If Sarah Jessica Parker's film was going to leave us with a few lingering questions about how, exactly, such a flawless figure "does it," we were going to have to look elsewhere. Thanks for the tip!
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She Was Showered in Grammy Love (Again)

Taylor went two for three at February's award show, and her banjo-heavy performance of "Mean" contributed to the annual fete becoming the second-most watched show in its history.
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She Defied Conventional Understandings of Time

The award show love didn't stop there. Even with her last album, Speak Now, being released in 2010, Taylor picked up the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year award just four months into 2012. Surprised? Nah.
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She Defended the Spirit of the Superfan

Known to rap a line or 10 from Nicki Minaj, Taylor and BFF Selena Gomez assumed the position at the 2012 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards just in time for One Direction's first of many welcomes to the great U.S. of A. Consider her early affection for "What Makes You Beautiful" foreshadowing.
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She Preached the Word of Ed Sheeran

One artist largely contributing to this year's British Invasion has been singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, whom Taylor has been hyping up on Twitter and kitchen floors for months. Hers was a slower effect that the instant catapult Justin Bieber gave to Carly Rae Jepsen, but it's continuing to unfold brilliantly for the Englishman. Sheeran co-wrote "Everything Has Changed" off Red and will join her North American tour in 2013.
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She Visited a Movie Theater Near You

The first quarter can be bleak for multiplexes, yet those parents and babysitters who were dragged to the cinema for the big-screen version of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax had the pleasure of hearing Taylor voiced her own character, Audrey, along with her pal Zac Efron.
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She Helped Katy Perry Rebound

We're not saying he's the best choice for Katy, but in a post-Russell Brand universe, Taylor calling out John Mayer—and the 35-year-old still feeling hurt by those lyrics—allowed the Firework to shine brightly once again.
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She Made a New England High Schooler Famous

Er, more famous than he already was? Though they come from different worlds, both Taylor and former beau Conor Kennedy are familiar with having their picture taken. Their comfort around a long lens helped the pair's long walks on the beach become an integral part of our summer.
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She Introduced a New Generation to Ethel Kennedy

Taylor hasn't been shy when it comes to gushing about her love for the Kennedy clan. And if she can help increase teen literacy by recommending a biography on the family matriarch? Even better.
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She Boosted Massachusetts Real Estate

Conflicting reports emerged this summer about whether or not Taylor had purchased a fancy new pad just steps away from the Kennedy's summer home, or was merely renting the vast space. Either way, we wouldn't be surprised if tourism in Hyannis Port jumped through Labor Day, with many out-of-towners hoping to score a look at TaCo hand-in-hand.
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She Helped Hide Belly Buttons

Taylor did her best to bring back high-waisted styles in a big way this year, particularly when it came to swimsuits. This style may confuse some, but for Taylor—and anyone who might be uncomfortable with their outtie—it's a summertime go-to.
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She Sang for Ronan

Co-written by Maya Thompson, whose four-year-old son passed away from cancer last year, Taylor's ballad performed at this year's Stand Up to Cancer, still gives us chills.
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She Legitimized the Valley Girl

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" wouldn't be the same if not for its spoken word breakdown filled with repeated use of that one word your high school English teacher tried his or her best to erase from your mouth entirely ("like ever"). In doing so, Taylor helped valley girl patois has had such positive attention since Cher Horowitz.
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She Put Joe Jonas Back in the Spotlight

It would be a few months before the Jonas Brothers would creep back onto the live stage to the delight of their committed fans, but Red's lead single being such an obvious kiss-off brought all of her famous exes back into the conversation, including the one who opted to break up with her via text message.
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She Gave Some Validation to Furries

Humans dressed as animals has been a thing in pop music for the last 18 months or so, but we couldn't help but make the connection between Taylor's "WANEGBT" woodland creatures and those fuzzy suited adults who congregate at conventions by the airport.
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She Opened the Door for the Return of Response Songs

Thanks to Taylor's influence, Timeflies delivered their own interpretation of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" from the male perspective, making our Tuesday (and every day after that) a little brighter.
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She Made the Case that "Breaking Bad" Is Truly the Best Show Ever

If Vince Gilligan can create characters so beloved they work against a backdrop of ruthless cartel members and Red songs, his AMC series truly is deserving of all the awards.
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She Reminded Us of Jake Gyllenhaal and Maple Lattes

Just like she did with the middle JoBro, Taylor's music and liner notes brought back all sorts of memories of a leading man we'd otherwise forgotten about. (Sorry, Jake. We haven't seen End of Watch yet!)
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Her Love of Red Allowed Other Fashionistas to Experiment with Color

With Taylor having the cherry-hued game on lock, there was room for Solange and others to take a dive into the brighter brights of orange and yellow.
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She Brought Country to ABC's Prime-Time Lineup

The powers that be can deny it all they want, but in 2012, even the vaguest outline of a "young country star" character description screams Taylor. Based on her history with Matt Saracen we're confident Taylor would never treat Connie Britton with the same bitchy disdain that Hayden Panettiere's Juliette Barnes does.
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She Helped Revive Album Sales

Released in October, Red quickly became the best-selling album released in 2012, delivering 1.2 million copies in its first week and holding the top spot of the Billboard 200 for three weeks. Who says kids don't buy albums these days?
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She Called Attention to the Wonders of Being 22

We used to think 22 was the worst possible age since it follows college graduation and the popular rite of passage that is waking up on your bathroom floor the day after your 21st birthday here in the States. Yes, it's a time when figuring out rent and bills and health insurance feels less appealing than chewing on glass, but Taylor helped us realize that we only get a 12-month pass on dressing like hipsters and eating breakfast at midnight.
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She Sparked Business at Your Local Coffee Shop

Correct us if we're wrong but who wouldn't want to fall in love "on a Wednesday, in a cafe"? Finding an empty seat at Starbucks has never been the same.
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She Had a Meet-Cute with Dubstep

Taylor 's third Red single, "I Knew You Were Trouble," is a departure from her previous styles. Her willingness to experiment, and the adorable story of how she came to discover the genre, made us realize that there's more to wub-wub-wub from this constant club soundtrack than we originally thought.
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She Saved Reeve Carney from the Terrors of Broadway

Known for picking beloved lads to play the romantic lead in her music videos (still love you, 7) Taylor's generous casting in her "Trouble" video gave Broadway's Spider-Man a chance to momentarily escape the dangers of Bono and the Edge's high-flying show, or at least their grumbles about Julie Taymor.
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She Gave Mahomies Something to Scream About

Not that they need extra reason to get excited, but adding YouTube sensation and rising star Austin Mahone to her Red tour helps secure lasting love among tween girls.
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She Let One Direction Fans Live Vicariously Through Her Adorable Dating Life

Last week's manic Manhattan media tour also featured some highly photographed pre and post-sleepover walks with One Direction's Harry Styles. Between karaoke and trips to the Central Park Zoo, even those who highly believe they are the true Mrs. Styles must admit they make a cute pair.
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She Made Other Country Acts Look (Somewhat) Cool

At her core, Taylor's a Nashville girl. Schmoozing with her fellow country acts comes easy, but she's had luck transcending genres thanks to her love of hip-hop and willingness to be goofy. You can't blame others for being envious. Enter: Florida Georgia Line, at this year's American Music Awards, who prepared a nickname (T. Swizzle) they are praying will soon take off.
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She Helped Rediscover "American Idol" Contestant Tim Urban

Season 9 castoff—and heartthrob—has recently resurfaced on YouTube, thanks to his cheeky take on Taylor's new romance. But let's not get too excited–everyone's doing it.
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She Gave Samantha Barks the Chance to Wow American Audiences

About a year ago, musical theater lovers were trying to wrap their heads around reports that Lea Michele, Evan Rachel Wood and Taylor were all gunning for the role of Eponine—iconic everywoman middle school girls instantly feel for—in the film version of Les Miserables. Losing out on the role only opened Taylor up for all of what's come her way this year, and allowed for British theater star Samantha Barks to land her first film role, and an arguable award season performance, in Tom Hooper's big screen adaptation. Win-win?
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She's the Social Director of the Crew

Yet another similarity with a memorable Clueless character. Taylor's spent 2K12 expanding her reach and moving beyond country and pop to team up with B.o.B. (2011's live duet and meet-cute with T.I. set the stage). At this year's Z100 Jingle Ball alone, she performed with both Bobby Ray and Ed Sheeran, while schmoozing with her pal Justin Bieber and 4/5 of One Direction; cheek kisses were reserved for Harry Styles. If the group was looking for some post-show karaoke, it's likely Taylor organized the outing.
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She Created a Meme That Keeps Bloggers Busy

It's been the source of many jokes and parodies, and finally, we learned Taylor has a sense of humor about it all. After gaining momentum in 2011, Taylor's bewilderment at everything from awards to French pastries will continue to give us something to write about for the foreseeable future.
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