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Taylor Swift Biography

Taylor Swift

Biography


Date of Birth
13 December 1989, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA

Birth Name
Taylor Alison Swift

Nickname
T-Swizzle
Tay
Tay-Tay

Height
5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Biography
Taylor Alison Swift is a multi-Grammy award-winning American singer/songwriter who, in 2010 at the age of 20, became the youngest artist in history to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In 2011 Swift was named Billboard's Woman of the Year. She also has been named the American Music Awards Artist of the Year, as well as the Entertainer of the Year for both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, among many other accolades. As of this writing, she is also the top-selling digital artist in music history.

Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania, to Andrea (Finlay), a one-time marketing executive, and Scott Kingsley Swift, a financial adviser. Her ancestry includes German and English, as well as some Scottish, Irish, Welsh and 1/16th Italian. She was named after James Taylor, and her mother believed that if she had a gender neutral name it would help her forge a business career. Taylor spent most of her childhood on an 11-acre Christmas tree farm in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. When she was nine years old the family moved to Wyomissing, PA, where she attended West Reading Elementary Center and Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School. Taylor spent her summers at her parents' vacation home at the Jersey shore. Her first hobby was English horse riding. Her mother put her in a saddle when she was nine months old and Swift later competed in horse shows. At the age of nine she turned her attention to musical theatre and performed in Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions of "Grease", "Annie", "Bye Bye Birdie" and "The Sound of Music". She traveled regularly to New York City for vocal and acting lessons. However, after a few years of auditioning in New York and not getting anything, she became interested in country music. At age 11, after many attempts, Taylor won a local talent competition by singing a rendition of LeAnn Rimes' "Big Deal", and was given the opportunity to appear as the opening act for Charlie Daniels at a Strausstown amphitheater. This interest in country music isolated Swift from her middle school peers.

At age 12 she was shown by a computer repairman how to play three chords on a guitar, inspiring her to write her first song, "Lucky You". She had previously won a national poetry contest with a poem entitled "Monster in My Closet", but now began to focus on songwriting. She moved to Nashville at age 14, having secured an artist development deal with RCA Records. She left RCA Records when she was 15--the label wanted her to record the work of other songwriters and wait until she was 18 to release an album, but she felt ready to launch her career with her own material. At an industry showcase at Nashville's The 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. Taylor was one of the new label's first signings.

Taylor released her debut album, "Taylor Swift", in October of 2006 and received generally positive reviews from music critics. The New York Times described it as "a small masterpiece of pop-minded country, both wide-eyed and cynical, held together by Ms. Swift's firm, pleading voice". Her single "Our Song" made her the youngest solo writer and singer of a #1 country song. The album sold 39,000 copies during its first week. In 2008 she released her second studio album, "Fearless". 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 #4 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 #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. It was the top-selling album of 2009 and brought Swift much crossover success.

In September 2009 she became the first country music artist to win an MTV Video Music Award when "You Belong with Me" was named Best Female Video. Her acceptance speech was interrupted by rapper Ye, who had been involved in a number of other award show incidents. West declared Beyoncé's video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", nominated in the same category, to be "one of the best videos of all time". When Beyoncé later won the award for Video of the Year, she invited Taylor onstage to finish her speech. In November 2009 Taylor Swift became the youngest ever artist, and one of only six women, to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association.

She released her third studio album in October 2010, "Speak Now", and wrote all the songs herself. She originally intended to call the album "Enchanted" but Scott Borchetta, her record label's CEO, felt the title did not reflect the album's more adult themes. Swift toured throughout 2011 and early 2012 in support of "Speak Now". As part of the 13-month, 111-date world tour, Swift played seven shows in Asia, 12 in Europe, 80 in North America and 12 in Australasia (three dates on the US tour were rescheduled after she fell ill with bronchitis). The stage show was inspired by Broadway musical theatre, with choreographed routines, elaborate set-pieces, pyrotechnics and numerous costume changes. Swift invited many musicians to join her for one-off duets during the North American tour. Appearances were made by James Taylor, Jason Mraz, Shawn Colvin, Johnny Rzeznik, Andy Grammer, Tal Bachman, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Nicki Minaj, Nelly, B.o.B., Usher, Flo Rida, T.I., Jon Foreman, Jim Adkins, Hayley Williams, Hot Chelle Rae, Ronnie Dunn, Darius Rucker, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney. In May 2012 Taylor featured in B.o.B's song "Both of Us".

Swift's fourth studio album, "Red", was released on October 22, 2012. She wrote nine of the album's 16 songs alone; the remaining seven were co-written with Max Martin, Liz Rose, Dan Wilson, Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody. Nathan Chapman served as the album's lead producer but Jeff Bhasker, Butch Walker, Jacknife Lee, Dann Huff and Shellback (aka Shellback) also produced individual tracks. Chapman has said he encouraged Swift "to branch out and to test herself in other situations". She has described the collaborative process as "an apprenticeship" that taught her to "paint with different colors". "Red" examines Swift's attraction to drama-filled relationships; she believes that, since writing the record, such relationships no longer appeal to her. Musically, while there is some experimentation with "slick, electronic beats", the pop sheen is limited to a handful of tracks sprinkled among more recognizably Swiftian fare. "Rolling Stone" enjoyed "watching Swift find her pony-footing on Great Songwriter Mountain. She often succeeds in joining the Joni/Carole King tradition of stark-relief emotional mapping . . . Her self-discovery project is one of the best stories in pop." The Guardian described Swift as a "Brünnhilde of a rock star" and characterized "Red" as "another chapter in one of the finest fantasies pop music has ever constructed". "USA Today" felt that the "engaging" record saw Swift "write ever-more convincingly--and wittily and painfully--about the messy emotions of a young twenty something nearing the end of her transition from girl to woman". The "Los Angeles Times" noted the exploration of "more nuanced relationship issues" on "an unapologetically big pop record that opens new sonic vistas for her".

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 made television appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003), Good Morning America (1975), The View (1997), Late Show with David Letterman (1993), ABC News Nightline (1980) and 20/20: All Access Nashville with Katie Couric (2012). She performed at Los Angeles' MTV VMAs and London's Teen Awards, and will also perform at Nashville's CMA Awards, Frankfurt's MTV Europe Music Awards, Los Angeles' AMA Awards and Sydney's ARIA Music Awards. Swift offered exclusive album promotions through Target, Papa John's and Walgreens. She became a spokesmodel for Keds sneakers, released her sophomore Elizabeth Arden fragrance and continued her partnerships with Cover Girl, Sony Electronics and American Greetings, as well as her unofficial brand tie-ins with Ralph Lauren and Shellys. The album's lead single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", was released in August 2012. The song became Swift's first #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, recording the highest ever one-week sales figures for a female artist. Two further singles have since been released: "Begin Again" (country radio) and "I Knew You Were Trouble" (pop and international radio).In her career, as of May 2012, Swift has sold over 23 million albums and 54.5 million digital tracks worldwide.

Taylor Swift is only beginning to emerge as an acting talent, having voiced the role of Audrey in the animated feature The Lorax (2012). She also made appearances in the theatrical release Valentine's Day (2010) and in an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000). She contributed two original songs to The Hunger Games (2012) soundtrack: "Safe & Sound featuring The Civil Wars" and "Eyes Open". Taylor released her fifth album, titled "1989", on October 27, 2014. This album is when she finally made the complete transition from country to pop. She says that she will not be going to any Country Music Award shows. The album is named after the year she was born, and is a sort of '80s-sounding album, in the sense that it's more electronic.

In March 2015 she began dating Scottish Disc Jockey Calvin Harris after having met at the Brit Awards in February.


Trivia
  • The love interest in her song, "Tim McGraw", is named Johnny.
  • Taught herself to play guitar.
  • With her first #1 song "Our Song", at age 18 years and 9 days, became the fifth teenaged female singer to top the Billboard magazine Hot Country Songs chart. The others were Jean Shepard (19 years, 9 months in August 1953 with "A Dear John Letter"), Tanya Tucker (14 years, 7 months in May 1973 with "What's Your Mama's Name"), Marie Osmond (14 years, 1 month in November 1973 with "Paper Roses") and LeAnn Rimes (14 years, 4 months in December 1996 with "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)").
  • On November 11th, 2009, Taylor became the youngest singer to win the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award.
  • Had a cameo in Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009).
  • She credits LeAnn Rimes as her main influence into a country music career. Swift stated on The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) that she wanted to be a country singer after attending Rimes' concert.
  • Her music influences include Dolly Parton, The Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, Patsy Cline, and her grandmother, who was a professional opera singer.
  • She graduated in July 2008 from Hendersonville High School in Hendersonville, TN.
  • (5/4/10) Named a spokeswoman for Cover Girl.
  • Holds the rare distinction of having all of her released singles (excluding promotional singles and singles as a featured artist) reach the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. Of those 12 singles, five have reached the Top 10, and three of those have reached the Top 5.
  • Went to the same high school in Wyomissing, PA, as Jillian Murray before moving to Hendersonville, TN.
  • She won the "Entertainer of the Year" award at the 46th American Country Music Awards.
  • Her first song was called "Lucky You".
  • Her sophomore album, "Fearless", is the most awarded album in country music history. It won the American Music Award for Favorite Country Album, the Academy of Country Music Award for Album of the Year, the Country Music Association Award for Album of the Year, the Grammy Award for Best Country Album, and the music industry's highest honor, the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
  • At the age of 20, became the youngest artist in music history to win the coveted Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
  • When asked by a fan if she was someone else (an actress), who would she be, she replied she'd like to be Gwyneth Paltrow, as she "is beautiful, cool and has beautiful kids".
  • She keeps a journal and writes about how her day went.
  • One of her paternal great-great-grandfathers, Carmine Antonio Baldi, was an Italian immigrant from Castelnuovo Cilento. Her other ancestry is German and English, and smaller amounts of Scottish, Irish, Scots-Irish (Northern Irish), Welsh, along with distant French, Swedish and Dutch.
  • She failed her road test twice before finally getting her license.
  • Has two cats, named Meredith Grey Swift and Olivia Benson Swift; named after Dr. Meredith Grey from Grey's Anatomy (2005) and Detective Olivia Benson from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999). Acquired a third cat Benjamin Button Swift in 2019.
  • Daughter of Andrea Swift and Scott Swift.
  • Wrote "You Are In Love" about Lena Dunham's relationship with musician Jack Antonoff.
  • Her comeback single "Look What You Made Me Do" dethroned Luis Fonsi at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and thwarted its almost record breaking streak. Rap newcomer Cardi B soon knocked to her number 3, while Cardi made history as the first female rapper to have a number 1 song as a solo artist since Lauryn Hill in 1998.
  • Taylor Swift: Look What You Made Me Do (2017) had the biggest 24-hour debut in YouTube history. In its first day, the clip earned 43.2 million views, toppling the previous record holder Psy's 2013 video for "Gentleman," with 36 million views. Swift's video saw nearly 30,000 views per minute in its first day.
  • At the start of her career, she briefly considered using her middle name, Alison, as her stage name to avoid confusion, as Taylor is a binary first name that can apply to either sex.
  • She was born on a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania, which is referenced in the title of one of her songs.
  • Her lucky number is 13, something that is frequently mentioned in her songs, music videos, and social media postings.
  • Has sold over 200 million records around the globe.
  • Doesn't like to wear shoes, and is frequently barefoot in her music videos and live performances.
  • Is captivated by the poet Pablo Neruda, to the point that she included the line "love is so short, forgetting is so long" from one of his poems in the prologue to her 2012 album Red.
  • Trademarks:
  • Writes her own songs.
  • Her songs usually tell a story.
  • Bright red lips.
  • At the beginning of her career: blonde ringlets.
  • Very long, toned legs.
  • Bangs.
  • She often goes barefoot.
  • Her love for cats.
  • Use of lucky number 13.
  • Quotes
  • [on the Britney Spears perfume she wore] The coolest girl in school wore Britney Spears' Fantasy, and I had to copy her.
  • People haven't always been there for me, but music always has.
  • I never want to change so much that people can't recognize me.
  • When I was a little girl I used to read fairy tales. In fairy tales you meet Prince Charming and he's everything you ever wanted. In fairy tales the bad guy is very easy to spot. The bad guy is always wearing a black cape so you always know who he is. Then you grow up and you realize that Prince Charming is not as easy to find as you thought. You realize the bad guy is not wearing a black cape and he's not easy to spot; he's really funny, and he makes you laugh, and he has perfect hair.
  • There's more to life than dating the boy on the football team.
  • I'm intimidated by the fear of being average.
  • Everyone I know has had fair warning! I've always written about who's spending time with me, so if they get into any kind of a relationship with me, they know what they're getting into.
  • There is a strength in letting bygones be bygones. It was therapeutic to write and perform. Sometimes it's best not to say anything. I just save it for the music.
  • Love is fascinating. Wishing for it, pining for it and the anger that comes when you lose it. I used to think that I could figure out some pattern to love, like if you don't text a guy back for a half-hour, he'll like you more. But there is no pattern. Absolutely nothing is predictable in love.
  • No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.
  • Almost every time I put something out, there's the word 'too' put in front of it - too pop, too country, too rock. So I've kinda stopped worrying about it. I'd rather be too something than not enough something.
  • I see myself as kind of this girl who writes songs in her bedroom. You can dress it up all you want and you can put together an amazing theatrical production; you can become a better performer as time goes by, and you can try to excite people. But I'm always going to be a girl who writes songs in her bedroom in my own personal perception of myself.
  • My mom named me Taylor because she thought I would probably end up in corporate business and she didn't want any kind of executive, boss, manager to see if I was a girl or a boy if they got my resume.
  • If I'm in the mood to be held accountable for every single article of clothing on my body - whether it matches, if it clashes, if it's on trend - then I go out. If I'm not interested in undergoing that kind of debate and conversation - regarding how I'm walking, whether I look tired, how my makeup is right, what's that mark on my knee, did I hurt myself? - I just don't go out.
  • [on her female fans] They're discovering the music that tells them how they are going to live their lives and how they should feel and how it's acceptable to feel. I think that that's kind of exciting.
  • I struggle to find a woman in music who hasn't been completely picked apart by the media, or scrutinized and criticized for aging, or criticized for fighting aging. It just seems to be much more difficult to be a woman in music and to grow older. I hope that I will choose to do it as gracefully as possible.
  • There were times when, in middle school and junior high, I didn't have a lot of friends. But my mom was always my friend. Always.
  • This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.
  • I'm thankful that when I go to bed at night that I have been myself that day.
  • [At 19 years old] I have never had a cigarette. I have never had a drop of alcohol. I have no interest in drinking. I always want to be responsible for the things I say and do. Also, I would have a problem lying to my parents about that.
  • [on Ed Sheeran] Whether by choice or by an unconscious evolution, when he decided on his musical ambitions, Ed became less than a boy and more of a tank. He is protected by an impenetrable and ever-present armor of enthusiasm that has helped him endure any setback, letdown or underestimation. His reaction to any idea that fails is to almost immediately come up with a new one. He's like a fighter who pops back up on his feet before you even noticed he'd been knocked down.
  • [September 2008] I was an outsider at school. When I go back, I feel like my hair's frizzy and people are laughing at me. It's still the middle-school insecurity thing.
  • [My parents taught me] never to judge others based on whom they love, what color their skin is, or their religion.
  • [on her fans] The longest and best relationship I have ever had.
  • I write songs, and my voice is just a way to get those lyrics across.
  • I don't live by all these rigid, weird rules that make me feel all fenced in. I just like the way that I feel like, and that makes me feel very free.



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