Taylor Alison Swift
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American country pop[1] singer-songwriter and actress.
In 2006, she released her debut single "Tim McGraw", then her self-titled debut album, which was subsequently certified multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In November 2008, Swift released her second album, Fearless. Fearless and Taylor Swift finished 2008 at number-three and number-six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million.[5] Fearless has topped the Billboard 200 in 11 non-consecutive weeks;[6] no album has spent more time at No. 1 since 2000. Swift was named Artist of the Year by Billboard Magazine in 2009.[7] Fearless won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2010.
In 2008, her albums sold a combined four million copies, making her the best-selling musician of the year in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Forbes ranked Swift 2009's 69th-most powerful celebrity with earnings of $18 million.[8] In January 2010 Nielsen SoundScan lists Swift as the top-selling digital artist in music history with over 24.3 million digital tracks sold.[9] To date, she has sold over ten million albums worldwide.

Early life

Swift was born in the borough of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of Scott Swift, a stock broker, and his wife Andrea, a homemaker. She has a younger brother, Austin.[11] When she was in fourth grade, Swift won a national poetry contest with a three-page poem titled "Monster In My Closet".[12][13]
At ten years old, Swift began writing songs and singing at karaoke contests, festivals, and fairs around her hometown. One summer, she devoted herself to writing a 350-page novel, which remains unpublished.[14] Her first major show was a well-received performance at the Bloomsburg Fair.[15]

Music career

2006–2008: Taylor Swift

Swift released her debut single, "Tim McGraw", in mid-2006, reaching number 6 on Billboard magazine's Hot Country Songs chart.[29] Her self-titled debut album was later released on October 24, 2006.[30] Swift wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album, which debuted at number 19 on the Billboard 200 and sold 39,000 copies during its first week.[31] It later peaked at number one at Billboard Top Country Albums and number five on the Billboard 200.[32] It also spent eight consecutive weeks at the top of the Top Country Albums charts[33] and remained at the top for 24 out of 91 weeks.[34] The only other country artists this decade to achieve the number-one sales position for 20 weeks or more are The Dixie Chicks and Carrie Underwood.[35] As of November 2008, Taylor Swift has sold over three million copies and 7.5 million single downloads.[36]
The music video for "Tim McGraw" won Swift an award for Breakthrough Video of the Year at the 2007 CMT Music Awards.[37] Her pursuit of country music stardom was the subject of "GAC Short Cuts", a part-documentary, part-music-video series airing since the summer of 2006 on the country music channel.[38] On May 15, 2007, Swift performed "Tim McGraw" at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Swift has been an opening act for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their Soul2Soul 2007 tour. She has opened in the past for George Strait, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts as well.[39]
The second single from the Taylor Swift album, "Teardrops on My Guitar", was released February 24, 2007. The song originally made its peak positions in mid-2007, peaking at #2 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart and #33 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was re-released to the Hot 100 and Pop 100 in late 2007 with a pop remix that brought "Teardrops on My Guitar" to #13 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the Pop 100. In October 2007, Swift was awarded Songwriter/Artist of the Year Award by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, making her the youngest artist ever to win the award.[40]
Swift won the 2007 CMA Horizon Award. Her third song off her debut album, "Our Song" spent six weeks at #1 on the Country charts and peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #24 on the Billboard Pop 100. Swift also recorded a holiday album, Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, which was released October 16, 2007, exclusively available at Target stores. Swift was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award in the category of Best New Artist, but lost to Amy Winehouse. Swift's successful single, "Picture to Burn" was the fourth single from her debut album. The song debuted early in 2008 and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Country Chart in the spring of 2008.

2008–2010: Fearless

Swift's latest studio album, Fearless, was released in the United States on November 11, 2008.[44] The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. Its sales of 592,304 were the highest debut of any country artist in 2008. This is also the largest opening U.S. sales week in 2008 by a female artist in all genres of music, and the fourth biggest overall behind Lil Wayne, AC/DC and Coldplay.[45] Its lead single "Love Story" became a hit on both the country and pop charts. During the first week of release, more than 129,000 of Swift's sales were sold digitally. This gives Swift the best online start for any country album in history.[46] It also makes Swift the fourth biggest week for a digital album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking them in 2004.[47] Through its eighth week of release, Fearless has sold more than 338,467 paid downloads, making it the bestselling country album in digital history. In second place is Swift's debut Taylor Swift with sales of 236,046 downloads as of April 18, 2009.[48]In its debut week, seven songs in total on Fearless were charted on Billboard Hot 100, tying Swift with Hannah Montana for the most by a female artist in a single week. With "White Horse" charted at #13, this gave Swift her sixth top 20 debut of 2008, a calendar year record for any artist in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. Of the 13 tracks on Fearless, 11 have already spent time on the Hot 100.[47] "Change", a song from the album, was selected as part of a soundtrack supporting Team USA's efforts in the 2008 Summer Olympics.[42] The song was also featured as part of the soundtrack of NBC's broadcast package of the Olympics.
She also released the lead single from the album, "Love Story", on September 12, 2008. The song is accompanied by a music video that is based on Romeo and Juliet. The song has reached number 2 on iTunes Store Top Downloaded Songs and number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It is also called as Taylor Swift's signature song. Fifteen weeks after being added to pop radio, "Love Story" also became the first country crossover recording to hit number one on the Nielsen BDS CHR/Top 40 chart in the 16-year-history of list, as well as number one on the Mediabase Top 40 Chart.[49]
The second single from Fearless, "White Horse", was released on December 8, 2008. The music video for the song premiered on CMT on February 7, 2009. Though it missed the #1 spot on Billboard's Hot Country Songs as of the week April 11, 2009, "White Horse" claimed the #1 spot atop the USA Today/Country Aircheck chart (powered by Mediabase) in that week.[50] "Forever & Always", another song from the album, was based on Swift's relationship with singer Joe Jonas.[51]
She was the first artist in the history of Nielsen SoundScan to have two different albums in the Top 10 on the year end album chart.[5] It also was the first album by a female artist in country music history to log eight weeks at #1 on The Billboard 200. In mid-January 2009, Swift became the first country artist to top the 2 million mark in paid downloads with three different songs.[52]
Swift is Billboard's Top Country Artist and Hot Country Songwriter of 2008; she is also country music's best-selling artist of 2008.[53] Swift ranked seventh on Nielsen SoundScan Canada's top-10 selling artists across all genres in 2008. Fearless and Taylor Swift took the #1 and #2 slots on 2008 Year-End Canadian Country Albums Chart.[54] Swift sang the Star-Spangled Banner at game three of the World Series in Philadelphia on October 25, 2008.
In January 2009, Swift announced her North American Fearless Tour planned for 52 cities in 38 states and provinces in the US and Canada over the span of 6 months. [55] The tour kicked off April 23 in Evansville, Indiana.

On January 10, 2009, Swift made her first musical guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, making her the youngest country singer to appear as a musical guest on the show in its 33-year run.[56][57] On February 8, 2009, Swift performed her song "Fifteen" with Miley Cyrus at the 51st Grammy Awards.
As of the week ending February 8, 2009, Swift's single "Love Story" became the country song with most paid downloads in history and the first country song to top the Mainstream Top 40 chart.[58][59] Swift then subsequently went onto replicate the feat, reaching number 1 again on the Mainstream Top 40 in September 2009 with "You Belong with Me", making it just the second country song in the chart's history to reach the top.
Since the release of Swift's second album, Fearless, she has released one new song "Crazier" for the soundtrack of the feature film Hannah Montana: The Movie. At the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, Swift picked up Album of the Year honors as a performer and producer for Fearless.
Swift is the youngest artist in history to win Album of the Year award. Swift was also awarded the Academy's Crystal Milestone Award, given for Outstanding Achievement in Country Music. The Academy lauded her for career achievements including selling more albums in 2008 than any other artist in any genre of music, the breakthrough success of her debut album (which spawned five Top 10 hits, more than any in history for a female artist's debut CD), and the worldwide crossover success of her #1 single "Love Story". The Academy also cited Swift's contribution to helping country music attract a younger audience.[60] As of late April 2009, Swift has sold more than 14 million downloads, as well as three Gold Mobile Ringtones.[61]

Discography

Albums
EPs
Video albums

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
2006 Thumb Wrestling Federation Pei Pei The Purple Panda Episode Pei Pei vs. N Fuego
2009 Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience Herself Cameo
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Haley Jones Episode: "Turn, Turn, Turn"
Hannah Montana: The Movie Girl Singing at the Barn Cameo
Saturday Night Live Herself Host/Musical Guest
2010 Valentine's Day Felicia Movie acting debut