Taylor Swift Is One Of The Most Successful Entrepreneurs In Music History

taylor swift

In just over a decade, the Pennsylvania native has dominated the music scene. Her ten original studio albums have reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, while her singles have topped the charts multiple times and racked up a remarkable number of awards. She’s also the youngest-ever artist to have five of her songs certified diamond, an accolade that equates to more than 10 million sales. In addition to her many accomplishments as a singer and songwriter, Swift has become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in music history, with a fortune estimated at more than $600 million.

Born Taylor Alison Swift, she spent her early years riding horses on her family’s tree farm before pursuing a career in musical theater at the Berks County Youth Theatre Academy. After winning a role in the youth production of Grease, she began taking vocal and acting lessons, but ultimately realized country music was her calling after hearing Shania Twain and Faith Hill on the radio.

A few years later, a showcase at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, who was preparing to form his independent label Big Machine Records; Swift became one of the new company’s first signings. Swift immediately began composing her own material during two-hour writing sessions every Tuesday afternoon, and she soon started making appearances at clubs and venues in the area.

After a string of hits including “All Too Well”, Swift released her second album, Fearless, in 2008 to critical and commercial success. In the wake of its success, she nabbed a deal with mega-producers Max Martin and Shellback, who helped her adjust her ratio of country to pop music with 2010’s Speak Now and 2012’s Red. With 1989, Swift loosened the reins on her sound and style with a record that celebrated a newly liberated life of flings and weekend getaways.

Swift’s collaboration with actor Joe Alwyn in 2017 resulted in the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, and she penned the song “This Is What You Came For” for Calvin Harris that same year. She continued to expand her horizons with the folklore and its companion album evermore, both of which she wrote and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020; these albums pushed Swift into synth-pop territory with producers such as Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner.

In 2022, Swift turned up the romance on her seventh album, Lover, and adopted a more candid tone with Midnights, which she described as “the story of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.” In this era, she went head-to-head with the biggest streaming services, removing her entire catalog from Spotify in an effort to protest how the ad-supported free service pays artists compared to its premium paid offering. Eventually, both Apple Music and Spotify changed their policies to boost songwriter royalties. She then embarked on a multi-year tour that saw her presenting new and classic material in more than 100 cities worldwide.