Background on Taylor Swift
Taylor Alison Swift Was Born on Dec. 13, 1989 in Wyomissing, Pa.
According to Biography.com, as a child, Swift displayed a tendency towards music and was influenced by her grandmother, who was a professional opera singer herself. By age 11, she earned an invitation to sing the national anthem at a Philadelphia 76ers game, and the following year, made strides to learn to play the guitar while also writing her own songs.
Move to Nashville Leads to Opportunities
Drawn in by the allure of the "country music capital," Swift frequented Nashville, and the family eventually joined her in Tennessee. With the ability to fully commit to her career, Swift wasted little time working to achieve her dreams. Originally awarded an artist development deal with RCA Records, the move was short-lived when Swift learned she'd be unable to use her own material until she hit 18. Shortly after, a key performance at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville during an artist showcase in 2005 led to a chance meeting with Scott Borchetta. His newly formed label, Big Machine Records, seemed like a good fit to Swift, and she ultimately signed on with him to begin work on her first album.
Self-Titled Debut Released in October 2006
Buoyed by the first single, "Tim McGraw," Swift and Big Machine Records released her self-titled debut at 16 years old. The work was well-received by both critics and fans alike, as evidenced by the success that followed in the months to come. The rise of the third single, "Our Song," to No. 1 on the country charts earned Swift the distinction of being the youngest solo singer-songwriter to achieve the feat. With the exception of "Tim McGraw" at No. 6, all other singles off the album peaked in the top three on the country charts including "Teardrops on My Guitar" at No. 2, "Picture to Burn" at No. 3, and "Should've Said No" at No. 1. As a whole, the album was certified five times Platinum.
Swift Released the GRAMMY-winning album, "Fearless," in November 2008
Topping both the U.S. Country and mainstream album charts with a follow up just two years later, "Fearless" catapulted Swift to even greater mainstream success. It has since been certified six times Platinum in the U.S. alone, and produced such hit singles as "Love Story," "You Belong with Me," and "Fifteen." At the 2010 GRAMMYs, the 20-year-old Swift became the youngest artist to win Album of the Year, while also taking home the prize for Best Country Album.
Two Multi-Platinum Albums and Three World Tours Later, Swift Rules the Music World
Both ensuing albums "Speak Now" and "Red" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts, and each sold over a million copies in its first week. Her 2013 Red Tour takes the singer throughout North America and Australia, playing to thousands of fans at sold-out venues.
Branching Out into Other Avenues
No stranger to the small or silver screen, Swift has appeared in episodes of "CSI" and "New Girl," hosted an episode of "Saturday Night Live," and shared the screen with then-boyfriend, Taylor Lautner, in the film "Valentine's Day," which is featured in the clip below.
She also provided the voice for "Audrey" in The Lorax and wrote two songs for the soundtrack to The Hunger Games. Additionally, she has released multiple fragrances, designed shoes for Keds, and plans to release a Taylor Swift Home Collection of bedding and sleepwear.
- 2006 - Taylor Swift (5x Platinum)
- 2008 - Fearless (6x Platinum)
- 2010 - Speak Now (4x Platinum)
- 2012 - Red (4x Platinum)
Taylor Swift started her career as a country singer, but has since crossed over to attract a more mainstream audience with elements of pop and rock in her music.
Since 2007, Swift has won over 150 major awards from music organizations across the world. See a breakdown of some of her biggest wins below.
Academy of Country Music Awards
- 2008 - New Female Vocalist of the Year
- 2009 - Album of the Year for "Fearless," Crystal Milestone Award
- 2011 - Jim Reeves International Award, Entertainer of the Year
- 2012 - Entertainer of the Year
American Music Awards
- 2008 - Favorite Country Female Artist
- 2009 - Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, Favorite Country Female Artist, Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist, Favorite Country Album for "Fearless"
- 2010 - Favorite Country Female Artist
- 2011 - Artist of the Year, Favorite Country Female Artist, Favorite Country Album for "Speak Now"
- 2012 - Favorite Country Female Artist
Billboard Music Awards
- 2011 - Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Country Artist, Top Country Album for "Speak Now"
- 2012 - Billboard Woman of the Year Award
- 2010 - Artist of the Year
- 2011 - Artist of the Year
- 2010 - Album of the Year and Best Country Album for "Fearless," Best Female Vocal Performance and Best Country Song for "White Horse"
- 2012 - Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song for "Mean"
- 2013 - Best Song Written for Visual Media for "Safe & Sound" (with The Civil Wars)
Songwriters Hall of Fame
- 2010 - Hal David Starlight Award
Taylor Swift Tours
2009-10- Fearless Tour
2011-12- Speak Now World Tour
2013- Red Tour
- "Tim McGraw" (Platinum)
- "Teardrops on My Guitar" (2x Platinum)
- "Our Song" (3x Platinum)
- "Picture to Burn" (Platinum)
- "Should've Said No" (Platinum)
- "Love Story" (5x Platinum)
- "White Horse" (Platinum)
- "You Belong with Me" (4x Platinum)
- "Fifteen" (Platinum)
- "Fearless" (Platinum)
Valentine's Day Soundtrack
- "Today Was a Fairytale" (Platinum)
- "Mine" (2x Platinum)
- "Back to December" (Platinum)
- "Mean" (Platinum)
- "The Story of Us" (Gold)
- "Sparks Fly" (Gold)
- "Ours" (Platinum)
The Hunger Games Soundtrack
- "Safe & Sound" (Platinum)
- "Eyes Open" (Platinum)
- "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (3x Platinum)
- "Begin Again" (Platinum)
- "I Knew You Were Trouble" (4x Platinum)
- "22" (Gold)
- "Everything Has Changed"