Numerous ‘Grammy Award’ winner, singer-songwriter and country-pop star Taylor Swift is living every teenager’s dream. Born in a small town, she changed the way the current generation perceived country music. Being compared to the likes of legendary country artists such as Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, Swift was only sixteen when she released her debut album. She is not only a great vocalist, but the 27 year old can also skilfully play instruments such as the guitar, piano and ukulele. She is the only female artist to have won two ‘Album of the Year’ awards at the Grammy’s. Her chart-busters like ‘Love Story’ and ‘You Belong with Me’ brought her global recognition. With the release of every album, she breaks her own record. She is an inspiration to several aspiring artists. Not only is she listed in the platinum-selling albums of all time, she also embodies compassion as she has extended unending support to several charitable organisations. She aims for the stars and reaches greater heights without any hesitation.
Childhood & Early life
Taylor Alison Swift was born to Andrea Gardner Swift and Scott Kingsley Swift on 13th December, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Her father was a stockbroker, while her mother was a homemaker who brought up Taylor and her younger brother, Austin.
She attended Alvernia Montessori School. Taylor and Austin used to attend Bible classes as their parents were Presbyterian Church goers.
When she was only 9 months her mother placed her on a saddle, from then on horse riding became her hobby. She was gifted her own pony named Ginger. Taylor went on to win several horse riding races.
After moving to Wyomissing, she joined the Youth Theatre Academy productions and travelled quite frequently to New York for acting and vocal lessons.
She began playing the guitar after a computer mechanic taught her to play three cords. She was only twelve, but instantly took to country music. She was inspired by Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks.
In school, she won a national poetry competition on submitting a poem called “Monster in My Closet”. It is her gift for poetry that helped her song-writing. The first song she wrote was “Lucky You”.
Her talent was evident and so was the support of her parents. Her mother spoke with Dan Dymtrow and with his assistance the twelve year old was cast in Abercrombie & Fitch’s ‘Rising Stars’ campaign, and was subsequently interviewed by numerous mega record labels.
She signed up with RCA Records and began flying from Nashville to Pennsylvania, before her father took a transfer to Nashville to assist his daughter’s blossoming career. There she enlisted in‘Aron Academy’ and was home-schooled.
A Budding Artist
As Swift performed at events, she worked with several songwriters such as Brett Beavers, Mac McAnally and Liz Rose, eventually settling with Liz acting mainly as an editor.
In 2005, she performed at the ‘Bluebird Café’, where she impressed Scott Borchetta, then a DreamWorks Records executive looking to manage his own production label and he signed her immediately.
In October, 2006 she released her first album titled ‘Taylor Swift’. Her album occupied the number five spot on the billboard and her songs ran for over 157 weeks.
Taylor broke through the music charts with her single ‘Tim McGraw’, smartly titled by her management team. She wrote the song in a math class while recalling her senior year boyfriend.
The sixteen year old was carving her career with songs like ‘Our Song’ and ‘Teardrops on My Guitar’ that became an anthem for teenagers. They went bizarre over her voice and with that she hit the nail and sealed her stardom.
The following year, she released her holiday album, which was titled ‘Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday collection’. And while she continued to open for legendary artists, she continued to promote her debut album as well.
Breaking Music Records
After her initial hits, she recorded the album Fearless, which released with her single “Love Story” in 2008. It climbed the billboard at no. 4 with “You Belong with Me” at no.2 on the charts.
‘Billboard 200’ announced it as the number one selling album of the year in 2009. The music video was also named ‘Best Female Music Video’ on MTV. That year she was also named ‘Artist of the Year’ for her album.
She became the youngest ever to win the Grammy Award for ‘Album of the Year’. She received awards for ‘Best Country Album’, ‘Best Country Song’, and ‘Best Female Country Vocal Performance’.
Swift joined hands with several artists like John Mayer, Kellie Pickler etc releasing singles that continued to rock the music charts including “Today is a Fairytale” a single of the ‘Valentine’s Day’ Soundtrack.
She made her first venture as an actor in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, where she played a rebellious teenager. She hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’- the only star to write her own monologue, and ‘Entertainment Weekly’. She made her first film debut in the movie ‘Valentine’s Day’ in 2009.
In October 2010, her album ‘Speak Now’ entered the Guinness Book of World records listing, and was titled the fastest selling digital album by any female artist. It was downloaded more than 278,000 in its first week. In the book she is also listed as the first female artist to have 10 tracks of her album on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’.
With her new album ‘Red’, Taylor showed her fans and critics that she wasn’t simply a country artist. The album featured various genres such as dance-pop, heartland rock and dubstep tracks, which received great feedback.
With this she entered the ‘Guinness Book of World Record’ again for being the first female to have two million selling album openings. And after the critically acclaimed album ‘1989’ she became the first female to have three consecutive albums selling over 1 million copies.
Her ‘1989 World tour’ grossed over 250 million dollars, which is her highest collection.
She soon became the ambassador of big brands such as Cover Girl, Sony Electronics, and Diet Coke. She soon became a brand in herself and launched her own line of perfumes.
From ‘Taylor Swift’ in 2006 to ‘Fearless’ in 2008, all her albums have made it to the ‘Billboards top 100’. Her later albums ‘Speak Now’, ‘Red’ and ‘1989’ took her to the helm of country-pop music.
Though all her songs have won accolades in some form or the other but chartbusters such as ‘Tom McGraw’, ‘You Belong with Me’, ‘Teardrops on my Guitar’, ‘Love Story’ and ‘Back to December’ have her rated at the no. 1 spot in Australian, Canadian and Indian music charts.
In her career, she has had four tours, of which two – ‘Speak Now’ and ‘1989’ were world tours. All her concerts are sold out and none have earned less than a hundred million dollars.
Awards & Achievements
She has won several of the most prestigious awards as a vocalist, which include 10 ‘Grammy Awards’, 23 ‘Billboard Music Awards’, 11 ‘Country Music Association Awards’, 8 ‘Academy of Country Music Awards’, 19 ‘American Music Awards’, 1 ‘Brit Award’ and an ‘Emmy Award’.
With her exceptional song-writing skills she has found a place for herself on ‘The Songwriters Hall of Fame.’
Personal Life & Legacy
Taylor’s role model has been her grandmother, Majorie Finlay, an opera singer who made a name for herself as the best of her time. It is listening to her grandmother sing that inculcated love for music in her.
The gorgeous pop star has had several affairs with famous celebrities, and none have been hidden from spotlight. She first dated Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers in 2008, but the relationship ended with Joe falling for Camilla Belle.
Shortly afterward she dated Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhall, Harry Styles and Calvin Harris. In 2016 she was spotted with Tom Hiddleston, but Taylor later announced that her relationship with Tom had ended.
In August 2016, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was so devastated that she launched a campaign for regular check-ups for cancer to nip the lethal disease in its bud.
Swift wrote a novel of 350 pages when she was twelve. Her novel is complete but she doesn’t intend to publish it anytime soon.
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