Taylor Swift (1989-till date)
Taylor Alison Swift was born in West Reading, Pennsylvania on 13th December 1989. She is an American singer-songwriter whose songwriting generally revolves around her personal life. In 2004, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a career in music. She signed her first record deal at 15.
Born to parents Scott Kinsley Swift and Andrea Gardner Swift, Swift was named after singer-songwriter James Taylor. She has a younger brother, Austin Kingsley Swift who is an actor. Taylor spent her early years on a Christmas tree farm that her father purchased.
Swift became interested in musical theatre at the age of 9 and started performing in four Berks Youth theatre academy productions. After getting inspired by Shania Twain’s song, she shifted her focus to country music and spent her weekends performing at local festivals and events. Swift’s family relocated to Nashville when she was 14 to help her break into country music. She graduated from Aaron Academy.
In Nashville, Swift worked with experienced songwriters such as Troy Verges, Brett Beavers, Warren Brothers, Liz Rose among others. She released her debut album, ”Taylor Swift” on 24th October 2006 which reached number five on the US Billboards 200 album chart and stayed there for 157 weeks which is the longest stay on the chart by any release in the US that decade. Further, the album sold 7.75 million copies as of August 2016, globally. This garnered her praise, admiration, and awards for her debut album.
Swift dropped her second album, “Fearless” on 11th November 2008. This album debuted at top on the US Billboard 200 and was the top-selling album of 2009 in the US. Swift promoted the album during her first concert tour, “The Fearless Tour” and the album grossed over 63 million dollars. Her album was named Album of the year and the Best Country Album at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. At that time, she was the youngest artist to win the award.
Swift’s third album, “Speak Now” released on 25th October 2010 became the 16th album in chart history to sold a million copies in the opening week. Consequently, it became the fastest-selling digital album by a female artist which earned her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
She then went on to release album “1989” which was her first official pop album and it marked her departure from the country album. The album was released on 27th October 2014 and debuted at the top of the US Billboard 200 and sold 1.28 million copies in its first week.
Taylor Swift’s sixth album “Reputation” was released in November 2017 and it sold 1.21 million copies in the US and became the country’s top-selling album of that year.
Her albums “Lover” and “Folklore” were released in 23rd August, 2019 and 24th July, 2020 respectively.
Swift’s personal life has always garnered widespread media attention. Her dating history has always been a hot topic of discussion. In 2020, she opened up about struggling with an eating disorder in the past. She is one of the most followed celebrities in social media as of July 2020 with 136 million followers on Instagram, 86.5 million followers on Twitter, and 38.5 million YouTube subscribers. In fact, Taylor often engages in friendly online interactions with her fans. She has been recognized as a style icon in fashion and is known to have refused to take part in overly-sexualized photoshoots.
She has been credited with helping country music become more mainstream worldwide. She also led to a massive increase in voter registrations in vote.org following her 2018 endorsements.
Swift won 10 Grammys, an Emmy, 29 American Music Awards,23 Billboard Music Awards, 7 Guinness World Records, 12 Country Music Association Awards, 8 Academy of Country Music Awards, and a Brit Award.
In 2020, she achieved the most day-one streams of an album in Spotify by a female artist after the release of “Folklore”.
In 2015, Taylor became the youngest woman, ranked at 64, to be included in Forbes list of 100 most powerful women.
She was awarded the Time Person of the year in 2017 as one of the Silence Breakers who spoke about sexual assault. She was also the most googled female music artist of the year 2019.
Taylor is a feminist and also pro-choice. She has always spoken out against sexism, LGBT discrimination, racism, and misogyny. Swift even promoted the Every Woman Counts campaign at the 2008 presidential campaign which aimed at engaging women in the political process. Not only this, but she has also shown her support for the Black Lives Matter movement while condemning racism and police brutality.
Furthermore, Swift has been part of movies like Valentine’s Day, Lorax, Cats, The Giver, and Miss Americana.