Although Taylor is most well-known for acting and her child stardom, Gossip Girl was her very last acting project before she fully dived into her music career. Taylor, 29, was 16 years old when she quit acting and created The Pretty Reckless, which many viewers saw as a short-term phase for the young star rather than a stable career.
“I get it,” she told Nylon in in February 2021. “I wouldn’t have taken me seriously. I understand, especially coming from an acting background and being on a very popular television show at the time that was very tabloid-based, that it seemed ridiculous. Their thought was, ‘She’s young and she’s going through a phase.’ But in my core, I knew it wasn’t a phase.”
The Pretty Reckless has since put out four albums and toured the world, opening for the likes of Marilyn Manson to Guns N’ Roses. Their 2014 record, Going to Hell, had three No. 1 hits, an accomplishment that a female-fronted group had not achieved since The Pretenders in 1984.
“The fact that we have a career at all is always mind-blowing,” she revealed to Nylon. “And the fact that I can wake up every day and I get to play in a rock band and write songs for a living and call that my job is mind-blowing.”
She revealed of her career, “There are little things where I’ll go, ‘That was a mistake,’” she explained. “But leaving everything else behind and solely focusing on music was the best decision I ever made, so in the grand scheme of things, no regrets. I certainly look back and there’s some questionable outfit choices. Everyone’s got that; I just happened to be all over the internet all the time. But even then, I don’t regret them, because I look back on them now and I go, ‘That’s who I was.’ Now, I’m 27, and I’ve grown up.”
Scroll through our gallery to see those “questionable outfit choices” and Taylor’s complete transformation from Gossip Girl to a total rockstar.
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