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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is that rarest of pop phenomenona: a superstar who managed to completely cross over from country to the mainstream. Other singers performed similar moves -- notably, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson both became enduring mainstream icons based on their '70s work -- but Swift shed her country roots like they were a second skin; it was a necessary molting to reveal she was perhaps the sharpest, savviest, populist singer/songwriter of her generation, one who could harness the zeitgeist and turn it personal and, just as impressively, perform the reverse. These skills were evident on her earliest hits, especially the neo-tribute "Tim McGraw," but her second album, 2008's Fearless, showcased a songwriter discovering who she was and, in the process, finding a mass audience. Fearless wound up having considerable legs not only in the U.S., where it racked up six platinum singles on the strength of the Top 10 hits "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me," but throughout the world, performing particularly well in the U.K., Canada, and Australia. Speak Now, delivered almost two years later in the autumn of 2010, consolidated that success and Swift moved into the stratosphere of superstardom, with her popularity only increasing on 2012's Red and 2014's 1989, a pair of records that found her moving assuredly from country into a pop realm where she already belonged.

This sense of confidence had been apparent in Taylor Swift since the beginning. The daughter of two bankers -- her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, works at Merrill Lynch; her mother Andrea spent time as a mutual fund marketing executive -- Swift was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and raised in its suburb Wyomissing. She began to show interest in music at the age of nine and Shania Twain wound up as her biggest formative influence. Swift started to work regularly at local talent contests, eventually winning a chance to open for Charlie Daniels. Soon, she learned how to play guitar and began writing songs, signing a music management deal with Dan Dymtrow; her family relocated to Nashville with the intent of furthering her music career. She was just 14 years old but on the radar of the music industry, signing a development deal with RCA Records in 2004. Swift sharpened her skills with a variety of professional songwriters, forming the strongest connections with Liz Rose. Taylor's original songs earned her a deal with Sony/ATV publishing but not long after that 2004 deal, she parted ways with Dymtrow and RCA, all with the intent of launching her recording career now, not later.

Things started moving swiftly once Swift came to the attention of Scott Borchetta, a former DreamWorks Records exec about to launch Big Machine Records. Borchetta saw Swift perform at a songwriters showcase at the Bluebird Cafe and he signed her to Big Machine in 2005; shortly afterward, she started work on her debut with producer Nathan Chapman, who'd previously helmed demos for Taylor. Boasting original song credits on every one of the record's 11 songs (she penned three on her own), Taylor Swift appeared in October 2006 to strong reviews and Swift made sure to work the album hard, appearing at every radio or television event offered and marshalling a burgeoning fan base through use of MySpace. "Tim McGraw," the first song from the album, did well but "Teardrops on My Guitar" and "Our Song" did better on both the pop charts and country, where she racked up five consecutive Top 10 singles. Other successes followed in the wake of the debut -- a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist (she lost to Amy Winehouse), stopgap EPs of Christmas songs -- but Swift concentrated on delivering her sophomore set, Fearless.

Appearing in November 2008, Fearless was certified Gold by the RIAA in its first week of release and the record gained momentum throughout 2009, earning several platinum certifications as "Love Story," "White Horse," "You Belong with Me," "Fifteen," and "Fearless" all scaled the upper reaches of the country charts while "You Belong with Me" nearly topped Billboard's Top 100. Along with the success came some headlines, first in the form of an infamous appearance at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards where her acceptance speech was interrupted by Kanye West, who burst on-stage to declare that Swift's rival Beyonce deserved the award more, but her romances also started gaining attention, notably a liaison with Twilight star Taylor Lautner, who appeared with the singer in the 2009 film Valentine Day. Her flirtation with the silver screen proved brief, as she then poured herself into her third album, Speak Now. Released in October 2010, Speak Now was another massive first-week smash that refused to lose momentum. Hit singles like "Mine" and "Mean," which won two Grammys, played a big factor in its success not just on the country charts but on pop radio, as well. Following a 2011 live album called World Tour Live: Speak Now, Swift turned toward following a pop path on her fourth album, hiring such mainstream musicians as Dan Wilson, Butch Walker, and Britney Spears producer Max Martin. This mainstream pulse was evident on "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," the first single from Red. Upon its October 2012 release, Red shattered expectations by selling over a million copies in its first week, a notable achievement that was doubly impressive in an era of declining sales. Once again, Swift's album had legs: it was certified platinum four times in the U.S. and its international sales outstripped those of Speak Now. She supported Red with an international tour in 2013 and more hits came, including "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "22."

As she geared up for the release of her fifth album in 2014, she made it clear that 1989 was designed as her first "documented, official" pop album and that there would be no country marketing push for this record. "Shake It Off," an ebullient dance-pop throwback, hit number one upon its August 2014 release. When 1989 appeared in late October 2014, it once again shot to number one and shattered all expectations, nearly matching the first-week sales of Red and offering proof that Swift was indeed the decade's biggest pop star. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Bad Blood (Single)

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Track List: Change (Radio Sinlgle)

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Track List: Come In With The Rain (Radio Single)

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Track List: Crazier (Radio Single)

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Track List: Everything Has Changed (Remix) (Single)

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Track List: Jump Then Fall (Radio Single)

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Track List: Out Of The Woods (Single)

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Track List: Red (2013 CMA Awards Performance) (Single)

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Track List: Ronan (Single)

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Track List: Safe & Sound (Single)

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Track List: Shake It Off (Single)

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Track List: Superstar (Radio Single)

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Track List: Sweeter Than Fiction (From "One Chance") (Single)

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Track List: Tim McGraw (CD Single)

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Track List: Today Was A Fairytale (Radio Single)

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Track List: Untouchable (Radio Single)

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Track List: Welcome To New York (Single)

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Track List: You Belong With Me (Radio Single)

Comments

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timandannemo r a n
I love shake it off
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Bad blood is a great song
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Swiftie for life!!
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Hey but I'm a swiftie
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She is amazing, but she doesn't seem like her old young, carefree innocent self anymore. If you read they lyrics to lucky one (Red) you'll see the different side of her life. Also doesn't 1989 seem kinda dark? I mean shake it off is definitely her, everything else seems kinda dark and depressing.
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jlkovac
UR SO AWESOME+COOL +
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Katy perry BFF
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Love Arie
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Short up
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BFF
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Your songs are so good
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Good night
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jlkovac
I love your song Bad blood
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Harry savlsbackoff
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kramerjb13
Our my idol Taylor our soooooooo pretty love you
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jlkovac
I love you soooo much!!!
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kramerjb13
:)
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kramerjb13
Hi love your music huge fan love bad blood!!
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Does anyone have tickets for me to see her in concert
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I love you talyr swift can you come to our house Talyr swift my name is Ava Rogers
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I love wildest dreams!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
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I love today was a fairy tale
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Do you know shopkins if you do send me some FYI
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Is this really you know Taylor Swift text me back if it's you PS I love your music and I love looooooooooo o o o o v e a l l about the base
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Hi I lovvvvvvvvvv e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e
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I love you songs so much. I listen to them every day
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How do get the good pitch in your songs
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I loveeeeeeeee e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e r e e e e e e e e e ittttttttttt t t t t t t t t
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I love you talry swift and I'm a girl kylie shook
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madisonwlove
I love here music
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I love you .tt and I'm a girl kylie shook
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I love all of your songs. #1 on my playlist
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I love Taylor swift so much shes amazing(Swif t i e for life)
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Hi. Taylor Swift
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danielle.wil l i a m s 2 5
I am a big fan I love yours songs!
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Hi
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Say iPhone 5 times pick a color post this 2 times look under pillow
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I'm a big fan
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You might think you are Taylor Swifts biggest fan (Swifti) but the truth is I am
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Say iPhone 5 times
Say your favorite color
Rewrite this on 5 songs look under your pillow
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We love your music
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I L❤️VE you!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! I want to meet you so badly! After seeing the 1989 video/commer c i a l I thought and always thought before that that you are SOOOOO nice! Where could I meet you!?
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I love you so much tablet you are the best I love the song Bad Blood it is awesome I am a fan right now I am listening to Bad Blood love you and the song
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Hey ppl
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Love the video of bad blood with Kendrick Lamar. Also there are a few girls in my school who will do anything to meet u
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Hubbub free lbfhifhghhtg h k g b h g u Hz
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olivaevelyne
Wow you are amazing taylor
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priority1018 0
Keep making songs. Your amazing!
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I loved tour songs
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alex.lukowic z
Love you taylor
Show more

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