Taylor Swift is one of the biggest and most successful female recording artists in music history. She rose to fame in 2005 after catching the attention of music executive Scott Borchetta at a showcase in Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe and becoming a member of his independent label Big Machine Records. She has since released eight studio albums, including Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, and Reputation. She has also gone on numerous musical tours, including her Fearless Tour, Speak Now World Tour, and 1989 Stadium Tour. She is a known philanthropist and has worked to promote literacy among children through her donations of money and books.
The youngest artist ever to be signed to Sony/ATV Publishing house, at 14 Taylor began writing songs with her mentor Liz Rose during two-hour sessions every Tuesday afternoon after school. She quickly made a name for herself as an incredibly talented and charismatic singer-songwriter, writing several hit singles and making appearances on television shows such as Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana and the Valentine’s Day movie soundtrack.
In 2006, she released her self-titled debut album, which peaked at number five on the US Billboard 200 and spent 275 weeks on the chart. It won numerous awards, including the BMI Songwriter of the Year title, and earned her the role as opening act for multiple country music artists’ tours.
On the heels of her breakout success, Swift started working on what would become her second album, Fearless, which was released in October 2007. This album saw Swift tackling more mature themes, such as heartbreak and the difficulty of finding true love, while still maintaining a commercially viable pop sound that appealed to all audiences.
The title track, in particular, is a huge hit for many fans. It features a chorus that is arguably one of the most catchy and singable modern pop sing-alongs. In addition, the song’s production is expertly layered and crafted. The stop-and-start guitar riff, cheerleader-style chant, and various backing vocal contributions combine for an aural juggernaut that has never been equaled by any other pop artist.
Swift continues to write and produce her own material, but also has written for other artists such as John Mayer, Boys Like Girls, and Kellie Pickler. She wrote 2 tracks for the soundtrack of Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana and has also written songs for the movies 13 Reasons Why, Trolls, and Valentine’s Day. She considers the number 13 to be her lucky number, and often references it in her songs (the first 13 seconds of “The Lucky One” are played 13 times, for example). On her tours, she has drawn the number 13 on her hand with eyeliner before each show, and her drummer often puts a 13 on his drum. She also wore a ring with the number 13 on it for her SNL performance in 2018.
In 2021, Taylor released Red and Fearless (Taylor’s Version)—rerecordings of her earlier albums. She did this in an effort to maintain ownership of her early work so that it could not be used by others for licensing deals. She has also been seen wearing 13 emojis on her Instagram feed and commented with 13 emojis on a fan’s livestream.