Artist: Taylor Swift Biography

16 Aug 2006, 21:31  153,435,638  2,118,451

Taylor SwiftTaylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania) is an American pop (formerly country) singer-songwriter and actress. Swift is a 10-time Grammy winner with a total of 31 nominations (Feb 2018). As of July 2015, Swift has sold 40 million albums and 130 million singles worldwide.

Taylor Swift is that rarest of pop phenomena: a superstar who managed to completely cross over from country to the mainstream. Other singers performed similar moves -- notably, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson both became enduring mainstream icons based on their '70s work -- but Swift shed her country roots like they were a second skin; it was a necessary molting to reveal she was perhaps the sharpest, savviest populist singer/songwriter of her generation, one who could harness the Zeitgeist and turn it personal and, just as impressively, perform the reverse. These skills were evident on her earliest hits, especially the neo-tribute "Tim McGraw," but her second album, 2008's Fearless, showcased a songwriter discovering who she was and, in the process, finding a mass audience. Fearless wound up having considerable legs not only in the U.S., where it racked up six platinum singles on the strength of the Top Ten hits "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me," but throughout the world, performing particularly well in the U.K., Canada, and Australia. Speak Now, delivered almost two years later in the autumn of 2010, consolidated that success and Swift moved into the stratosphere of superstardom, with her popularity only increasing on 2012's Red and 2014's 1989, a pair of records that found her moving assuredly from country into a pop realm where she already belonged.

This sense of confidence had been apparent in Taylor Swift since the beginning. The daughter of two bankers -- her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, worked at Merrill Lynch; her mother Andrea spent time as a mutual fund marketing executive -- Swift was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and raised in suburban Wyomissing. She began to show interest in music at the age of nine, and Shania Twain wound up as her biggest formative influence. Swift started to work regularly at local talent contests, eventually winning a chance to open for Charlie Daniels. Soon, she learned how to play guitar and began writing songs, signing a music management deal with Dan Dymtrow; her family relocated to Nashville with the intent of furthering her music career. She was just 14 years old but on the radar of the music industry, signing a development deal with RCA Records in 2004. Swift sharpened her skills with a variety of professional songwriters, forming the strongest connections with Liz Rose. Taylor's original songs earned her a deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, but not long after that 2004 deal she parted ways with Dymtrow and RCA, all with the intent of launching her recording career now, not later.

Things started moving swiftly once Swift came to the attention of Scott Borchetta, a former DreamWorks Records exec about to launch Big Machine Records. Borchetta saw Swift perform at a songwriters showcase at the Bluebird Cafe and he signed her to Big Machine in 2005; shortly afterward, she started work on her debut with producer Nathan Chapman, who'd previously helmed demos for Taylor. Boasting original song credits on every one of the record's 11 songs (she penned three on her own), Taylor Swift appeared in October 2006 to strong reviews and Swift made sure to work the album hard, appearing at every radio or television event offered and marshaling a burgeoning fan base through use of MySpace. "Tim McGraw," the first song from the album, did well but "Teardrops on My Guitar" and "Our Song" did better on both the pop and country charts, where she racked up five consecutive Top Ten singles. Other successes followed in the wake of the debut -- a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist (she lost to Amy Winehouse), stopgap EPs of Christmas songs -- but Swift concentrated on delivering her sophomore set, Fearless.

Appearing in November 2008, Fearless was certified gold by the RIAA in its first week of release, and the record gained momentum throughout 2009, earning several platinum certifications as "Love Story," "White Horse," "You Belong with Me," "Fifteen," and "Fearless" all scaled the upper reaches of the country charts while "You Belong with Me" nearly topped Billboard's Top 100. Along with the success came some headlines, first in the form of an infamous appearance at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards where her acceptance speech was interrupted by Kanye West, who burst on-stage to declare that Swift's rival Beyoncé deserved the award more, but her romances also started gaining attention, notably a liaison with Twilight star Taylor Lautner, who appeared with the singer in the 2009 film Valentine's Day.

Her flirtation with the silver screen proved brief, as she then poured herself into her third album, Speak Now. Released in October 2010, Speak Now was another massive first-week smash that refused to lose momentum. Hit singles like "Mine" and "Mean," which won two Grammys, played a big factor in its success not just on the country charts but on pop radio as well. Following a 2011 live album called World Tour Live: Speak Now, Swift turned toward following a pop path on her fourth album, hiring such mainstream musicians as Dan Wilson, Butch Walker, and Britney Spears producer Max Martin. This mainstream pulse was evident on "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," the first single from Red. Upon its October 2012 release, Red shattered expectations by selling over a million copies in its first week, a notable achievement that was doubly impressive in an era of declining sales. Once again, Swift's album had legs: it was certified platinum four times in the U.S. and its international sales outstripped those of Speak Now. She supported Red with an international tour in 2013 and more hits came, including "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "22."

As Swift geared up for the release of her fifth album in 2014, she made it clear that 1989 was designed as her first "documented, official" pop album and that there would be no country marketing push for the record. "Shake It Off," an ebullient dance-pop throwback, hit number one upon its August 2014 release. When 1989 appeared in late October 2014, it once again shot to number one and became her third straight album to sell one million copies in its first week (a new record for any artist).

Swift gathered many awards during the subsequent year, including Billboard's Woman of the Year, the Award for Excellence at the American Music Awards, and a special 50th Anniversary Milestone Award from the CMAs. Her 1989 World Tour crossed Asia, North America, and Europe during the last half of 2015, and she won three Grammy Awards at the 2016 ceremonies, including Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Music Video for "Bad Blood." At the end of 2016, she released "I Don't Wanna Live Forever," a duet with ZAYN from the soundtrack for Fifty Shades Darker. The single reached the Top Five across the world. Swift returned with her sixth album, Reputation, in November 2017, preceded by the August single "Look What You Made Me Do" and its September successor, "...Ready for It?"

Top Track "Taylor Swift"

Love Story - Taylor Swift

Love Story

587,258
5,203,689
You Belong with Me - Taylor Swift

You Belong with Me

502,559
4,469,878
Shake It Off - Taylor Swift

Shake It Off

333,456
4,553,825
White Horse - Taylor Swift

White Horse

271,574
2,021,457
I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift

I Knew You Were Trouble

256,727
3,199,077
Our Song - Taylor Swift

Our Song

251,191
1,674,299
Fifteen - Taylor Swift

Fifteen

250,562
1,694,154
Fearless - Taylor Swift

Fearless

248,689
1,920,414
Mine - Taylor Swift

Mine

247,862
2,311,586
22 - Taylor Swift

22

239,194
2,470,256
Blank Space - Taylor Swift

Blank Space

233,688
4,313,709
Teardrops on My Guitar - Taylor Swift

Teardrops on My Guitar

230,897
1,654,085
Mean - Taylor Swift

Mean

212,004
1,749,670
You're Not Sorry - Taylor Swift

You're Not Sorry

205,374
1,485,838
Back to December - Taylor Swift

Back to December

203,484
1,912,469
Breathe - Taylor Swift

Breathe

201,904
1,447,682
Hey Stephen - Taylor Swift

Hey Stephen

197,170
1,418,622
Forever & Always - Taylor Swift

Forever & Always

191,807
1,535,265
Red - Taylor Swift

Red

182,982
2,290,516
The Way I Loved You - Taylor Swift

The Way I Loved You

180,773
1,203,566
Sparks Fly - Taylor Swift

Sparks Fly

180,027
1,719,652
Tell Me Why - Taylor Swift

Tell Me Why

177,114
1,162,265
Style - Taylor Swift

Style

176,169
3,372,537
Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift

Look What You Made Me Do

173,994
3,524,961
Picture to Burn - Taylor Swift

Picture to Burn

167,343
1,083,695
Should've Said No - Taylor Swift

Should've Said No

162,989
1,121,784
The Best Day - Taylor Swift

The Best Day

161,334
1,026,451
Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift

Wildest Dreams

160,114
2,369,135
Tim McGraw - Taylor Swift

Tim McGraw

159,668
1,032,338
Bad Blood - Taylor Swift

Bad Blood

158,512
2,125,415
Change - Taylor Swift

Change

158,243
1,044,810
Speak Now - Taylor Swift

Speak Now

150,198
1,392,731
The Story of Us - Taylor Swift

The Story of Us

148,238
1,289,759
Enchanted - Taylor Swift

Enchanted

145,851
1,628,013
I Knew You Were Trouble. - Taylor Swift

I Knew You Were Trouble.

137,958
1,517,567
Out of the Woods - Taylor Swift

Out of the Woods

135,510
2,378,631
All Too Well - Taylor Swift

All Too Well

126,688
1,619,360
Welcome to New York - Taylor Swift

Welcome to New York

126,297
1,536,843
Better Than Revenge - Taylor Swift

Better Than Revenge

125,763
1,138,821
Dear John - Taylor Swift

Dear John

123,844
964,115
Ours - Taylor Swift

Ours

122,830
1,066,026
State of Grace - Taylor Swift

State of Grace

121,128
1,297,737
Begin Again - Taylor Swift

Begin Again

119,925
1,403,288
All You Had to Do Was Stay - Taylor Swift

All You Had to Do Was Stay

119,897
1,822,244
Everything Has Changed - Taylor Swift

Everything Has Changed

118,434
648,033
Haunted - Taylor Swift

Haunted

114,213
1,104,172
Stay Stay Stay - Taylor Swift

Stay Stay Stay

113,212
990,097
I Wish You Would - Taylor Swift

I Wish You Would

111,714
1,380,593