Taylor Swift

Taylor Alison Swift is an American singer-songwriter who has influenced the music industry, popular culture, and politics through her songwriting, artistry, entrepreneurship, and advocacy. She has sold over 40 million albums worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling music artists in history. In addition to her solo albums, she has written songs for film soundtracks and other artists’ recordings. She has been ranked in Time’s 100 most influential people in the world twice, Forbes’ top-earning women in music and Celebrity 100, and is among the most followed celebrities on social media with more than 80 million followers across her various platforms.

The daughter of Scott Kingsley Swift, a stockbroker, and Andrea (Finlay) Swift, a homemaker who worked as a fund marketing executive, Taylor was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and raised on a Christmas tree farm in Wyomissing. Her ancestry includes German, English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh descent.

As a child, she took voice and acting lessons. She performed in local children’s theater productions and won a national poetry contest with a poem titled “Monster In My Closet.” In the fourth grade, she won the lead role of Sandy in a musical production of Grease and noticed that her own singing sounded country. She then decided to focus on country music, telling Great American Country, “I listened to legends like Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline—women who dominated the genre. They were the inspiration for my style.”

By age 12, she had begun writing her own songs. At a showcase at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, she caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, and at age 14, she signed with Big Machine Records. After a string of successes with her first four albums, she began to experiment with other genres, while retaining a firm hold on her country roots.

Swift’s fifth album, Speak Now, marked a departure from her traditional pop sound and explored themes of adolescence, insecurity, and self-discovery. The record topped the US Billboard 200 and spawned three successful singles, including the double-platinum “You Belong With Me”. It was the third consecutive album to chart at No. 1 and became her highest-selling album to date.

For her sixth album, 1989, Swift delved into more mature and complex subjects. It was produced by Nathan Chapman, who praised her lyrics and vocals and described the record as “her most personal, vulnerable, and raw.” The album’s lead single, “Blank Space”, debuted at No. 1. The record went on to be certified platinum and won a Grammy Award for Best Country Album.

In 2023, Swift released her eleventh album, Reputation, a concept album that examines the extremes of human emotion. It is the most polarizing record of her career and sparked several headline-making feuds with other musicians. Reputation was a critical and commercial success, topping the US Billboard 200 and spawning five successful singles. It also became the year’s longest-running #1 album, spending a total of eight non-consecutive weeks at the top of the charts. In support of the album, she toured internationally.