|Occupation||Singer-songwriter, musician, actress|
|Genres||Country, country pop, pop, pop rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, banjo guitar, ukulele, piano|
|Labels||RCA (2004-2006), Big Machine (2006-present)|
Taylor Alison Swift is an American singer/songwriter. She also works as actress. She was raised in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania and born on December 13, 1989.
Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, is a financial adviser of Merrill Lynch. Her mother, Andrea (née Finlay), is a homemaker who previously worked as a mutual fund marketing executive. Taylor also has a younger brother, Austin. When she was nine years old, the family moved to Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, where she attended West Reading Elementary Center and Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School.
At the age of nine, Swift became interested in musical theatre. She performed in many Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions and traveled regularly to Broadway, New York for vocal and acting lessons. Swift then turned her attention to country music and spent her weekends performing at local festivals, fairs, coffeehouses, karaoke contests, garden clubs, Boy Scout meetings and sporting events.
After watching a episode about Faith Hill's biography, Swift felt sure that she needed to go to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a music career. She received label rejections and realized that "everyone in that town wanted to do what I wanted to do. So, I kept thinking to myself, I need to figure out a way to be different". When she was fourteen, her father transferred to the Nashville office of Merrill Lynch and the family relocated to a lake-shore house in Hendersonville, Tennessee. She earned her high school diploma in 2008, having completed her final two years of course work in twelve months.
2004 - 2008: Taylor Swift EraEditSwift moved to Nashville at the age of fourteen. As part of her artist development deal with RCA Records, she had writing sessions with experienced Music Row songwriters. However, Swift left RCA Records when she was fifteen; the company wanted her to record the work of other songwriters and wait until she was eighteen to release an album, but she felt ready to launch her career with her own material. At an industry showcase at Nashville's Bluebird Café in 2005, Swift caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, a Dreamworks Records executive who was preparing to form his own independent record label, Big Machine Records. She became one of the label's first signings, with her father purchasing a three per cent stake in the fledgling company. As an introduction to the country music business, Borchetta arranged for Swift to intern as an escort at the CMA Music Festival.
Swift began working on her eponymous debut album shortly after signing her record deal. After experimenting with veteran Nashville producers, Swift persuaded Big Machine to hire her demo producer Nathan Chapman. Swift wrote three of the album's songs alone, including two singles, and co-wrote the remaining eight with other songwriters. Musically, the album has been described as "a mix of trad-country instruments and spry rock guitars".
Big Machine Records was still in its infancy upon the release of the lead single "Tim McGraw" in June 2006, and Swift and her mother helped "stuff the CD singles into envelopes to send to radio". Following "Tim McGraw", four further singles were released throughout 2007 and 2008: "Teardrops on My Guitar", "Our Song", "Picture to Burn" and "Should've Said No". All were highly successful on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, with "Our Song" and "Should've Said No" both reaching number one. "Our Song" made Swift the youngest person to single-handedly write and sing a number one country song. Teardrops on My Guitar" became a minor pop hit; it reached number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100. The album sold 39,000 copies during its first week of release and, as of March 2011, has sold over 5.5 million copies worldwide. Swift also released a holiday album, Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, in October 2007 and an EP, Beautiful Eyes, in July 2008.
Swift toured extensively in support of Taylor Swift. In addition to performing her own material, Swift played covers of songs by Beyoncé, Rihanna, John Waite, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Eminem. Swift and Alan Jackson were jointly named the Nashville Songwriters Association's Songwriter/Artist of the Year in 2007, with Swift becoming the youngest person ever to be honored with the title. She also won the Country Music Association's Horizon Award for Best New Artist, the Academy of Country Music Awards's Top New Female Vocalist award and the American Music Awards's Favorite Country Female Artist honor. She was also nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award in the category of Best New Artist, but lost to Amy Winehouse.
2008 - 2010: Fearless EraEdit
Swift's second studio album, Fearless, was released in November 2008. Swift wrote seven of the album's songs alone, including two singles, and co-wrote the remaining six with songwriters Liz Rose, John Rich, Colbie Caillat and Hillary Lindsey. Musically, it has been said that the record is characterized by "loud, lean guitars and rousing choruses", with the occasional "bit of fiddle and banjo tucked into the mix". The lead single from the album, "Love Story", was released in September 2008 and became the second best-selling country single of all time, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Four more singles were released throughout 2008 and 2009: "White Horse", "You Belong with Me", "Fifteen" and "Fearless". "You Belong with Me" was the album's highest-charting single, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Album Chart with sales of 592,304 and has since sold over 8.6 million copies worldwide, being the top selling of 2009.Swift carried out her first headlining tour in support of Fearless. As part of the 105-date Fearless Tour, Swift played 90 dates in North America, six dates in Europe, eight dates in Australia and one date in Asia. The tour was attended by more than 1.1 million fans and grossed over $63 million. Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless, a concert film, was aired on television and later released on DVD and Blu-ray.
Swift became the first country music artist to win an MTV Video Music Award when "You Belong with Me" was named Best Female Video in 2009. Her acceptance speech was interrupted by rapper Kanye West, who had been involved in a number of other award show incidents. A few days later, Swift told an interviewer that West offered her a personal apology, which she accepted: "He was very sincere."
Swift won four Grammy Awards in 2010, from a total of eight nominations. Fearless was named Album of the Year and Best Country Album, while "White Horse" was named Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance. She was the youngest ever artist to win Album of the Year. Swift became the youngest ever artist and one of only six women to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association. Fearless also won the Association's Album of the Year award. Swift was the youngest ever artist to win the Academy of Country Music's Album of the Year honor. The American Music Awards honored Swift with Artist of the Year and Favorite Country Album plaudits. She was awarded the Hal David Starlight Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame and was named Songwriter/Artist of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association. Billboard named her 2009's Artist of the Year. Swift was included in Time's annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in 2010.
2010 - 2012: Speak Now EraEdit
Swift released her third studio album, Speak Now, in October 2010. She wrote all the fourteen songs alone. Musically, it has been said that the album "expands beyond country-pop to border both alternative rock and dirty bubblegum pop". Swift carried out an extensive promotional campaign prior to Speak Now's release. She appeared on various talk shows and morning shows, and gave free mini-concerts in unusual locations, including an open-decker bus on Hollywood Boulevard and a departure lounge at JFK airport. The album's lead single, "Mine", was released in August 2010 and five further singles were released throughout 2010 and 2011: "Back to December", "Mean", "The Story of Us", "Sparks Fly" and "Ours". Speak Now was a major commercial success, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. Its opening sales of 1,047,000 copies made it the sixteenth album in US history to sell one million copies in a single week. As of February 2012, Speak Now has sold over 5.7 million copies worldwide.
Swift toured throughout 2011 and early 2012 in support of Speak Now. As part of the thirteen-month, 111-date world tour, Swift played seven shows in Asia, twelve shows in Europe, 80 shows in North America and twelve shows in Australasia.
At the 54th Grammy Awards, Swift's song "Mean" won Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance. She also performed the song during the ceremony. Bob Lefsetz, one of the most vocal critics of her 2010 Grammy performance, believes the song is addressed to him. Swift won various other awards for Speak Now. She was named Songwriter/Artist of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association in both 2010 and 2011. She was named Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in both 2011 and 2012 and was named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association in 2011. Swift was the American Music Awards's Artist of the Year in 2011, while Speak Now was named Favorite Country Album. Billboard named Swift 2011's Woman of the Year.
During this period, Swift also contributed two original songs to The Hunger Games soundtrack album. "Safe & Sound" was co-written and recorded with The Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett. It was released as the album's lead single and, as of January 2013, has sold over 1.4 million copies in the United States. It won Best Song Written For Visual Media at the 2013 Grammy Awards and was nominated for Best Original Song at the 70th Golden Globe Awards. Swift's second contribution to the album, "Eyes Open", was written solely by the singer and produced by Nathan Chapman. In addition, Swift contributed vocals to "Both of Us", a single from B.o.B's second album Strange Clouds.
2012 - present: Red eraEdit
Swift's fourth studio album, Red, was released in October 2012. She wrote nine of the album's sixteen songs alone. The remaining seven were co-written with Max Martin, Liz Rose, Dan Wilson, Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody. Musically, while there is experimentation with heartland rock, dubstep and dance-pop, it is "sprinkled among more recognisably Swiftian fare".
As part of the Red promotional campaign, representatives from 72 worldwide radio stations were flown to Nashville during release week for individual interviews with Swift. She also appeared on many television chat shows and performed at award ceremonies in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Australia. The album's lead single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", became Swift's first number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Three further singles have been released: "Begin Again" (for country radio), "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "22" (for pop and international radio). Red debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 1.21 million copies; this marked the highest opening sales in a decade and made Swift the first female to have two million-selling album openings. As of February 2013, Red had sold over 4 million copies worldwide. In her career, as of November 2012, she had sold in excess of 26 million albums and 75 million song downloads.
The North American leg of Swift's Red Tour runs from March to September 2013. She is playing 64 dates across North America, including thirteen stadium shows. Swift won three MTV Europe Music Awards in 2012, including the honors for Best Female and Best Live Act. She was named Best Female Country Artist at the 2012 American Music Awards. The Nashville Songwriters Association's 2012 Songwriter/Artist Award went to Swift for the fifth year in a row. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was nominated for Record of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
- Taylor Swift
- Speak Now
Taylor Swift on Wikipedia