Few artists have achieved the levels of chart hits, fan support and critical acclaim that taylor swift has earned over her career. Since her 2006 debut, she’s written and recorded seven studio albums, winning Grammy Album of the Year three times for Fearless, 1989 and Folklore. She’s won a legion of fans known as Swifties, and is one of the highest-earning celebrities in history.
Taylor Alison Swift was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and raised on her family’s Christmas tree farm with her parents Scott and Andrea Swift and older brother Austin. Her first passion was English horse riding, but she soon turned to musical theatre, taking vocal and acting lessons. While performing in Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions of Grease and Bye Bye Birdie, she noticed that her own singing voice sounded country, which she took as a sign that country music was where she fit.
At a showcase at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe in 2005, she caught the attention of record executive Scott Borchetta, who was preparing to launch his independent label Big Machine Records. He signed the young Swift, and she began working with songwriter Liz Rose during two-hour writing sessions every Tuesday after school.
In the early stages of her career, Swift maintained a rigorous touring schedule, often opening for major country acts such as Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and George Strait. In 2010, she expanded her acting career with a supporting role in the romantic comedy Valentine’s Day and became a spokeswoman for CoverGirl cosmetics.
Following a brief break from the spotlight in 2016, Swift executed one of the most successful comebacks in history with her sixth studio album, reputation. The album’s lead single, Look What You Made Me Do, quickly broke a record for most views on a song within its first 24 hours of release. The accompanying tour, dubbed the Reputation Stadium Tour, became one of the highest-grossing concert tours in history.
After a turbulent couple of years, in which she publicly battled rumours about her sexuality and was linked with several high-profile relationships, including actor Cory Monteith and singer Harry Styles of One Direction, Swift emerged triumphant from the storm with a self-directed documentary, Taylor Swift: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released on Disney+ in November 2021.
In 2019, Swift reclaimed the CMA entertainer of the year award and received five Grammy nominations, including album of the year for her fifth studio album, 1989. She continued her acting career with a leading role in the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats and an appearance as Bombalurina in the live-action remake of the Dr. Seuss classic The Lorax. In addition, her latest album, Folklore, won the Grammy for Best Country Album and became her fourth consecutive No 1 on the Billboard 200. Taylor has also been a vocal advocate for women’s rights and philanthropy, donating more than $70 million to charity and partnering with the UN Foundation.