A Closer Look at Taylor Swift

From the country romance of her teen years to the imperial pop of her twenties to her ambivalent ruminations of her thirties, Taylor Swift has been a touchstone for a generation. Her music has been defined by themes that are universal to young people around the world: heartbreak, betrayal, revenge, and, of course, love. It has been a journey that has been chronicled in her own words and by her own voice, but one that is deeply personal to her fans.

She started writing songs at age 10, and by high school she had begun to perform on stage. Her passion for singing and writing soon brought her to Nashville, where she began to work with songwriter Liz Rose in two-hour sessions every Tuesday afternoon after school. Eventually, her talent caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, who signed her to his label Big Machine Records in 2005.

By the time she released her first album, Fearless (2008), Swift was already one of the most successful singer-songwriters in history. It would be the beginning of a career that saw her win countless awards and accolades, including three GRAMMYs. The next year, she starred as Bombalurina in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats and received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. In 2022, she released her seventh studio album, Lover. It was a departure from her previous pop-inspired work, and it earned her the Grammy for album of the year.

While Taylor continued to experiment with genres on subsequent albums, she became known for her ability to deliver a pop song that reverberated with a feeling of intimacy. She also started to collaborate with producers like Max Martin and Shellback, who helped her craft a sound that could be both infectiously catchy and emotionally potent.

In late 2018, she signed with Republic Records as part of an effort to reclaim ownership of her master recordings, and the first release to come from this project was a re-recording of Fearless, now called Fearless (Taylor’s Version). The new version included six never-before-heard songs from that era.

For her eighth album, Taylor turned to folk music and produced a record that was both intimate and uplifting. The eponymous LP won her another GRAMMY for album of the year and was followed by its sister record, Folklore, in 2020. The same year, Taylor appeared as a star in the Netflix documentary Miss Americana, which chronicled the early years of her career and won a GRAMMY for Best Documentary Film.