“One of pop’s finest
songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch
with her inner life than most adults” – The New York Times
Taylor Alison Swift, the popular American
country-pop singer-songwriter steps in to the field in 2006,
after the release of 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. Swift was the biggest selling artiste
of 2008 in America with combined sales of more than four
million albums. Swift’s ‘Fearless’ and her self-titled album
finished 2008 at number three and number six respectively,
with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. In mid-January 2009,
Swift became the first country artiste to top the 2 million
mark in paid downloads with three different songs. As of the
week ending February 8, 2009, Swift’s single ‘Love Story’
became the country song with most paid downloads in history.
name - Taylor Alison Swift
• Date of Birth - December 13, 1989
• Origin Wyomissing - Pennsylvania, U.S.
• Genre - Country pop
• Occupation- Singer-songwriter
• Instruments - Vocals, guitar, piano, ukulele
• Years active – 2006 – present
• Label - Big Machine
• Website –
Early life and work
Swift was born in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. She is the
daughter of Scott and Andrea Swift. She has one younger
brother, Austin. Swift grew up on a Christmas tree farm
outside of Reading, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a stock
broker father and stay-at-home mother. When she was in
fourth grade, Swift won a national poetry contest with a
three-page long poem entitled ‘Monster In My Closet’. At the
age of ten, Swift began to perform around her home town,
singing at karaoke contests, festivals, and fairs, and also
started writing songs.
Swift’s singing influences include her grandmother and LeAnn
Rimes. Although her grandmother was a professional opera
singer, Taylor’s tastes always ran more toward country and
she developed a love for Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton at an
early age. At age eleven, Swift made her first trip to
Nashville hoping to obtain a record deal by distributing a
demo tape of her singing with karaoke songs. Swift faced
rejection, not just from record labels, but also from her
Swift started writing songs and playing 12-string guitar
when she was twelve. She began to regularly visit Nashville
and wrote songs with local songwriters. At fifteen, she
rejected a development deal with RCA Records because the
company refused to allow her to record her own songs. Swift
then performed at Nashville’s songwriters’ venue, The
Bluebird Café, catching the attention of Scott Borchetta who
signed her to his newly-formed record label, Big Machine
Records. She also became the youngest staff songwriter ever
hired by the Sony/ATV Tree publishing house.
2006–2008: Debut album Taylor Swift
Swift’s first single, ‘Tim McGraw’, was released to radio in
summer of 2006 and on October 24, 2006, her self-titled
album was released. Swift wrote or co-wrote all of the songs
on the album, which debuted at number 19 on the Billboard
200 and sold just 39,000 copies during its first week. Swift
has surpassed the 162 million mark for music streams on
MySpace. She is currently ranked in the Top 10 for the most
MySpace visits for all genres of music, and is MySpace’s
current top-ranking Country artiste.
“I wrote the song in my freshman year of high school. I was
dating a guy who was about to go off to college. I knew we
were going to break up so I started thinking of all the
things that I knew would remind him of me. Surprisingly, the
first thing that came to mind was that my favourite country
artiste, Tim McGraw,” says Taylor, on her song ‘Tim McGraw’.
The second single from the Taylor Swift album, ‘Teardrops on
My Guitar’, was released February 24, 2007. The song was
inspired by a true event during her time in high school in
which she liked a boy named Drew Hardwick. She noted she
heard ‘through the grapevine’ that Drew is well aware the
song was written about him.
In October 2007, Swift’s song writing peers at the Nashville
Songwriters Association International honoured her with
their Songwriter/Artiste of the Year Award, making her the
youngest artiste ever to win the award.
On November 7, 2007, Swift won the 2007 CMA Horizon Award
and also performed ‘Our Song,’ the third single from her
Swift’s latest studio album, ‘Fearless,’ was released in the
United States on November 11th, 2008. The album debuted at
#1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart.
Swift is Billboard’s Top Country Artiste and Hot Country
Songwriter of 2008; she is also country music’s best-selling
artiste of 2008.