taylor swift is an American singer, songwriter, actress, fashion designer, record producer, philanthropist and model. She is one of the best-selling artists in history, with over 50 million albums sold worldwide, and has won numerous awards, including 11 Grammys and an Emmy. She is also known for her narrative songs about her personal life, which have received widespread media coverage.
Taylor Alison Swift was born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, on December 13, 1989. She began singing karaoke in local bars at age 10, and by the time she was 11, she had started writing her own music. She was spotted by a talent manager who heard her perform at a showcase in Nashville and helped her secure a contract with Big Machine Records. She released her debut album, taylor swift, in October 2006, and spent the next two years promoting it with tours, television appearances and as an opening act for country artists.
After achieving massive success with her first three albums, Taylor branched out into the pop genre with her fourth, red, in 2012. The lead single, a soaring ballad called “back to December,” became the longest-reigning Billboard Hot 100 number 1 ever and proved that she could take the country world by storm as well as the pop sphere.
In the years that followed, she dominated both realms, scoring several chart-topping hits and racking up millions in endorsement deals with brands such as Cover Girl, MAC Cosmetics, and Diet Coke. In addition to her music, she has become an acclaimed philanthropist and has made headlines for her activism on social issues such as LGBTQ rights and gender equality.
While Taylor was no stranger to controversy, she’s taken a particular interest in the way that streaming services pay their artists. In 2014, she yanked her entire catalog from Spotify, arguing that the ad-supported free service undermines the premium tier, which pays higher royalties to songwriters. In the same year, she wrote an open letter to Apple Music criticizing the company’s policies on the matter.
In 2021, Taylor surprised fans with the release of her re-recorded version of red, which includes the song “all too well.” This wistful, pitch-perfect twangy power ballad is the perfect summing up of her era-defining aesthetic, from her sleek bob to her ripped-from-the-runway fashion choices. The lyrical content is also classic Swift: a thinly veiled missive to a real-life exe who’s done her wrong.