In the 10 years since Taylor Swift topped the charts with her debut album, Fearless, the superstar has written songs for numerous artists and produced two movies. She’s also starred as Bombalurina in the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, and released an acoustic Christmas tearjerker, “Christmases When You Were Mine.”
The 25-year-old phenom is celebrating her birthday this Saturday (December 13) with a surprise show at Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods, Pioneer Tavern Group’s New Orleans-style restaurant and bar in Wicker Park. The event will feature a drag brunch, a performance of Taylor’s upcoming album Reputation, and, of course, a Taylor-themed cocktail menu. Tickets are on sale now.
She’s a trendsetter who can turn any idea into a million-dollar business, and her philanthropic work has made her one of the most charitable celebrities in the world. From her countless charity concerts and Give Back Tours to her leadership of the Make America Great Again coalition, Taylor is always finding ways to give back.
From a very young age, Taylor Swift was already writing and pitching her songs to professional songwriters. She signed a development deal with RCA Records and began working closely with Liz Rose, who helped her develop into a fully-fledged artist. She continued to hone her craft with the help of different writers, and after signing a publishing deal with Dymtrow in 2004, Taylor’s persistence paid off. In 2006 she recorded her first single, “Tim McGraw,” and self-titled debut album. Both hit number 1 on the US country charts, putting her in the spotlight and launching her career.
While many of the tracks from Fearless are timeless, “All Too Well” resounds particularly hard with anyone who’s ever dealt with heartbreak—and she followed it up with her ultimate breakup song, “Reputation”, just two years later. The acoustic, country-tinged ballad is as moving now as it was when she wrote it.
The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter’s fourth studio album, Red, was a resounding hit in 2012. It explored more nuanced relationship issues than its 1989 predecessor, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, it “opened up new sonic vistas for Taylor” while continuing her country-to-pop crossover mission.
Swift co-wrote nine of the album’s 16 tracks and worked with several producers including Max Martin, Dan Wilson, Ed Sheeran, Nathan Chapman, and Jeff Bhasker, among others. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and became the year’s longest-running No. 1, with 24 consecutive weeks at the top spot.
Following the success of Red, Taylor returned with her eighth album, folklore, in 2020. Recorded in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the LP is an artistically bold departure from her previous albums. She teamed up with longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff, The National’s Aaron Dessner, and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on several tracks for a project that has been her most experimental to date. The album debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 and spent eight consecutive weeks at the top of the chart.