ARTIST PROFILE

Taylor Swift

Name: Taylor Alison Swift

Birthday: December 13, 1989

Fav Dish: Sweet Potato Pancakes

Taylor Alison Swift is an American singer-songwriter. One of the leading contemporary recording artists, she is known for narrative songs about her personal life, which have received widespread media coverage.

Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania. Her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, was a financial advisor, and her mother, Andrea Gardner Swift (née Finlay), was a homemaker who worked previously as a mutual fund marketing executive. The singer has a younger brother named Austin. Swift spent the early years of her life on a Christmas tree farm. She attended preschool and kindergarten at the Alvernia Montessori School, run by Franciscan nuns, before transferring to The Wyndcroft School.[6] The family then moved to a rented house in the suburban town of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, where she attended Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School.

At the age of nine, Swift became interested in musical theater and performed in four Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions. She also traveled regularly to New York City for vocal and acting lessons. Swift later shifted her focus toward country music inspired by Shania Twain’s songs, which made her “want to just run around the block four times and daydream about everything”. She spent her weekends performing at local festivals and events. After watching a documentary about Faith Hill, Swift felt sure that she needed to go to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a music career. At the age of eleven, she traveled with her mother to visit Nashville record labels and submitted a demo tape of Dolly Parton and Dixie Chicks karaoke covers. However, she was rejected since “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 Swift was about 12 years old, computer repairman and local musician Ronnie Cremer taught her how to play guitar and helped with her first efforts as a songwriter, leading to her writing “Lucky You”. In 2003, Swift and her parents started working with New York-based music manager Dan Dymtrow. With his help, Swift modelled for Abercrombie & Fitch as part of their “Rising Stars” campaign, had an original song included on a Maybelline compilation CD, and attended meetings with major record labels.

After performing original songs at an RCA Records showcase, Swift was given an artist development deal and began making frequent trips to Nashville with her mother.

To help Swift break into country music, her father transferred to the Nashville office of Merrill Lynch when she was 14, and the family relocated to a lakefront house in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Swift attended public high school, but after two years transferred to the Aaron Academy, which through homeschooling could accommodate her touring schedule, and she graduated a year early.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed with the label Big Machine Records and became the youngest artist ever signed by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. Her self-titled debut album in 2006 peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 and spent the most weeks on the chart in the 2000s. The album’s third single, “Our Song”, made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number-one song on the Hot Country Songs chart. Swift’s second album, Fearless, was released in 2008. Buoyed by the success of pop crossover singles “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me”, Fearless became the best-selling album of 2009 in the United States. The album won four Grammy Awards, with Swift becoming the youngest Album of the Year winner.

Swift was the sole writer of her 2010 album, Speak Now. It debuted at number one in the United States and the single “Mean” won two Grammy Awards. Her fourth album, Red (2012), yielded the successful singles “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble”. With her fifth album, the pop-focused 1989 (2014), she became the first act to have three albums sell a million copies within one week in the United States. Its singles “Shake It Off”, “Blank Space”, and “Bad Blood” reached number one in the US, Australia, and Canada. The album received three Grammy Awards, and Swift became the first woman and fifth act overall to win Album of the Year twice. The 2015 eponymous concert tour for 1989 became one of the highest-grossing of the decade. “Look What You Made Me Do”, the lead single from her sixth album, Reputation (2017), topped the UK and US charts.

As a songwriter, Swift has received awards from the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and was included in Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time in 2015. She is also the recipient of 10 Grammy Awards, five Guinness World Records, one Emmy Award, 21 Billboard Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards, and one Brit Award. Swift is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums—including 27.8 million in the US—and 130 million single downloads. She has appeared in Time‘s 100 most influential people in the world(2010 and 2015), Forbes top-earning women in music (2011–2015), Forbes 100 most powerful women (2015), and Forbes Celebrity 100 (2016). She was the youngest woman to be included in the third of these and ranked first in Celebrity 100, and was also one of the finalists for Time Person of the Year in 2014.

 

In August 2017, Swift won a trial against David Mueller, a former morning show personality for Denver’s KYGO-FM. Four years prior Swift had informed Mueller’s bosses that he had assaulted her by groping her at an event. After being fired, Mueller accused Swift of lying and sued her for making him lose his job. Shortly after, Swift counter-sued for sexual assault. The jury rejected Mueller’s claims and ruled in favor of Swift.

Swift thereafter cleared her social media accounts, and announced that she would release her sixth studio album, Reputation, on November 10, 2017. “Look What You Made Me Do” was released as its first single on August 24, 2017, and topped the charts in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Its music video gained over 43.2 million views during its first day on YouTube, breaking the record for the most-viewed music video within 24 hours.

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