American singer and songwriter Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13th, 1989, in West Reading, Pennsylvania. Knowing very early on that she wanted to be an artist, Taylor took acting and vocal lessons when she was little. Her interest in country music led her to perform in her town’s local festivals and events, and eventually expressed a desire to relocate to Nashville, Tennessee, where she was sure she would catch the attention of a record label. At the age of 12, Taylor learned to play the guitar and began to write songs. Thanks to her perseverance and efforts, she got an artist development deal with RCA Records and moved with her family to Tennessee, where she began to work on her music career.
In 2005, Taylor switched labels and was signed onto independent record label Big Machine Records, becoming one of its first artists. Her eponymous debut album was released in October 2006, of which she wrote three songs and co-wrote the other eight tracks. The country album was extremely successful, staying on the Billboard 200 chart for 157 weeks, and brought Taylor multiple accolades and even a Grammy nomination. Swift’s second studio album, Fearless, was released in 2008, enjoying much of the success of its predecessor—if not more. Five of its singles, “Love Story”, “White Horse”, “You Belong with Me”, “Fifteen”, and “Fearless” reached top chartings, with the album becoming the top-selling album of 2009 in the U.S.
Taylor’s third album, titled Speak Now, was released in October 2010 to the same critical and commercial acclaim of the first two. Swift entered the 2010 Guinness World Records by being a female artist whose album was the fastest selling album in digital sales. The record earned her the Grammy for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance for her single “Mean.” She also made her film debut that year as part of the ensemble cast in the romantic comedy Valentine’s Day. In 2012, Taylor appeared in The Hunger Games movie soundtrack with two original songs, one of which won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. That same year, the singer released her fourth album studio, Red, also selling more than one million copies upon its premiere. Her tour to promote the album (between 2013 and 2014) became the highest-grossing country tour in the U.S.
Between 2014 and 2018, Taylor released three more albums, 1989 (2014,) Reputation (2017,) and Lover (2019), marking a departure from her signature country style and moving into pop and electronic sounds. In 2018, following a dispute over the legal ownership of her music catalog to date, Taylor left Big Machine and signed with Universal Music Group, who let her retain ownership over her songs. In 2020, she began to re-record her earlier songs, which were later released under the name “Taylor’s Version.” During the pandemic, Taylor released two surprise albums, Folklore and Evermore, and had a documentary about her career come out on Netflix, called Miss Americana. Her two re-recorded albums were released in 2021, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version.) Swift’s latest studio album, Midnights, premiered in October 2022, and quickly became one of Spotify’s most streamed albums in a day, solidifying her status as one of the best-selling musicians of all time.