It’s fair to say that one of the biggest stories of 2012 was the split between Harry Styles and Taylor Swift. Not only did it make for compelling television, but it’s changed the course of pop music history. The former One Direction star’s decision to ditch the mic for a guitar has seen him and his band become one of the biggest acts on the planet.
In fact, it’s hard to believe that just over a year ago, we were all still talking about the possibility of a Harry Styles/Taylor Swift duet. The One Direction star was rumoured to be in the pop princess’s studio recording songs for her upcoming album, Red. Could this be the direction the industry has headed in? Is pop music truly moving away from its original purpose of selling records and becoming more of an expression of individuality and creativity?
It would appear so. Just look at the megastar roster for the most recent Billboard top ten albums: Drake’s Nothing Was The Same, Adele’s 25, and Rihanna’s Anti all rank in the top three spots. Yes, Taylor Swift may have made a mistake dropping her Grammy and Golden Globe for Best Music Album last year. However, it wouldn’t be the first time she’s made a creative or unconventional decision.
In this article, we take a look back at the evolution of Robsten and how their romance began.
Robsten Cameos In The Romantically Complicated World Of Harry Styles
There’s no question that 2012 was a banner year for celebrity couplings. From John Mellencamp and Christine Aguilar to Colin Farrell and Natalie Portman, there seems to be a new celebrity couple coming together every week. It seems like even our film stars are falling in love and getting engaged these days. And who could blame them? After all, romantic comedy is one of the most profitable and popular genres around. With films like What Kate Did and Ruby Sparks becoming overnight successes, it’s clear that women are searching for something different in their cinematic escapes.
One of the most talked-about celebrity couples of the year was Harry Styles and Taylor Swift. The on-screen chemistry between these two megastars was undeniable, and it wasn’t long before fans started speculating about the possibility of a real-life relationship.
Swift has remained quiet about her romantic interests, but she wasn’t exactly hiding them. On the contrary, she often spoke publicly about how she was “sick of being alone.” In the meantime, Harry Styles has continued to rise to the occasion, releasing an album, enjoying the spotlight, and courting controversy.
It seems like the direction that this new breed of romantic comedies are heading in is toward more complicated pairings and marriages. After all, what is a romantically complicated world if not one populated by celebrities and their famous heartbreaks? Whether or not these Hollywood marriages work out in the end is besides the point. Seeing these famous faces on screen engaging in a love scene is both endearing and romantic in its own right.
Robert Pattinson And Taylor Swift
It’s fair to say that 2012 was a big year for Robert Pattinson. The British actor notched up a phenomenal amount of screen time, starring in high-profile films and television shows. His portrayal of the titular character in the upcoming film adaptation of John Wick was enough to earn him critical praise and a Golden Globe nomination. And his performance in the blockbuster The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 was arguably the best of his entire career.
Pattinson’s success continued in 2013 with the release of his first solo album, Monuments To Be Burned. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Albums Chart, making him the first male artist to achieve that feat since Elton John in 1973. In addition to being a singer/songwriter, producer, and actor, the 32-year-old also dabbles in photography and design. He’s also designed all of the album’s artwork and merchandising.
While Taylor Swift didn’t publicly reveal her romantic interest in Harry Styles last year, she did speak highly of the actor/director in the press. When a fan approached her with a handmade flower arrangement, she said: “That is so sweet. I love that you knew what she liked.”
“I think he’s an amazing artist and a really interesting person. We’ve got a lot in common really. A lot of the stuff that I like, he’s interested in as well. He’s intelligent and funny. And I think he’s a good influence on the other boys. He’s always up for a laugh and a joke, but he’s also one of the guys, if you know what I mean,” she added.
These days, it seems like both Taylor Swift and Robert Pattinson are taking the approach of being more selective about the roles they take on. While they both accepted their Academy Awards for Best Actress last year, it seems like Swift isn’t that interested in acting anymore and Pattinson isn’t really comfortable in front of the camera. And that’s a bummer, because this year has seen a lot of great performances by both of them. In addition to appearing in one of the year’s biggest films, the two also starred together in the prestige TV show Killing Them Softly, which concluded its first season on January 1st.
The Early Days
While it might seem like 2012 was a breakout year for Taylor Swift, her ascendancy to pop music megastardom really began several years ago. The singer rose to fame after releasing her independent album, “Speak Now,” in 2010. The album wasn’t a commercial success, but it did spawn three Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 singles, including her breakout hit “Love Story.”
Swift’s major label debut, “Fearless,” was released in 2011 and became her second album to debut at number one on the Billboard Top Albums Chart. The album’s first single, “Fearless,” also became the singer’s first Hot 100 hit, peaking at number 68 in 2011. The album’s title track made it to number 96, while the last single, “Welcome To New York,” peaked at number 92. In addition to her album sales, “Fearless” also became the best-selling album of 2011 in the United States.
This year also saw the release of Adele’s long-awaited return with 25, the follow-up to 2011’s Grammy-winning 21. The album once again topped the Billboard Top Albums Chart, making it Adele’s third number one album. In addition to being nominated for Album of the Year at the 2013 Grammys, 25 earned the singer her first Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score. The album’s singles include “Set Fire to the Rain” and “Hello.”
While Adele’s albums have always peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Albums Chart, it was 2012 that saw a turning point for the singer. Aside from becoming one of the biggest artists of the year, Adele also saw her music achieve newfound social significance. Several of the album’s songs were used as tool in the “Happily Ever After” campaign, a media blitz aimed at getting married couples to admit that they’re in love. The song “Hello,” in particular, became the anthem behind the #HappilyEverAfter Twitter trend in 2012, which lasted for several months.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
It wasn’t just Adele and Taylor Swift that dominated the charts in 2012. Another big story of the year was the international success of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. The soundtrack to the final installment of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire saga was released in December 2011 and became the singer’s fifth number one album. The album’s lead single, “I Want You Back,” became the best-selling single of 2012 in the U.S., selling over 3.3 million copies domestically. The song also nabbed a Grammy for Best pop solo performance.
On a more serious note, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 also marked the first collaboration between Taylor Swift and her longtime friend and collaborator, Kayne West. The songwriter behind some of the biggest hip-hop hits of the past decade, including Kanye West’s “Runaway,” John Legend’s “Ordinary People,” and Rihanna’s “U.S.A.,” teamed up with Swift on a track called “Love Story.” The song earned them a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and its accompanying music video was named Best Short-Form Music Video at the 2013 MTV Video Awards. The song was also featured during one of the episode’s most pivotal scenes, when Alvezia (Amelia Brightman) and Edwart Trowbridge’s (Patrick J. Adams) daughter, May (Sadie Sello) falls in love with the gardener at the Trowbridge estate, Charlie Wheeler (R. Pattinson).