taylor swift is an American singer-songwriter and actress. Recognized for her songwriting, musical versatility and artistic reinventions, she is a prominent cultural figure of the 21st century. Swift’s public image is shaped by a combination of her extensive media coverage and high-profile personal relationships as well as headline-making feuds with other celebrities, most notably Kanye West.
Taylor Alison Swift was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on December 13, 1989 to Scott Kingsley Swift, a financial advisor, and Andrea Gardner Swift (nee Finlay), a homemaker who previously worked as a mutual fund marketing executive. Her family owned a Christmas tree farm and she spent her early years on the property.
After winning a local talent competition at age 11, Swift started writing songs and playing guitar. She sang the national anthem at a Philadelphia 76ers game at age 12, and she was encouraged to perform by her school’s music teacher. She began working on a demo tape of Dolly Parton and Dixie Chicks karaoke covers that she sent to Nashville record labels.
A showcase performance at the Bluebird Cafe caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, a Nashville record producer who ran Big Machine Records. He signed her to his label at age 14, and her father bought a three percent share of the company. In her first year on the label, she released the album Fearless and won the 2008 Country Music Association’s New Female Vocalist of the Year award.
Swift’s second album, Speak Now, was a breakthrough success that spawned five top-10 singles. It was certified platinum in the US and earned her another AMA nomination. Her third album, Red, debuted at number one in the US and broke multiple sales records. Its singles, “You Belong With Me”, “Reputation”, and “Better Man” all reached the top ten in the United States. The album was recorded in just eight days, and Swift co-wrote all 18 tracks.
In late 2014, she removed her entire catalogue from Spotify and later Apple Music in an effort to oppose the way streaming services pay artists. She returned to Spotify in 2017 with the release of the album Reputation, which was nominated for a Grammy and received six AMA nominations. In the same year, she partnered with Zayn Malik on the song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack.
The album shattered records and set a new record for most simultaneous chart-topping songs by a female artist in a week. It became the best-selling album of 2021 and has sold over 25 million copies in the US alone. In addition to Swift, the album’s producers include Max Martin, Liz Rose, Dan Wilson, Nathan Chapman, Ed Sheeran, and Gary Lightbody.
Aside from her professional pursuits, Swift is an active philanthropist and has a number of celebrity friendships. She was linked romantically to actors Cory Monteith, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tom Hiddleston, and she has been close friends with models Karlie Kloss, Ellie Goulding, and Blake Lively. She also maintains a close relationship with actor Joe Alwyn, whom she dated from 2017 to spring 2023.