Taylor Swift

Country Singer

Born: 13 December 1989
Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania
Best known as: The pop superstar who sang the 2009 hit "You Belong With Me"
Taylor Swift broke through in 2006 with her hit song "Tim McGraw," recorded when she was still 16 years old. Over the next decade she had moved beyond country to become one of the world's biggest pop music stars. Raised just outside of Reading, Pennsylvania, Taylor Swift began singing at local events when she was a kid, and even sang the national anthem at a Philadelphia 76ers basketball game when she was 11. To help Swift pursue her career in country music, her family moved near Nashville, Tennessee when she was 13. Her sparkling blonde beauty-pageant looks and pitch-perfect country vocal style made her a star on Country Music Television, and the video for "Tim McGraw" -- a wistful ballad of romantic longing ("When you think Tim McGraw / I hope you think of me") -- was voted a fan favorite. She released her self-titled debut album in late 2006 and quickly became a star singer and songwriter; she was nominated for a Grammy Award and by the Academy of Country Music as best new female vocalist. Before she was even 18, Swift was touring nationally with top stars such as Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts, singing songs about love, heartbreak, and kisses in the rain. Her 2008 album Fearless produced the hit singles "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me." Her third studio album, Speak Now, was released in 2010 and included the singles "Mine," "Back to December" and "Sparks Fly." By then she was a global phenomenon, playing to packed arena concerts and getting heavy coverage in gossip magazines for her whirlwind romances (and breakups) with actor Jake Gyllenhaal and others. Her 2012 album Red included the hit single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." She launched another massive world tour behind her pop-oriented 2014 album 1989, which included hit singles like "Shake It Off" and "Bad Blood" (the latter featuring Kendrick Lamar). 1989 won three Grammy Awards: for album of the year, best pop vocal album, and best music video (for "Bad Blood). They were her 8th, 9th and 10th Grammys overall, to go along with (at that point) her 19 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Awards and hundreds of other industry honors. In 2015, Forbes magazine listed her at #64 on its annual "100 Most Powerful Women" list, making her the youngest woman ever to make the list.
Extra credit:

Taylor Swift’s albums include Taylor Swift (2006), Fearless (2008), Speak Now (2010), Red (2012) and 1989 (2014)… Taylor Swift was stunned by Kanye West at the MTV Music Video Awards on 13 September 2009. Swift was accepting her video for Best Female Video when Kanye grabbed the microphone and announced to the crowd, “I’m sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”

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