Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Raised in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of fourteen to pursue a career in country music. She signed to the independent label Big Machine Records and became the youngest songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. The release of Swift's eponymous debut album in 2006 established her as a country music star. "Our Song", her third single, made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number one song on the country chart.
Swift's second album, Fearless, was released in 2008. Buoyed by the pop crossoversuccess of the singles "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me", Fearless became the best-selling album of 2009 and was supported by an extensive concert tour. The record won fourGrammy Awards, with Swift becoming the youngest ever Album of the Year winner. Swift's third album, 2010's Speak Now, sold over one million copies in its first week of US release and was supported by the Speak Now World Tour. The album's third single, "Mean", won two Grammy Awards. Swift's fourth album, Red, was released in 2012. Its opening US sales of 1.2 million were the highest recorded in a decade, with Swift becoming the only female artist to have two million-plus opening weeks. The singles "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble" were worldwide hits. The North American leg of Swift's Red Tour will run until September 2013.
Swift is known for her narrative songs about her experiences as a teenager and young adult. As a songwriter, she has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Associationand the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Swift's other achievements include seven Grammy Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, eleven American Music Awards, seven Country Music Association Awards and six Academy of Country Music Awards. She has sold over 26 million albums and 75 million digital downloads worldwide. In addition to her music career, Swift has appeared as an actress in the crime drama CSI (2009), the ensemble comedy Valentine's Day (2010), the animated film The Lorax (2012) and the sitcom New Girl (2013). Forbes estimates that she is worth over $220 million. As a philanthropist, Swift supports arts education, children's literacy, natural disaster relief, LGBT anti-discrimination efforts, and charities for sick children.
2004–08: Career beginnings and Taylor Swift
Swift moved to Nashville at the age of fourteen. As part of her artist development deal with RCA Records, she had writing sessions with experienced Music Row songwriters such as Troy Verges, Brett Beavers, Brett James, Mac McAnally and The Warren Brothers.She eventually formed a lasting working relationship with Liz Rose. Swift saw Rose performing at an RCA songwriter event and suggested that they write together. They began meeting for two-hour writing sessions every Tuesday afternoon after school. Rose has said that the sessions were "some of the easiest I've ever done. Basically, I was just her editor. She'd write about what happened in school that day. She had such a clear vision of what she was trying to say. And she'd come in with the most incredible hooks".Swift also began recording demos with producer Nathan Chapman. After performing at a BMI Songwriter's Circle showcase at The Bitter End, New York, Swift became the youngest songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Tree publishing house. Swift left RCA Records when she was fifteen; the company wanted her to record the work of other songwriters and wait until she was eighteen to release an album, but she felt ready to launch her career with her own material. She also parted ways with manager Dan Dymtrow, who later took legal action against Swift and her parents. "'I genuinely felt that I was running out of time," Swift later recalled. "I wanted to capture these years of my life on an album while they still represented what I was going through." At an industry showcase at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe in 2005, Swift caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, a DreamWorks Recordsexecutive who was preparing to form his own independent record label, Big Machine Records. She became one of the label's first signings, with her father purchasing a three per cent stake in the fledgling company at an estimated cost of $120,000. As an introduction to the country music business, Borchetta arranged for Swift to intern as an artist escort at the CMA Music Festival.
Swift made her acting debut in a 2009 episode of CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, playing a rebellious teenager. The New York Times noted that the character allowed Swift to be "a little bit naughty, and credibly so". Rolling Stone felt she "held her own" and "does a good job with the script" while the Chicago Tribune said she "acquits herself well". Later that year, Swift both hosted and performed as the musical guest for an episode of Saturday Night Live. Entertainment Weekly described her as "this season's best Saturday Night Live host so far", noting that she "was always up for the challenge, seemed to be having fun, and helped the rest of the cast nail the punchlines". Proving "admirably resilient in a wide variety of sketch roles", "Swift inspired more of a female, girly-in-the-best-sense sensibility in SNL than it's shown since the Tina Fey-Amy Poehlerdays".
Swift made her feature film acting debut in the 2010 ensemble comedy Valentine's Day, playing the ditzy Valley girlfriend of a high school jock. The Los Angeles Times felt the performance suggested "serious comedic potential" while the San Francisco Chronicle found her "very funny". Time remarked that Swift portrayed her character "rather charmingly"; The Boston Globe described her as "adorably dorky". Salon asserted that she was "one of the few actors not wasted in "Valentine's Day". Her overgrown-pixie look and odd, widely set eyes lend her a little bit ofMarilyn and a little bit of Lucille Ball: She's Taylor-made for comic greatness." However, Varietyfound her "entirely undirected ... she needs to find a skilled director to tamp her down and channel her obviously abundant energy". The Daily News described her performance as "painfully clunky" while Slant Magazine found her "unwatchable". In 2012, Swift voiced the character of Audrey, a tree lover, in the animated film The Lorax. In May 2013, Swift made a brief cameo on the sitcom New Girl as Elaine, a woman who attends the wedding of a former lover; during the service, the groom declares his love for Elaine and they leave the ceremony together to elope.
Awards and nominations
Swift has been the recipient of seven Grammy Awards, eleven American Music Awards, seven Country Music Association Awards, sixAcademy of Country Music Awards, and twelve Billboard Music Awards. As a songwriter, she has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
|2009||Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience||Herself||Cameo|
|2009||Hannah Montana: The Movie||Herself||Cameo|
|2010||Valentine's Day||Felicia||Film debut|
|2012||The Lorax||Audrey||Voice only|
|2009||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Haley Jones||Episode: "Turn, Turn, Turn"|
|2009||Saturday Night Live||Herself||Host/musical guest|
|2011||T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle||Herself||Episode: "America's Sweetheart"|
|2013||New Girl||Elaine||Episode: "Elaine's Big Day"|