Taylor Swift may have become the pop icon with a reputation for red carpet tabloid missteps, but it’s her songs that tell her story. The raw 2006 debut as a teen country ingenue right up to her 2019 opus, folklore, her back catalog is a one-of-a-kind songbook.
The young singer first got her start in Nashville by performing at a songwriters showcase, which led to the attention of Scott Borchetta, who was launching Big Machine Records. He signed her to a record deal, and she started work on her debut album Fearless with producer Nathan Chapman. The album was a hit, and she became the youngest artist ever to win a Grammy Award for Best New Female Vocalist. The album also earned her multiple accolades from the CMAs, ACMs and AMAs.
In 2009, Swift began touring as a headlining act, and her success increased. She won multiple awards at each show, and topped the Billboard 200 album chart with her eponymous second album. This ushered in a new phase of her career, with controversies and romances making the headlines along with her music.
As the years passed, she continued to write and release music, with the release of two EPs (The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection and Beautiful Eyes). Her third album, 2010’s Speak Now, cemented her status as a worldwide phenomenon, earning her even more accolades from the CMAs, ACMs, AMAs and Grammys. It also spawned the megahit “Shake It Off”, which became the biggest selling single of the year.
In 2021, she released a re-recording of her 2008 album Fearless called Fearless (Taylor’s Version). This charted at number one in February, and was followed by the release of the album’s sister album, evermore, in December of that same year. Both albums contained collaborations with artists such as Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner from The National and Bon Iver.
Over the next few years, she would continue to make music and tours, while collaborating with other artists and writing for movies and TV shows. She wrote the song “Today Was a Fairytale” for Disney Channel’s Valentine’s Day movie soundtrack, and co-wrote two tracks with Zayn Malik for the Fifty Shades Darker film soundtrack.
In 2020, Taylor surprised fans with the release of her eighth studio album folklore at midnight. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and was the first album to spend 8 non-consecutive weeks atop the charts. The album was a collaborative effort, with Taylor working closely with long-time collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner from the band Bon Iver. She also incorporated new artists like HAIM and The National into the folklore universe.