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Taylor Swift

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Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989, at the Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pennsylvania. She was named after singer-songwriter James Taylor and has Scottish and German heritage. Swift identifies as a Christian; her father is a former stockbroker and her mother is a homemaker. At age nine, Swift became interested in musical theater and performed in four Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions. Swift learned to play the guitar when she was 12 years old.

At age 11, she traveled with her mother to visit Nashville record labels. In 2003, Swift and her parents started working with talent manager Dan Dymtrow. After performing original songs at an RCA Records showcase, Swift was given an artist development deal.

Swift was signed to RCA Records at the age of 14, but left the label due to lack of care for artists’ work. She began working on her eponymous debut album with producer Nathan Chapman. Swift wrote three of the album’s songs alone, and co-wrote the remaining eight with Rose, Robert Ellis Orrall, Brian Maher, and Angelo Petraglia. Taylor Swift was released on October 24, 2006. The album peaked at number five on the U.S.

Billboard 200, where it spent 157 weeks—the longest stay on the chart by any release in the 2000s decade. She was the youngest person to single-handedly write and sing a number-one song on the chart. Swift opened for Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Brad Paisley, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. In 2008, she dated singer Joe Jonas for three months. Taylor Swift’s second studio album, Fearless, was released on November 11, 2008.

Five singles were released in 2008 through 2009: “Love Story”, “White Horse”, “You Belong with Me”, “Fifteen”, and “Fearless”. All five singles were Hot Country Songs top-10 entries. Fearless became her first number one album on the Billboard 200 and 2009’s top-selling album in the U.S.

Swift featured on John Mayer’s single “Half of My Heart” and Boys Like Girls’ single “Two Is Better Than One”, both of which she co-wrote. She made her television debut as a rebellious teenager in an CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode. Speak Now, released on October 25, 2010, debuted atop the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of one million copies. Taylor Swift’s Speak Now World Tour grossed over $123 million and was named one of Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Female Albums of All Time in 2012. At the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in 2012, she won two awards for her performance of “Mean”.

She contributed two original songs to The Hunger Games soundtrack album: “Safe & Sound”, co-written and recorded with the Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett, and “Eyes Open”. Swift’s fourth studio album, Red, was released on October 22, 2012. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 1.21 million copies. The album incorporated many pop and rock styles such as heartland rock, dubstep and dance-pop. Three singles, “Begin Again”, “22”, and “Red”, reached the top 20 in the U.S.

Swift received four nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards (2014). Her single “I Knew You Were Trouble” won Best Female Video at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The Red Tour ran from March 2013 to June 2014 and grossed over $150 million, becoming the highest-grossing country tour when it completed. Swift voiced Audrey in the animated film The Lorax (2012) and had a cameo in the sitcom New Girl (2013).

Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989, was released on October 27, 2014. It debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200 with sales of 1.28 million copies in its first week. The 1989 World Tour ran from May to December 2015 and was the highest-grossing tour of the year. In November 2014, she removed her entire catalog from Spotify.

Swift was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year in 2014, becoming the first artist to win the award twice. She returned her entire catalog plus 1989 to Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Play and other digital streaming platforms in June 2017. In 2015, Swift won the Brit Award for International Female Solo Artist. At the 58th Grammy Awards in 2016, 1989 won Album of the year and “Bad Blood” won Best Music Video. Swift dated Scottish DJ Calvin Harris from March 2015–June 2016.

She co-wrote the song “This Is What You Came For” with Barbadian singer Rihanna. Swift and English singer Zayn Malik released a single together, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”, for the soundtrack of the film Fifty Shades Darker (2017). In August 2017, Swift successfully sued David Mueller, a former radio jockey for sexual assault. Taylor Swift’s sixth album Reputation was released on November 10, 2017. It incorporated a heavy electropop sound, along with hip hop, R&B, and EDM influences.

The album debuted atop the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 1.21 million copies. It spawned three other international singles, including the U.S. top-five entry “…Ready for It?”. In April 2018, Swift featured on country duo Sugarland’s “Babe”.

Taylor Swift released her seventh studio album, Lover, on August 23, 2019. It was the world’s best-selling album by a solo artist of 2019, selling 3.2 million copies. The lead single, “Me!” peaked at number two on the Hot 100. Other singles from Lover were the U.S. top-10 singles “You Need to Calm Down” and “Lover”. Swift signed a global publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group in February 2020 after her 16-year-old contract with Sony/ATV expired.

She played Bombalurina in the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats (2019), for which she co-wrote and recorded the original song “Beautiful Ghosts”. The documentary Miss Americana, which chronicled parts of Swift’s life and career, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released on Netflix that January.

Swift released two re-recorded albums in 2021, to critical appraisal centering on her vocals. “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” debuted at number one on the Hot 100, becoming the longest song in history to top the chart. She was the highest-paid female musician of 2021. Both her 2020 albums and the re-recordings were ranked among the top 10 best-sellers of the year. Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album, Midnights, was released on October 21, 2022.

The album debuted atop the Billboard 200 with 1.57 million units and marked her fifth album to open with over one million copies sold. She tied Barbra Streisand for the most number-one albums among women (11) and became the first artist to monopolize the Hot 100’s entire top 10. Swift will embark on the Eras Tour in 2023.

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