Swift’s genre-spanning discography, songwriting and artistic reinventions have earned critical praise and wide media coverage. She has toured the world and performed on television. She has sold more than 65 million albums worldwide and has won four Academy of Country Music Awards, including Artist of the Year and Favorite Pop/Rock Female Vocalist.
Born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed a songwriting deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2004 and a recording contract with Big Machine Records in 2005. In 2006, she released her debut studio album, Taylor Swift, which received generally positive reviews from critics and was ranked number one on the Billboard 200.
Her singles “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” established her as a leading crossover artist. She also starred as Bombalurina in the movie adaptation of Cats, earning her another Golden Globe nomination and a Grammy award for Best Original Song.
She has collaborated with a variety of artists, most notably Bon Iver and The National. Her albums have been released on both major and independent labels.
The singer-songwriter has a wide range of songs, from the sultry and sensual “Blank Space” to the edgy, electronic “Style.” Her albums have reached the top ten of the Billboard Top 200 and she is a consistent nominee at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
In her early teens, she began writing and performing her own music, influenced by Shania Twain. She entered local talent contests and won a chance to open for Charlie Daniels in Strausstown, Pennsylvania. She later started to attend a homeschooling program in Hendersonville, Tennessee, as well as Aaron Academy, a private school for artists.
During her first year at Aaron Academy, she began singing in the choir. Her vocal ability caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, who was a former DreamWorks Records executive who was about to launch Big Machine Records. He signed Swift to Big Machine and worked with her on her first album.
At the age of 12, she was introduced to guitar playing by a computer repairman and she immediately wrote her first song, “Lucky You.” She won a national poetry contest with a poem entitled “Monster in My Closet.”
Her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, was a banker; her mother, Andrea, was a mutual fund marketing executive. She grew up in suburban Wyomissing, Pennsylvania and was introduced to the music of Shania Twain, who became her primary influence.
When she was 14, Swift secured an artist development deal with RCA Records, and moved to Nashville. She was enrolled in Aron Academy to accommodate her touring schedule. She left RCA Records at the age of 15, but eventually signed with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and moved to Big Machine in 2006.
She has since released eight studio albums and has been nominated for more than 600 awards. Her career has been credited with helping to establish country music as a commercially viable genre.