TAYLOR SWIFT: Fearlessly Capturing Our Hearts
Taylor Swift: We Loved Her When We First Saw Her
Taylor Swift: Singer, Songwriter, Winner-FEARLESS!
Taylor Swift: The Multi-Awarded Country Music Princess
Taylor Swift VI: Celebrating the release of her highly-anticipated album, Speak Now!
Singer, songwriter, musician. Born Taylor Alison Swift on December 13, 1989, in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Swift spent her early years on her family's Christmas tree farm. Her grandmother had been a professional opera singer, and Swift soon followed in her footsteps. By the age of 10, Swift was singing at a variety of local events, including fairs and contests. She sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at a Philadelphia 76ers game at the age of 11, and began writing her own songs and learning guitar at 12 years old.
To pursue her music career, Swift often visited Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital. There she co-wrote songs, and tried to land a recording contract. Noting her dedication, Swift and her family moved to nearby Hendersonville, Tennessee, in an attempt to further Swift's career.
A stellar performance at The Bluebird Café in Nashville helped Swift get a contract with Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Records. She released her first single, "Tim McGraw," in 2006, and the song became a Top 10 hit on the country charts. It also appeared on her self-titled debut album in October of that same year, selling more than 2.5 million copies. More popular singles soon followed, including "Our Song," a No. 1 country music hit. "Teardrops on My Guitar," "Picture to Burn," and "Should've Said No" were also successful tracks.
In addition to commercial success, Swift received a lot of critical praise for her debut effort. She won the Horizon Award from the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music Award for Top New Female Vocalist in 2007. Swift next released Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection in 2007. Her renditions of "Silent Night" and "Santa Baby" were modest hits on the country charts.
In 2008, Swift was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best New Artist category, and won the Academy of Country Music's "Female Vocalist of the Year" Award, the American Music Awards "Favorite Female Country Artist" award, and the American Music Association's "Horizon" award. Around this same time, Swift released her next album, Fearless(2008), which hit the top of both the country and pop charts and stayed there for 11 weeks. By the end of the year, Swift had become the highest-selling country artist of 2008.
In 2009, Swift netted several awards for her work on Fearless, including "Video of the Year" and "Female Video of the Year" for "Love Story" at the CMT Music Awards. On September 13, 2009, Swift also won the MTV Video Music Award for "Best Female Video," making her the first country music star to win an MTV Video Music Award. The win stirred controversy when rapper Kanye West leapt to the stage during Swift's speech, took the microphone, and delcared that R&B singer Beyoncé should have won Swift's award. The stunned Swift was unable to make her acceptance speech, and West was removed from the show. When Beyoncé accepted her award for "Best Video of the Year" later in the show, she called Swift to the stage to finish her speech. West later apologized to Swift privately, and made a public apology on The Jay Leno Show.
If possible, the attention has made Swift an even hotter commodity. Her concert tickets now sell out in less than two minutes, and she is currently ranked as the 69th most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine, with more than $18 million in earnings this year alone. She recently made her second appearance on comedy show Saturday Night Live, this time as both the host and musical guest. She has also been tapped for four CMA nominations in 2009—"Female Vocalist", "Music Video of the Year", "Best Album" and "Entertainer of the Year"— as well as six American Music Award nominations.
During much of 2008, reports circulated that Swift was dating Joe Jonas from the popular musical group The Jonas Brothers. Neither Swift nor Jonas has ever acknowledged the relationship. "He's an amazing guy, and anyone would be lucky to be dating him," Swift said at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Whatever their relationship, it seemed to turn sour by the timeFearless was released. The song, "Forever & Always," is reportedly about Jonas. Swift was romantically linked to actor Taylor Lautner, one of the stars of the successful Twilight saga. The pair reportedly met while filming Swift's big screen debut Valentine's Day, which hits theaters in 2010. The song "Back To December" off her albumSpeak Now, which Swift has described as an apology song, has been widely speculated to be dedicated to Lautner. In late 2010, Swift briefly dated actor Jake Gyllenhaal. They split in early 2011.
Swift released the track "Today Was a Fairytale" as a digital download on iTunes on January 19, 2010. The song was featured on the soundtrack for the film Valentine's Day, in which she made her feature-film acting debut. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 2,becoming her sixth Top 10 and 23rd Top 40 single on that chart. According to Nielsen SoundScan, with sales of "Today Was a Fairytale" more than 325,000 in its first week, Swift has broken the record for first-week download sales by a female artist. The song also debuted at number one on the Canadian Hot 100, making it Swift's first number one hit in Canada.
In February 2010, Swift brought her Fearless Tour to 5 cities in Australia. Opening acts included Gloriana.
In mid-July 2010, Billboard revealed that Swift's new album is called Speak Now. It was released on October 25, 2010. She has written the album completely by herself in Arkansas, New York, Boston and Nashville with Nathan Chapman serving as co-producer. On Wednesday, August 4, 2010, the lead single from the album, "Mine," was leaked onto the internet. Big Machine Records decided to rush the release of the song to counteract the leak.
Taylor Swift appeared at the 44th Annual Country Music Awards on November 10, 2010.