TAYLOR SWIFT:Fearlessly Capturing Our Hearts
Taylor Alison Swift became one of country-pop's brightest (and youngest) faces in 2006, when the 16-year-old vocalist released her first album. Although new to the American public, Swift had been performing since early childhood, taking inspiration and encouragement from her opera-singing grandmother. She sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before a Philadelphia 76ers game at the age of 11; the following year, she began practicing her guitar skills for several hours each day, only stopping when her fingers began to bleed. Swift's parents realized their child's dedication and began making regular visits to Nashville, TN, where Swift would perform casually and meet with songwriters in the area. The family then decided to move from their native Pennsylvania to an outlying Nashville suburb, which accelerated Swift's career. While performing at the intimate Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Swift caught the eye of music industry veteran Scott Borchetta, who signed her to his newly formed label. Swift joined the roster at Big Machine Records and released her debut single, "Tim McGraw," in August 2006. The song drew upon her experience as a lovelorn high-school student, a theme that Swift revisited throughout her self-titled debut album. Released in late 2008, Taylor Swift catapulted the young songwriter to stardom, spawning a handful of hits (five consecutive Top Ten singles, a new record for a female solo artist) while earning multi-platinum sales. Swift also received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, an award she ultimately lost to Amy Winehouse. Two subsequent EPs -- Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection and Beautiful Eyes -- helped maintain Swift's popularity while whetting public demand for her sophomore release, Fearless, which arrived in November 2008.
She was born on December 13, 1989. In 2006, she released her debut single "Tim McGraw", which peaked at number six on the Billboard country charts. Later in October 2006, she released her self-titled debut album, which produced five hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and was certified 3× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. The New York Times described Swift as "one of pop's finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults".
Taylor’s Global Success
Taylor Swift, who sold more albums last year than any other artist, is making a significant impact on the global music scene, earning Gold and Platinum sales certifications in fourteen countries. Her Fearless album, rapidly approaching quadruple-Platinum in the US, has earned the following international sales awards: Triple Platinum in Australia and Canada; Platinum in Singapore, New Zealand, Ireland, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan; and Gold in the UK (2x), Norway, South Africa, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Sales are driven partially by her single “Love Story,” which has topped airplay charts in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Big Machine Records reports that Swift has sold more albums than any artist in the world so far this year.
She is headed to the UK this week for her second string of sold out shows there this year, and is planning another trip overseas for a Nov. 23 headlining date at London’s Wembley Arena. Earlier this year, she also headlined a short series of shows in Australia, all of which sold out.
Upon her return from the UK, Swift resumes her US tour with a headlining show at Madison Square Garden, where tickets sold out in one minute.
Here in the States, Swift’s self-titled debut CD has been certified quadruple-Platinum, and she is celebrating her fourth consecutive No. 1 single. Her paid music downloads now exceed 19.5 million songs, she has more than a million followers on Twitter, and she has surpassed the 250 million mark for music streams on MySpace.