Taylor Alison Swift
Taylor Alison Swift was born on 13th December 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania. Swift spent her early years on her familyâ€™s Christmas tree farm in nearby Wyomissing. 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.Â She sang â€œThe Star Spangled Spanner,â€ at a Philadelphia 76ers game at the age of 11, and began writing her own songs and learning guitar at 12 years old. She went to Hendersonville High School.
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 attempt to further Swiftâ€™s career.
A stellar performance at The Bluebird CafÃ© in Nashville helped Swift get a contract with Scott Borchettaâ€™s Big Machine Records. She released her first single, â€œTim McGraw,â€ 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 â€œOur Song,â€ a No.1 country music hit. â€œTeardrops on My Guitar,â€ â€œPicture to Burnâ€ and â€œShouldâ€™ve Said Noâ€ 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 â€œSilent Nightâ€ and â€œSanta Babyâ€ 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 Musicâ€™s â€œFemale Vocalist of the Yearâ€ Award, the American Music Awards â€œFavourite Female Country Artistâ€ award, and the American Music Associationâ€™s â€œHorizonâ€ 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 â€œVideo of the Yearâ€ and â€œFemale Video of the Yearâ€ for â€œLove Storyâ€ at the CMT Music Awards. On 13th September 2009, Swift also won the MTV Video Music Award for â€œBest Female Video,â€ making her first country music star to win an MTV Video Music Award. The win stirred controversy when rapper Kanye West leaped to the stage during Swiftâ€™s speech, took the microphone, and declared that R&B singer BeyoncÃ© should have won Swiftâ€™s Award.
The stunned Swift was unable to make her acceptance speech, and West was removed from the show. When BeyoncÃ© accepted her award for â€œBest Video of the Yearâ€ later in the show, she called Swift to the stage to finish her speech. West later apologised to Swift privately, and made a public apology on The Jay Leno Show.
The attention from the award show made Swift an even hotter commodity. Her concert tickets began selling out in less than two minutes, and she also made her second appearance on comedy show Saturday Night Live, this time as both the host and musical guest. Additionally, she became the youngest artist to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2010 for Fearless.
In 2010, she released the album Speak Now, which featured hit songs â€œMean,â€ â€œOursâ€ and â€œSparks Fly.â€ The album was a success, debuting at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling more than one million copies in its first week. She followed that album with Red (2012), featuring the hit single â€œWe Are Never Getting Back Togetherâ€ and also selling more than one million copies in its first week. With her fifth album 1989, Swift became the first woman in history to release three albums that sold more than one million copies in their opening week.
She was ranked No.1 as Forbes magazineâ€™s highest paid celebrity under 30 in 2012, beating out Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Lady Gaga with a salary of $57 million. She has also been tapped for four CMA nominations in 2009 – â€œFemale Vocalist,â€ â€œMusic Video of the Year,â€ â€œBest Albumâ€ and â€œEntertainer of the Yearâ€- as well as six American Music Award nominations.
The following year, Swift shared some of her fortune to help others. She funded the $4 million Taylor Swift Education Centre at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The facility has three classrooms, a learning lab and a space dedicated to exhibits for children. In an interview with CMT Hot 20 Countdown, she explained that â€œmusic education is really such an important part of my life. My life changed so completely when I discovered writing my own songs and playing guitar and that canâ€™t necessarily all be taught to you in school because there arenâ€™t enough hours in the day.â€
Also in 2013 Swift was honoured with the CMA Pinnacle Award for her achievements as a country music performer and for her â€œpositive impactâ€ on country music, according to CMA website. She picked up this award, along with two other wins for her collaboration with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, at the CMA Awards ceremony held that November. Swiftâ€™s winning streak continued at the American Music Awards. For the third year in a row, she picked up the AMA Award for artist of the year. Swift also took home the top honours for country album of the year and favourite female artist in both the country and pop/rock categories.
With her next effort, Swift seemed to step further away from her country music roots. She released 1989, her most pop-sounding record to date, in October 2014. â€œShake It Offâ€ proved to be one of the catchiest tracks of the years, reaching the top of the pop charts. Swift continued to play with her public persona with the track â€œBad Blood,â€ which features Kendrick Lamar. In the video for the song, which debuted at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, she appears as a tough, cutthroat character called â€œCatastropheâ€ in this noir action short. This song was based at Katy Perry and Taylor Alison Swift since they were having a few problems. Swift recruited a number of top names to appear in the video, including Karlie Kloss, Cindy Crawford and Lena Dunham.
During much of 2008, reports circulated that Swift was dating Joe Jonas from the popular musical group The Jonas Brothers. Neither Swift nor Jones has ever acknowledged the relationship. â€œHeâ€™s an amazing guy, and anyone would be lucky to be dating him,â€ Swift said at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Whatever their relationship, it seemed to turn sour by the time Fearless was released. The song, â€œForever & Always,â€ is reportedly about Jonas.
Swift was then romantically linked to actor Taylor Lautner, one of the stars of the successful Twilight saga. The pair reportedly met while filming Swiftâ€™s big screen debut Valentineâ€™s Day which hit theatres in February 2010. Unfortunately, the couple didnâ€™t make it long enough to see the premiere as a couple, having broken up late 2009 Swift then dated singer John Mayer for a brief period, which ended on bad terms when she wrote the tell-all song entitled â€œDear Johnâ€ about the womanizer.
From there, Swift was romantically linked to Glee star Cory Monteith and Jake Gyllenhaal in 2010, and Conor Kennedy-son of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.-in 2012. She found herself dating another celebrity at the tail-end of 2012, bringing in the New Year with One Directionâ€™s Harry Styles. More recently, Swift has been seeing Calvin Harris, a music producer, DJ and singer.
By Amber Nixon