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This article is about the artist. For the album, see Taylor Swift (album).
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Raised
in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of fourteen to
pursue a career in country music. She signed to the independent label Big Machine Records and
became the youngest songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. The release
of Swift's eponymous debut album in 2006 established her as a country music star. "Our Song", her
third single, made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number one
song on the country chart. She received a Best New Artist nomination at the 2008 Grammy
Swift's second album, Fearless, was released in 2008. Buoyed by the popcrossover success of the
singles "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me", Fearless became the best-selling album of 2009
and was supported by an extensive concert tour. The record won four Grammy Awards, with Swift
becoming theyoungest ever Album of the Year winner. Swift's third album, 2010's Speak Now, sold
over one million copies in its first week of US release and was supported by the Speak Now World
Tour. The album's third single, "Mean", won two Grammy Awards. Swift's fourth album, Red, was
released in 2012. Its opening US sales of 1.2 million were the highest recorded in a decade, with
Swift becoming the only female artist to have two million-plus opening weeks. The singles "We Are
Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I KnewYou Were Trouble" were worldwide hits. The North
American leg of Swift's Red Tour will run until September 2013.
Swift is known for her narrative songs about her experiences as a teenager and young adult. As a
songwriter, she has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters
Hall of Fame. Swift's other achievements include seven Grammy Awards, twelve Billboard Music
Awards, elevenAmerican Music Awards, seven Country Music Association Awards and
six Academy of Country Music Awards. She has sold over 26 million albums and 75 million digital
downloads worldwide. In addition to her music career, Swift has appeared as an actress in the
crime drama CSI (2009), the ensemble comedyValentine's Day (2010), the animated film The
Lorax (2012) and the sitcom New Girl (2013). Forbesestimates that she is worth over $220 million.
As a philanthropist, Swift supports arts education, children's literacy, natural disaster
relief, LGBT anti-discrimination efforts, and charities for sick children.
Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Her father, Scott
Kingsley Swift, is a financial adviser.
He was raised in Pennsylvania, and is the descendant of
three generations of bank presidents.
Her mother, Andrea (née Finlay), is a homemaker who
previously worked as a mutual fund marketing executive.
Andrea spent the first ten years of her
life in Singapore, before settling in Texas; her father was an oil rig engineer who worked throughout
Swift was given a gender-neutral name because her mother believed it would
help her forge a successful business career.
She has a younger brother, Austin, who attends
the University of Notre Dame.
She spent the early years of her life on an eleven-acre Christmas
tree farm in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She attended preschool and kindergarten at the
Alvernia Montessori School, run by Franciscan nuns,
and was later educated at the Wyndcroft
School, aco-ed private school located in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
When Swift was nineyears old,
the family moved to Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, where she attended West Reading Elementary
Center and Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School.
She also participated in Vacation Bible
Swift summered at her parents' beachfront vacation home in Stone Harbor,
New Jersey and has described it as the place "where most of my childhood memories were
Swift's family owned several Quarter horses and a Shetland pony and her first hobby was English
Her mother first put her in a saddle when she was nine months old and she later
competed in horse shows.
At the age of nine, Swift became interested in musical theatre. She
performed in many Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions and traveled regularly to Broadway
for vocal and acting lessons.
Swift then turned her attention to country music; Shania Twain's
songs made her "want to just run around the block four times and daydream about
She spent her weekends performing at local festivals, fairs, coffeehouses, karaoke
contests, garden clubs, Boy Scout meetings and sporting events.
At the age of eleven, after
many failed attempts,
Swift won a local talent competition by singing a rendition of LeAnn
Rimes's "Big Deal", and was given the opportunity to appear as the opening act for Charlie
Daniels at a Strausstown amphitheater.
This growing ambition began to isolate Swift from her
middle school peers.
After watching a Behind the Music episode about Faith Hill, Swift felt sure that she needed to go to
Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a music career.
At the age of eleven, she traveled with her
mother to Nashville for spring break to leave a demo of Dolly Parton and Dixie Chickskaraoke
covers with record labels along Music Row.
She received label rejections and realized that
"everyone in that town wanted to do what I wanted to do. So, I kept thinking to myself, I need to
figure out a way to be different".
At the age of twelve, Swift was shown by a computer repairman
how to play three chords on a guitar, inspiring her to write her first song, "Lucky You".
previously won a national poetry contest with a poem entitled "Monster in My Closet" but now
began to focus on songwriting.
In 2003, Swift and her parents started working with New
York-based music manager Dan Dymtrow. With Dymtrow's help, Swift modelled for Abercrombie
and Fitch as part of their "Rising Stars" campaign, had an original song included in a Maybelline
Cosmetics compilation CD and took meetings with major record labels.
After performing original
songs at an RCA Records showcase, the eighth-grader was given an artist development deal and
began making frequent trips to Nashville.
When Swift was fourteen, her father transferred to the Nashville office of Merrill Lynch and the
family relocated to a lakefront house inHendersonville, Tennessee.
Swift later described this as
"an incredible sacrifice" for her family to make.
"My parents saw that I was so obsessed, that I
wasn't going to drop it, that it wasn't some adolescent phase."
In Tennessee, she
attended Hendersonville High School for her freshman and sophomore years.
accommodate her touring schedule, Swift transferred to the Aaron Academy, a private Christian
school which offered homeschooling services. She earned her high school diploma in 2008, having
completed her final two years of course work in twelve months.
2004–08: Career beginnings and Taylor Swift
Swift moved to Nashville at the age of fourteen. As part of her artist development deal with RCA
Records, she had writing sessions with experienced Music Row songwriters such as Troy
Verges, Brett Beavers, Brett James, Mac McAnally and The Warren Brothers.
formed a lasting working relationship with Liz Rose. Swift saw Rose performing at an RCA
songwriter event and suggested that they write together.
They began meeting for two-hour
writing sessions every Tuesday afternoon after school.
Rose has said that the sessions were
"some of the easiest I've ever done. Basically, I was just her editor. She'd write about what
happened in school that day. She had such a clear vision of what she was trying tosay. And she'd
come in with the most incredible hooks".
Swift also began recording demos with producer Nathan
After performing at a BMI Songwriter's Circle showcase at The Bitter End, New
Swift became the youngest songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Tree publishing
Swift left RCA Records when she was fifteen; the company wanted her to record the work
of other songwriters and wait until she was eighteen to release an album, but she felt ready to
launch her career with her own material.
She also parted ways with manager Dan Dymtrow,
who later took legal action against Swift and her parents.
"'I genuinely felt that I was running out
of time," Swift later recalled. "I wanted to capture these years of my life on an album while they still
represented what I was going through."
At an industry showcase at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe in
2005, Swift caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, a DreamWorks Records executive who was
preparing to form his own independent record label, Big Machine Records. She became one of the
label's first signings, with her father purchasing a three per cent stake in the fledgling company at
an estimated cost of $120,000.
As an introduction to the country music business, Borchetta
arranged for Swift to intern as an artist escort at the CMA Music Festival.
Swif t performing at the Maverick Saloon & Grill in Santa Maria, Calif ornia in 2006
Swift began working on her eponymous debut album shortly after signing her record deal. After
experimenting with veteran Nashville producers, Swift persuaded Big Machine to hire her demo
producer Nathan Chapman. It was his first time to record a studio album but Swift felt they had the
Swift wrote three of the album's songs alone, including two singles, and
co-wrote the remaining eight with writers such as Liz Rose, Robert Ellis Orrall and Angelo
Musically, the album has been described as "a mix of trad-country instruments and
spry rock guitars".
Taylor Swift was released in October 2006. The New York Times described it
as "a small masterpiece of pop-minded country, both wide-eyed and cynical, held together by Ms.
Swift's firm, pleading voice."
The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones described the
sixteen-year-old Swift as a "prodigy". He noted that "Our Song" "stop[ed] me in my tracks" and
praised the lyrics: "He's got a one-hand feel on the steering wheel, the other on my heart".
Stonedescribed Swift as "bright-eyed but remarkably seasoned", and admired "Our Song"'s
"insanely hooky sing-song melody that's as Britney as it is Patsy".
Swif t performing at Yahoo! HQ inSunnyvale, California in 2007
Big Machine Records was still in its infancy upon the release of the lead single "Tim McGraw" in
June 2006, and Swift and her mother helped "stuff the CD singles into envelopes to send to
She spent much of 2006 promoting Taylor Swift in a radio tour and later commented,
"Radio tours for most artists last six weeks. Mine lasted six months."
Swift baked cookies and
painted canvases to gift to radio station programmers who played her music.
She made many
television appearances, including on the Grand Ole Opry,
Swift, a self-described "kid of the internet", used Myspaceto build a
This was, at the time, "revolutionary in country music".
Borchetta has said that his
decision tosign a sixteen-year-old singer-songwriter initially raised eyebrows among his record
industry peers but Swift tapped into a previously unknown market: teenage girls who listen to
Following "Tim McGraw", four further singles were released throughout 2007 and
2008: "Teardrops on My Guitar", "Our Song", "Picture to Burn" and "Should've Said No". All were
highly successful on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, with "Our Song" and "Should've Said
No" both reaching number one. "Our Song" made Swift the youngest person to single-handedly
write and sing a number one country song.
"Teardrops on My Guitar" became a minor pop hit; it
reached number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100.
The album sold 39,000 copies during its first
week of release
and, as of March 2011, has sold over 5.5 million copies worldwide.
released a holiday album, Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, in October
2007 and an EP, Beautiful Eyes, in July 2008.
Swift toured extensively in support of Taylor Swift. In addition to her own material, Swift played
covers of songs by Beyoncé, Rihanna, John Waite, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Eminem.
conducted meet-and-greet sessions with fans before and after her concerts; these lasted for up to
As well as festival and theater dates, Swift performed as an opening act for several
country artists' concert tours. In late 2006, she opened for Rascal Flatts on the final nine dates of
their Me & My Gang Tour, after the previous supporting act Eric Church was fired.
Church her first gold record with a note: "Thanks for playing 'too long' and 'too loud' on the Flatts
tour. I sincerely appreciate it. Taylor".
In 2007, she served as the opening act on twenty dates
for George Strait's tour,
several dates onKenny Chesney's Flip-Flop Summer Tour,
dates on Brad Paisley's Bonfires & Amplifiers Tour
and several dates for Tim McGraw andFaith
Hill's joint Soul2Soul II Tour.
Swift again opened for Rascal Flatts on their Still Feels Good Tour
Swift and Alan Jackson were jointly named the Nashville Songwriters Association's
Songwriter/Artist of the Year in 2007, with Swift becoming the youngest person ever to be honored
with the title.
She also won the Country Music Association's Horizon Award for Best New
the Academy of Country Music Awards's Top New Female Vocalist award
the American Music Awards's Favorite Country Female Artist honor.
She was also nominated for
a 2008 Grammy Award in the category of Best New Artist, but lost to Amy Winehouse.
2008–10: Fearless, VMA controversy and Grammy backlash
Swift's second studio album, Fearless, was released in November 2008. Swift wrote seven of the
album's songs alone, including two singles, and co-wrote the remaining six with songwriters Liz
Rose, John Rich, Colbie Caillat and Hillary Lindsey.
She co-produced the album with Nathan
Musically, it has been said that the record is characterized by "loud, lean guitars and
rousing choruses", with the occasional "bit of fiddle and banjo tucked into the mix".
The New York
Times described Swift as "one of pop's finest songwriters, country's foremost pragmatist and more
in touch with her inner life than most adults".
The Village Voice felt she displayed "preternatural
wisdom and inclusiveness", "masterfully avoiding the typical diarist's pitfalls of trite banality and
Rolling Stonedescribed her as "a songwriting savant with an intuitive
gift for verse-chorus-bridge architecture" whose "squirmingly intimate and true" songs seemed to be
"literally ripped from a suburban girl's diary".
Music critic Robert Christgau characterized Swift as
"an uncommonly-to-impossibly strong and gifted teenage girl".
Swift promoted Fearless heavily
upon its release. An episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show was dedicatedto the album launch and
Swift appeared on many other chat shows.
She communicated with fans using social media
platforms such as Twitter and personal video blogs.
The lead single from the album, "Love Story",
was released in September 2008 and became the second best-selling country single of all time,
peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Four more singles were released
throughout 2008 and 2009: "White Horse", "You Belong with Me", "Fifteen" and "Fearless". "You
Belong with Me" was the album's highest-charting single, peaking at number two on
the Billboard Hot 100.
The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Album Chart with
sales of 592,304 and has since sold over 8.6 million copies worldwide.
It was the top-selling
album of 2009 and brought Swift much crossover success.
Swif t performing during theFearless Tour in 2010
Swift carried out her first headlining tour in support of Fearless. As part of the 105-date Fearless
Tour, Swift played 90 dates in North America, six dates in Europe, eight dates in Australia and one
date in Asia.
She sang a cover of Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around... Comes Around"
nightly, intertwined with her own "You're Not Sorry".
Swift invited John Mayer, Faith Hill and Katy
Perry to perform one-off duets with her at various dates during the North American tour,
while Justin Bieber, Kellie Pickler andGloriana were the support acts.
The tour was attended by
more than 1.1 million fans and grossed over $63 million.
Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless, a
concert film, was aired on television and later released on DVD and Blu-ray.
Swift also performed
as a supporting act for Keith Urban's Escape Together World Tour.
In addition to tour dates, the
singer paid tribute to a number of fellow artists in televised performances. She performed acover of
Alan Jackson's "Drive (For Daddy Gene)" at the CMT Giants: AlanJackson event, took part in
a joint, televised concert with rock band Def Leppard in Nashville, and performed a cover of George
Strait's "Run" at a televised ACM event honoring Strait as the Artist of the Decade.
Swift sang her
song "Fifteen" with Miley Cyrus at the 51st Grammy Awards and performed a self-penned rap skit
with T-Pain at the CMT Awards.
Swift also recorded a number of side-projects. She released a
cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl" through Rhapsody in 2009
and made her stage entrance to
Petty's recording of the song until 2013.
She contributed backing vocals to John Mayer's "Half of
My Heart", a single featured on his fourth album.
She co-wrote and recorded "Best Days of Your
Life" with Kellie Pickler
and co-wrote two songs for the Hannah Montana: The
Movie soundtrack – "You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home" and "Crazier" – with Martin
Johnson and Robert Ellis Orrall, respectively.
Swift also provided vocals for Boys Like Girls's
"Two Is Better Than One", written by Martin Johnson.
She contributed two songs – including
"Today Was a Fairytale" – to the Valentine's Day soundtrack
and recorded a cover of Better
Than Ezra's "Breathless" for the Hope for Haiti Now album.
Swif t performing during theFearless Tour in 2010
Swift became the first country music artist to win an MTV Video Music Award when "You Belong
with Me" was named Best Female Video in 2009.
Her acceptance speech was interrupted by
rapper Kanye West, who had been involved in a number of other award show incidents.
event's press room, Swift, a fan of West's music,
denied having "any hard feelings" towards
The incident received much media attention and inspired many Internet memes.
few days later, Swift told an interviewer that West offered her a personal apology, which she
accepted: "He was very sincere."
She refused to discuss the incident in subsequent interviews so
as not to make a "bigger deal" of it: "It happened on TV, so everybody saw what happened ... It's
not something I feel like we need to keep talking about."
It has been said that the incident and
subsequent media attention turned Swift into "a bona-fide mainstream celebrity".
Swift won four Grammy Awards in 2010, from a total of eight nominations.
named Album of the Year and Best Country Album, while "White Horse" was named Best Country
Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
She was the youngest ever artist to win
Album of the Year.
During the ceremony, Swift sang "Rhiannon" and "You Belong with Me"
with Stevie Nicks. Her vocal performance received negative reviews and sparked a widespread
Her vocals were described variously as "badly off-key", "strikingly bad" and
While The New York Times found it "refreshing to see someone so
gifted make the occasional flub" and described Swift as "the most important new pop star of the
past few years",
music analyst Bob Lefsetz predicted that her career would end "overnight". He
publicly appealed to Swift's father to hire a "crisis publicity agent" to manage the story because
"Taylor's tooyoung and dumb to understand the mistake she made".
Stevie Nicks, writing
in Time, defended the singer: "Taylor reminds me of myself in her determination and her childlike
nature. It's an innocence that's so special and so rare. This girl writes the songs that make the
whole world sing, like Neil Diamond or Elton John ... The female rock-'n'-roll-country-pop songwriter
is back, and her name is Taylor Swift. And it's women like her who are going to save the music
Fearless won many other accolades and has become the most awarded album in
country music history.
Swift became the youngest ever artist and one of only six women to be
named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association.
Fearless also won the
Association's Album of the Year award.
Swift was the youngest ever artist to win the Academy of
Country Music's Album of the Year honor.
The American Music Awards honored Swift with Artist
of the Year and Favorite Country Album plaudits.
She was awarded the Hal David Starlight
Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame
and was named Songwriter/Artist of the Year by the
Nashville Songwriters Association.
Billboard named her 2009's Artist of the Year.
included in Time's annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in 2010.
2010–12: Speak Now and world tour
Swift released her third studio album, Speak Now, in October 2010. She wrote all fourteen songs
alone and co-produced the record with longtime collaborator Nathan Chapman.
Musically, it has
been said that the album "expands beyond country-pop to border both alternative rock and dirty
The New York Times described the album as savage, musically diverse and
"excellent too, possibly her best".
The Village Voice remarked that the album demanded "a true
appreciation of Swift's talent, which is not confessional, but dramatic: Like a procession of country
songwriters before her, she creates characters and situations—some from life—and finds potent
ways to describe them."
Music critic Robert Christgau found the album's songs "overlong and
overworked" but remarked that "they evince an effort that bears a remarkable resemblance to
care—that is, to caring in the best, broadest, and most emotional sense".
Stone described Swift as one of the best songwriters in "pop, rock or country": "Swift might be a
clever Nashville pro who knows all the hitmaking tricks, but she's also a high-strung, hyper-romantic
gal with a melodramatic streak the size of the Atchafalaya Swamp".
Swift carried out an
extensive promotional campaign prior to Speak Now's release.
She appeared on various talk
shows and morning shows, and gave free mini-concerts in unusual locations, including an
open-decker bus on Hollywood Boulevard and a departure lounge at JFK airport.
She took part
in a "guitar pull" alongside Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill and Lionel Richie at
LA's Club Nokia; the musicians shared the stage and took turns introducing and playing acoustic
versions of their songs to raise money for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
album's lead single, "Mine", was released in August 2010 and five further singles were released
throughout 2010 and 2011: "Back to December", "Mean", "The Story of Us", "Sparks Fly" and
Speak Now was a major commercial success, debuting at number one on the
US Billboard 200 chart. Its opening sales of 1,047,000 copies made it the sixteenth album in US
history to sell one million copies in a single week.
As of February 2012, Speak Now has sold
over 5.7 million copies worldwide.
Swif t performing during the Speak Now World Tour in 2011
Swift toured throughout 2011 and early 2012 in support of Speak Now. As part of the
thirteen-month, 111-date world tour, Swift played seven shows in Asia, twelve shows in Europe, 80
shows in North America and twelve shows in Australasia.
Swift invited many musicians to join
her for one-off duets during the North American tour. Appearances were made by James
Taylor, Jason Mraz, Shawn Colvin, Johnny Rzeznik, Andy Grammer, Tal Bachman, Justin
Bieber, Selena Gomez, Nicki Minaj, Nelly, B.o.B, Usher, Flo Rida, T.I., Jon Foreman, Jim
Adkins, Hayley Williams, Hot Chelle Rae, Ronnie Dunn, Darius Rucker, Tim McGraw and Kenny
During the North American tour leg, Swift wrote different song lyrics on her left
arm for each performance and has said that the lyrics should be viewed as a nightly "mood
Swift performed many acoustic cover versions during her North American tour. In each
city, she paid tribute to a homegrown artist.
She has said the cover versions allowed her to be
"spontaneous" in an otherwise well-rehearsed show.
The tour was attended by over 1.6 million
fans and grossed over $123 million.
Swift's first live album, Speak Now World Tour: Live,
featuring all seventeen performances from the North American leg of the tour, was released in
Swif t performing during the Speak Now World Tour in 2012
At the 54th Grammy Awards, Swift's song "Mean" won Best Country Song and Best Country Solo
She also performed the song during the ceremony. Bob Lefsetz, one of the most
vocal critics of her 2010 Grammy performance, believes the song is addressed to
Lefsetz had previously been a supporter of the singer's career,
and Swift and Lefsetz
had corresponded occasionally by email and telephone.
Time felt she "delivered her comeback
on-key and with a vengeance"
while USA Today remarked that the criticism in 2010 seemed to
have "made her a better songwriter and live performer".
Swift won various other
awards for Speak Now. She was named Songwriter/Artist of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters
Association in both 2010 and 2011.
She was named Entertainer of the Year by the Academy
of Country Music in both 2011 and 2012
and was named Entertainer of the Year by the Country
Music Association in 2011.
Swift was the American Music Awards's Artist of the Year in 2011,
while Speak Now was named Favorite Country Album.
Billboard named Swift 2011's Woman of
While Swift was completing her fourth album in the summer of 2012, James Taylor invited her to
appear as a special guest during his Tanglewood set; they performed "Fire and Rain", "Love Story"
and "Ours" together.
Taylor, who first met Swift when she was eighteen, has said that, "we just
hit it off. I loved her songs, and her presence on stage was so great".
During this period, Swift
also contributed two original songs to The Hunger Games soundtrack album. "Safe & Sound" was
co-written and recorded with The Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett.
John Paul White has said
working with Swift was "a revelation ... It truly was a collaboration."
It was released as the
album's lead single and, as of January 2013, has sold over 1.4 million copies in the United
It won Best Song Written For Visual Media at the 2013 Grammy Awards and was
nominated for Best Original Song at the 70th Golden Globe Awards.
Swift's second contribution
to the album, "Eyes Open", was written solely by the singer and produced by Nathan
In addition, Swift contributed vocals to "Both of Us", a Dr. Luke-produced single from
B.o.B's second album Strange Clouds.
2012–present: Red and intense media scrutiny
Swif t performing in St. Louis during the 2013Red Tour
Swift's fourth studio album, Red, was released in October 2012.
She wrote nine of the album's
sixteen songs alone. The remaining seven were co-written with Max Martin, Liz Rose, Dan
Wilson, Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody. Nathan Chapman served as the album's lead producer
but Jeff Bhasker, Butch Walker, Jacknife Lee, Dann Huff andShellback also produced individual
tracks. Chapman has said he encouraged Swift "to branch out and to test herself in other
Musically, while there is experimentation with heartland rock, dubstep and
dance-pop, it is "sprinkled among more recognisably Swiftian fare".
Jon Caramanica of The
New York Times placed Redat number two on his end-of-year list, characterizing it as the album on
which Swift "stops pretending she‘s anything but a pop megastar, one with grown-up concerns, like
how two bodies speak to each other and how taste in records can be a stand-in for moral
The Times praised her "sublime" lyrics, particularly those on the "brooding" "All Too
Rolling Stone enjoyed "watching Swift find her pony-footing on Great Songwriter
Mountain. She often succeeds in joining the Joni/Carole King tradition of stark-relief emotional
mapping ... Her self-discovery project is one of the best stories in pop."
As part of the Red promotional campaign, representatives from 72 worldwide radio stations were
flown to Nashville during release week for individual interviews with Swift.
She also appeared on
many television chat shows and performed at award ceremonies in the US, the UK, Germany,
France, Spain and Australia.
The album's lead single, "WeAre Never Ever Getting Back
Together", became Swift's first number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
singles have been released: "Begin Again" (for country radio), "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "22"
(for pop and international radio). Red debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week
sales of 1.21 million copies; this marked the highest opening sales in a decade and made Swift the
first female to have two million-selling album openings.
As of May 2013, Red had sold over 5.2
million copies worldwide.
In her career, as of November 2012, she had sold in excess of 26
million albums and 75 million song downloads.
The North American leg of Swift's Red Tour runs from March to September 2013. She is playing 66
dates across North America, including thirteen stadium shows.
She has invited special guests
such Nelly, B.o.B, Train and Neon Trees to duet with her on various nights of the tour.
Tour will visit stadiums across Australia in December 2013.
Swift has collaborated with a
number of other artists in the Red era. She performed "As Tears Go By" with The Rolling Stones in
Chicago as part of their 50 & Counting Tour.
She provided guest vocals for a Tim McGraw song
entitled "Highway Don't Care", featuring guitar work by Keith Urban; the trio performed the song live
on two occasions.
She also joined Florida Georgia Line on stage during their set at the
2013 Country Radio Seminar to sing "Cruise".
Ed Sheeran, who features onRed and appears as
a support act on the Red Tour, has revealed that the pair plan to write further material together
Swift won three MTV Europe Music Awards in 2012, including the honors for Best
Female and Best Live Act.
She was named Best Female Country Artist at the 2012 American
The Nashville Songwriters Association's 2012 Songwriter/Artist Award went to
Swift for the fifth year in a row.
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was nominated for
Record of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
In the Red era, Swift's dating life became the subject of intense media scrutiny. The New York
Times asserted that Swift's "dating history has begun to stir what feels like the beginning of a
backlash" and questioned whether Swift was in the midst of a "quarter-life crisis".
Voice remarked: "From late-night monologues, to the kids on 4chan, her breakups have become
her defining characteristic and easiest detraction ... There are some obvious reasons; she's young,
she can be contentiously dramatic, she puts herself in the center of her stories, and obviously she's
dated a lot of famous people in a relatively short amount of time. But none of that is exceptionally
rare -- pop-stars have lead [sic] vogue, ecumenical lifestyles for a long time ... It should be a little bit
uncomfortable that Swift's earnestness can be so easily discredited when plenty of other, more
egregious songwriters are let off the hook ... It's really easy to dismiss a blonde girl trying to play by
One of Swift's earliest musical memories is listening to her maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay
(née Moehlenkamp), sing at church.
In her youth, Finlay was a recording star in Puerto
Rico and performed in operas in Singapore.
As a very young child, Swift enjoyed Disney movie
soundtracks: "My parents noticed that, once I had run out of words, I would just make up my
Later, her parents exposed her to artists including James Taylor, Simon &
Garfunkel and Def Leppard.
Swift has said she owes her confidence to her mother, who
helped her prepare for class presentations as a child.
She also attributes her "fascination with
writing and storytelling" to her mother.
Swift enjoyed both reading and writing poetry and was
particularly drawn to the works of Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss.
She remains interested "in
any writing from a child's perspective" and has cited To Kill a Mockingbird as one of her favorite
Swift was introduced to country music by "the great female country artists of the
'90s ... Shania, Faith, the Dixie Chicks".
She was drawn to both the sound and storytelling of
Shania Twain, both as a songwriter and performer, was her biggest musical
Faith Hill was Swift's childhood role model and she tried to copy "everything she said,
Swift admired the Dixie Chicks's defiant attitude and their ability to play their own
The band's "Cowboy Take Me Away" was the first song Swift learned to play on
She then began to explore the music of older country stars, including Patsy
Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton.
Lynn's "Fist City" is one of Swift's
favorite country songs.
She believes Parton is "an amazing example to every female songwriter
Other mainstream country influences include Miranda Lambert,
and Brad Paisley.
admires alt-country artists such as Ryan Adams,
Swift has been influenced by many artists outside the country genre. As a pre-teen, she
enjoyed bubblegum pop acts including Hanson andBritney Spears; she still has "unwavering
devotion" for Spears.
In her high school years, Swift listened to emo bands such as Dashboard
Fall Out Boy,
The All-American Rejects
and Jimmy Eat World.
also a fan of contemporary female singer-songwriters including MichelleBranch,
closely followed the musical supervision on the television dramas The O.C. and Grey's Anatomy,
downloading "every" song featured.
She was a fan of hip hop music, particularly the rhyming
patterns used by artists such as Eminem: "Pride [in a lifestyle] is something that bothcountry and
Swift also drew inspiration from the catalogues of veteran artists. She
describes Stevie Nicks as a "hero" who "has inspired me in so many ways."
Tom Petty, she
has said, "is on a pedestal for me".
She is "obsessed" with Sixties acts like The Shirelles, Doris
Troy and The Beach Boys.
Influence also came from older female pop rock singers
and Linda Ronstadt.
Swift lists Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson and Carly
Simon as her career role models: "They've taken chances, but they've also been the same artist for
their entire careers."
McCartney, both as a Beatle and a solo artist, makes Swift feel "as if
I've been let into his heart and his mind": "Any musician could only dream of a legacy like
She admires Springsteen because he is "so musically relevant after such a long period of
She aspires to be like Harris as she grows older: "It‘s not about fame for her, it‘s about
Swift says of Kristofferson: "He shines in songwriting ... He's just one of those people
who has been in this business for years but you can tell it hasn't chewed him up and spat him
She admires Simon's "songwriting and honesty": "She's known as an emotional person but
a strong person."
Swif t speaking during aYouTube interview in 2011
Swift's work has received praise from veteran artists. Neil Young describes her as "a great writer":
"I like Taylor Swift. I like listening to her. I kind of like watching her respond to all the attacks. I like
the ways she's defining herself. So I keep my eye on it".
Stephen Stills has defended Swift's
confessional writing style: ―How many times do people want to make fun of [her] for writing a song
about getting dumped? I‘m sorry, that‘s what you do as a songwriter ... Wear your heart on your
sleeve, then just write about it. Fuck ‗em. If I was young, I would be one of Taylor Swift‘s conquests
because I would stalk her.‖
James Taylor, who has performed with Swift on two occasions,
has said that "we just hit it off. I loved her songs, and her presence on stage was so
Judy Collins points to Swift as an example of a current star who is continuing on the
lineage of being an independent-minded artist.
Kris Kristofferson claims that "she blows me
away. It's amazing to me that someone so young is writing such great songs. She's got a great
career ahead of her".
Janis Ian notes that Swift "changed the face of music, songwriting and
guitar playing for girls ... There is an authenticity there."
Stevie Nicks believes Swift writes
"songs that make the whole world sing, like Neil Diamond or Elton John ... It's women like her who
are going to save the music business".
She remarked that the younger singer's "Today Was A
Fairytale" has "stayed in my heart forever. And it just reminds me of me in a lot of ways."
Tyler of Aerosmith believes she is "beyond talented".
Jon Bon Jovi describes her as "the real
deal in every way, shape and form. She's a writer, she's a singer, she's a beautiful girl ... Like, she's
going to be around."
Dolly Parton is "extremely impressed with her, especially with her
songwriting .... I'm real impressed with the depth of her sometimes. She's got the qualities that
could last a long time".
Melissa Etheridgeremarks: "I love her soul, her spirit. I think she‘s
going to surprise people and I think she‘s going to be around for a long time."
Swift has also received songwriting praise from contemporaries. John Mayer was a supporter of
Swift's early career; the duo recorded a duet and performed in concert together on two occasions:
"You could put her in a time machine in any era and she would have a hit record."
She has also
received praise from Drake,
Tegan and Sara,
and Lady Gaga.
Ryan Adams has said that "every tune of hers is
like the one you wait a whole lifetimeto write".
Kathleen Hanna is "totally into Taylor Swift. I think
she has super-clever lyrics, and I love that she writes her own music."
Shirley Manson remarked
that she is "exceedingly talented at songwriting ... She drew her own door and walked right through
it. We should applaud her balls for bucking the system. That's what artists are supposed to
Lena Dunham, the creator and star of HBO's television series Girls, has described Swift as
her "artistic kindred spirit."
Lyrical themes and style
Thematically, The Guardian has noted that Swift was "fantastically good at regarding teenage life
with a kind of wistful, sepia-toned nostalgia" over the course of her first two albums.
Magazine has remarked that few singer-songwriters have written "great records so explicitly about
their teens ... Her nearest antecedent might be sixties-era BrianWilson, the one true adolescent
auteur before she came along".
Comparisons have also been drawn with Janis Ian.
imagery featured on Swift's second album, Fearless. She explored the disconnect "between fairy
tales and the reality of love".
Her third and fourth albums addressed more adult
In addition to romance and love, Swift's songs have discussed parent-child
relationships ("The Best Day", "Never Grow Up", "Ronan"), friendships ("Fifteen", "Breathe",
alienation ("The Outside", "A Place In This World", "Tied Together with a Smile",
"Mean") and career ambitions ("Change", "Long Live", "The Lucky One").
Her defining quality
as a songwriter, it has been said, is "a determination to register and hang onto fleeting feelings and
impressions, a pre-emptive nostalgia for a present (and sometimes even a future) that she knows
will some day be in the past".
Swift frequently includes "a tossed-off phrase to suggest large and
serious things that won't fit in the song, things that enhance or subvert the surface
The New Yorker has said that her songs, "though they are not subversive, have a
certain sophistication ... Sentimental songs are laced with intimations of future disillusionment".
Structurally, Slate notes that Swift has "effortless, preternatural mastery of pop conventions: Very
few songwriters can build better bridges than she does."
Rolling Stone has described her as "a
songwriting savant with an intuitive gift for verse-chorus-bridge architecture".
Voice has noted that Swift uses third-verse POV reversals frequently.
She has a tendency to
use the same images repeatedly. In the words of The Guardian, "she spends so much timekissin'
in the rain that it seems a miracle she hasn't developedtrenchfoot".
However, "to Swift's credit,
she explores new lyrical motifs over the course of [her fourth] album."
Songwriterdescribes Swift as "a great songwriter, who writes with an unmatched and almost
unnatural acuity ... Even her earliest material is characterized by thoughtful – perhaps meticulous –
word choice and deliberate melodic construction, with nary a lazy rhyme or aimless tune to be
While reviews of Swift's work are "almost uniformly positive", The New Yorker has
said she is generally portrayed "more as a skilled technician than as a Dylanesque visionary".
"For a femaleto write about herfeelings, and then be portrayed as some clingy, insane, desperate girlf riend in need of makingyoumarry her and
hav e kids with her, I think that's taking something that potentially should becelebrated — a woman writing about herfeelings in a confessional
way — that's taking it andturning it and twisting it intosomething that is frankly a little sexist."
— Swift in response tocriticism of her songwriting
Swift uses autobiographical detail in her work.
Listening to music as a child, she felt confused
"when I knew something was going on in someone's personal life and they didn't address it in their
The New York Times believes that "righting wrongs is Ms. Swift's raison d'être".
her songs, Swift often addresses the "anonymous crushes of her high school years" and, more
recently, fellow celebrities.
John Mayer, the presumed subject of "Dear John", has said the song
"humiliated" him: "I think it's kind of cheap songwriting. I know she's the biggest thing in the world,
and I'm not trying to sink anybody's ship, but I think it's abusing your talent to rub your hands
together and go, 'Wait till he gets a load of this!'"
The Village Voice has downplayed this aspect
of Swift's songwriting: "Being toldWhat Songs Mean is like having a really pushy professor. And it
imperils a true appreciation of Swift's talent, which is not confessional, but dramatic."
Magazine believes the media scrutiny over her decision to use autobiographical detail "is sexist,
inasmuch as it‘s not asked of her male peers": "It‘s a relief to see Swift, the ur-nice-girl, refuse to
give the mea culpa that many journalists she's talked to have sought."
The singer herself has
said that all her songs are not factual
and are often based on observations.
Aside from her
liner note clues, Swift tries not to talk specifically about song subjects "because these are real
people. You try to give insight as to where you were coming from as a writer without completely
throwing somebody under the bus."
Musical and vocal style
Swift's music contains elements of country, country pop, pop and pop rock.
self-identifies as a country artist.
Rolling Stone asserts that, "she might get played on the
country station, but she's one of the few genuine rock stars we've got these days".
definition of country music "is really pretty simple. It's when someone sings about their life and what
they know, from an authentic place ... One guy will write about how he grew up on a farm and fell in
love and raised kids on that same farm. Some people sing about how, when they get sad, they go
to the bar and drink whiskey. I writesongs about how I can't seem to figure out relationships and
how I'm fascinated by love".
She has said there will be "a huge temptation" to make an
alt-country record as her career progresses.
The New York Times notes that, "There isn't much
in Ms. Swift's music to indicate country – a few banjo strums, a pair of cowboy boots worn onstage,
a bedazzled guitar – but there's something in her winsome, vulnerable delivery that's unique to
The New Yorkerbelieves she is "considered part of Nashville's country-pop tradition
only because she writes narrative songs with melodic clarity and dramatic shape—Nashville's
The Guardian has said that Swift "cranks melodies out with the pitiless efficiency
of a Scandinavian pop factory".
Swift's voice has been described as "sweet but soft".
In studio recordings, the Los Angeles
Times identifies Swift's "defining" vocal gesture as "the linethat slides down like a contented sigh or
up like a raised eyebrow, giving her beloved girl-time hits their air of easy intimacy".
Stone, in a Speak Now review, remarked: "Swift's voice is unaffected enough to mask how
masterful she has become as a singer; she lowers her voice for the payoff lines in the classic mode
of a shy girl trying to talk tough".
In another review of Speak Now,The Village Voice noted that
her phrasing was previously "bland and muddled, but that's changed. She can still sound strained
and thin, and often strays into a pitch that drives some people crazy; but she's learned how to make
words sound like what they mean".
In a live setting, Swift, according to The Hollywood Reporter, "does her best, but certainly doesn't
have the pipes to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Christina Aguilera or Carrie Underwood".
live vocals have been described as "flat", "thin, and sometimes as wobbly as a newborn
However, Swift has received praise for refusing to correct her pitch
In an interview withThe New Yorker, Swift characterized herself primarily
as a songwriter: "I write songs, and my voice is just a way to get those lyrics across".
Borchetta of Big Machine Records has conceded that Swift is "not the best technical singer" but
describes her as the "best communicator that we've got".
Swift's vocal presence is something
that concerns her and she has "put a lot of work" into improving it.
It was reported in 2010 that
she continues to take vocal lessons.
She has said that she only feels nervous performing "if
I'm not sure what the audience thinks of me, like at award shows".
Swif t at the 2010 Time100 Gala, where she was honored
Swift has high Q Score and Davie-Brown Index ratings, reflecting a high level of public awareness
(90 percent) and popularity (80 percent) in the United States.
The singer considers it her
"responsibility" to be conscious of her influence onyoung fans.
A Rolling Stone journalist who
profiled Swift in 2009 remarked upon her polite manners: "If this is Swift's game face, it must be
tattooed on because it never drops".
In 2012, Rolling Stone remarked upon Swift's "ease with
glad-handing ... it's not hard to imagine her running for office someday"
while The Hollywood
Reporter referred to her as "theBest People Person Since Bill Clinton".
It has been said that she
is "the kind of driven, intensely ambitious person who‘d thrive regardless of her profession".
2012 Vogue cover story described Swift as "clever and funny and occasionally downright bawdy" in
Grantland describes Swift as "dorky" and"openly neurotic in a way you'd never see from
a blonde country princess like Faith Hill or Carrie Underwood. She is more like Diane
Keaton in Annie Hall: overly gracious and eager to please but full of a nonstop, nervous, fluttering
There has been much media commentary about Swift's surprised reactions when she
is recognized at award ceremonies.
Swift laughingly noted that "people make so much fun of
me". Although she sometimes tries to act blasé, "it's just hard when you get excited about stuff. It's
like, if you win an award, isn't that crazy? ... How do you sit there and be like 'Oh, another Grammy.
I guess I'm gonna get that now'?"
In the early years of her career, Swift's signature look consisted of sundresses and cowboy
This fashion style is still copied by many of the young fans who attend her
At formal events, Swift became known for "sparkly, beaded dresses".
naturally curly hairstyle is replicated by fans, and Swift has remarked: "I remember straightening my
hair because I wanted to be like everybody else, and now the fact that anybody would emulate what
I do? It's just funny."
She was asked by Vogue to cut bangs for a cover shoot in late 2011, and
now straightens her hair.
Swift favors retro style and it has been said that she has the look of "a
nineteen-thirties movie siren ... red lipstick, thick mascara."
She was named an Icon of
American Style by Vogue in 2011.
She has namedFrançoise Hardy, Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot,
and Audrey Hepburn as her own style inspirations.
While promoting her self-titled debut record, Swift appeared as a spokesmodel for l.e.i. jeans and
as the face of Verizon Wireless' Mobile Music campaign.
In the Fearless era, she launched
a l.e.i. sundress range at Wal-Mart,
and designed American Greetings cards andJakks
She became a spokesperson for the NHL's Nashville Predators and Sony
Cyber-shot digital cameras.
She performed in a commercial for the Band Hero video game,
with Rivers Cuomo, PeteWentz and Travis Barker appearing as her backing band.
In the Speak
Now era, Swift became a CoverGirl spokesmodel,
launched two Elizabeth
Arden fragrances, Wonderstruck and Wonderstruck Enchanted, and released a special edition of
her album through Target.
While promoting her fourth album Red, Swift offered exclusive album promotions through
She became a spokesmodel for Diet
Coke and Keds sneakers,
released her third Elizabeth Arden fragrance entitled Taylor by Taylor
Swift, and continued her partnerships with Sony Electronics and American Greetings. She also
maintains an unofficial brand tie-in with Ralph Lauren.
Swif t at the premiere ofHannahMontana: The Moviein 2009
Swift made her acting debut in a 2009 episode of CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, playing a
The New York Times noted that the character allowed Swift to be "a little bit
naughty, and credibly so".
Rolling Stone felt she "held her own" and "does a good job with the
while the Chicago Tribune said she "acquits herself well".
Later that year, Swift both
hosted and performed as the musical guest for an episode of Saturday Night
Entertainment Weekly described her as "this season's best Saturday Night Live host so
far", notingthat she"was always up for the challenge, seemed to be having fun, and helped the rest
of the cast nail the punchlines". Proving "admirably resilient in a wide variety of sketch roles", "Swift
inspired more of a female, girly-in-the-best-sense sensibility in SNL than it's shown since the Tina
Fey-Amy Poehler days".
Swift made her feature film acting debut in the 2010 ensemble comedy Valentine's Day, playing the
ditzy Valleygirlfriend of a high school jock.
The Los Angeles Times felt the performance
suggested "serious comedic potential"
while the San Francisco Chronicle found her "very
Time remarked that Swift portrayed her character "rather charmingly";
Globe described her as "adorably dorky".
Salon asserted that she was "one of the few actors not
wasted in "Valentine's Day". Her overgrown-pixie look and odd, widely set eyes lend her a little bit
of Marilyn and a little bit of Lucille Ball: She's Taylor-made for comic
However, Variety found her "entirely undirected ... she needs to find a skilled
director to tamp her down and channel her obviously abundant energy".
News described her performance as "painfully clunky" while Slant Magazine found her
In 2012, Swift voiced the character of Audrey, a tree lover, in the animated
film The Lorax.
In May 2013, Swift made a brief cameo on the sitcom New Girl as Elaine, a
woman who attends the wedding of a former lover; during the service, the groom declares his love
for Elaine and they leave the ceremony together to elope.
Swift's philanthropic efforts have been recognised by the Do Something Awards,
and the Tennessee Disaster Services.
In 2012, Michelle Obama presented Swift
with The Big Help Award for her "dedication to helping others" and "inspiring others through
Also that year, Kerry Kennedy of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human
Rights presented Swift with the Ripple of Hope Award because of her "dedication to advocacy at
such a young age ... Taylor is just the kind of woman we want our daughters to be."
Swift is a supporter of arts education. In 2010, she donated $75,000 to Nashville's Hendersonville
High School to help refurbish the school auditorium's sound and lighting systems.
In 2012, she
pledged $4 million to fund the building of a new education center at the Country Music Hall of Fame
and Museum in Nashville.
The 7,500-square-foot building is scheduled to open in 2014 and will
facilitate new programs and workshops for teenagers and senior citizens.
The space will
include three classrooms and an exhibit space, and will house interactive activities such as a
musical petting zoo and a "wet" classroom space to make concert posters and other art
Museum officials have decided to name it The Taylor Swift Education Center and the
singer will be involved in an advisory capacity.
Also in 2012, Swift partnered with textbook rental
company Chegg to donate $60,000 to the music departments of six US colleges.
Swift promotes children's literacy. In 2009, she donated $250,000 to various schools around the
country that she had either attended or had other associations with. The money was used to buy
books, fund educational programs and help pay teachers' salaries.
In 2010, she took part in a
live webcast, Read Now! with Taylor Swift, broadcast exclusively in US schools to
celebrate Scholastic's Read Every Day campaign.
In 2011, Swift donated 6,000 Scholastic
books to Reading Public Library, Pennsylvania
and, in 2012, she donated 14,000 books
to Nashville Public Library, Tennessee.
Most of the books were placed in circulation; the rest
were gifted to children from low-income families, preschools and daycare centers.
In 2012, she
co-chaired the National Education Association's Read Across America campaign and recorded
a PSA encouraging children to read.
Also in 2012, Swift promoted the "power of reading" in a
second live Scholastic webcast, broadcast directly to US classrooms.
In 2013, through
the Reach Out and Read initiative, she donated 2,000 Scholastic books to the Reading Hospital
Child Health Center's early literacy program.
Throughout her career, Swift has donated money to help victims of natural disasters. In 2008, she
donated the proceeds from her merchandise sales at the Country Music Festival to the Red Cross's
disaster relief fund.
Later that year, she donated $100,000 to the Red Cross to help the victims
of the Iowa flood of 2008.
In 2009, Swift supported the Victorian Bushfire Appeal by joining the
lineup at Sydney's Sound Relief concert,
reportedly making the biggest contribution of any artist
to the Australian Red Cross.
In 2010, she took part in theHope for Haiti telethon; she performed
and answered phone calls from viewers wishing to donate money.
She also recorded asong for
theHope for Haiti Now album.
In response to the May 2010 Tennessee floods, Swift donated
$500,000 during a telethon hosted by WSMV.
Later that year, she donated $100,000 to help
rebuild a playground in Hendersonville, Tennessee which was damaged by floodwater.
Swift used the final dress rehearsal for the North American leg of her Speak Now tour as a benefit
concert for victims of recent tornadoes in the United States, raising more than $750,000.
also donated $250,000 to Alabama football coach Nick Saban's charity, Nick's Kids, to aid in the
tornado relief efforts of West Alabama.
In 2012, Swift supported Architecture for Humanity's
Restore the Shore MTV telethon in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Swift opposes LGBT discrimination. Following the 2008 murder of Larry King, she recorded a Gay,
Lesbian and Straight Education Network PSA to combat hate crimes.
On the first anniversary of
King's death, Swift told Seventeen that her parents taught her "never to judge others based on
whom they love, what color their skin is, or their religion".
In 2011, the music video for Swift's
anti-bullyingsong "Mean" dealt in part with homophobia in high schools; the video was later
nominated for an MTV VMA social activism award.
The New York Times believes she is
part of "a new wave of young (and mostly straight) women who are providing the soundtrack for a
generation of gay fans coming to terms with their identity in a time of turbulent and confusing
The singer is involved with a number of charities which provide services tosick children. In 2008,
she donated a pink Chevy pick-up truck to the Victory Junction Gang Camp; the truck is used to
transport sick children from the airport to the camp.
In 2009, after performing at the BBC
Children in Need annual telethon, she donated $20,000 to the cause.
In 2011, as the Academy
of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year, Swift donated $25,000 to St. Jude Children's Research
Hospital, Tennessee. This figure was matched by the Academy.
In 2012, Swift participated in
the Stand Up to Cancer telethon, performing "Ronan", asong she wrote in memory of a
four-year-old boy who died ofneuroblastoma. The song was made available for digital download,
with all proceeds donated to cancer-related charities.
Swift has met with many sick fans through
the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
She has also made private visits to hospitals such as St.
Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Ronald McDonald
House, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Children's Hospital & Medical Center and Vanderbilt
Swift has encouraged young people to volunteer in their local community as part of Global Youth
and has promoted The @15 Fund, a social change platform underwritten by Best
Buy, which gives teenagers the opportunity to direct the company's philanthropy.
In 2007, she
launched a campaign to protect children from online predators, in partnership with the Tennessee
Association of Chiefs of Police.
Also in 2007, she supported an Allstate campaign which
promotes safe teenage driving.
In 2009, Swift recorded a Sound Matters PSA to make listeners
aware of the importance of listening "responsibly".
She appeared in a Got Milk? campaign in
Swift has donated auctionable items to a large number of charities, including the Elton
John AIDS Foundation,
the UNICEF Tap Project,
and Feeding America.
She has also performed at a number of
benefit concerts, including for the Food Bank For New York City,
the Reading, Writing & Rhythm
Christmas for Kids
and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
A view of the harbor in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, where Swift owns a vacation home
Swift lives between a three-bedroom duplex penthouse in Midtown Nashville, Tennessee
a three-bedroom cottage in Beverly Hills, California.
She owns an eight-bedroom vacation home
in coastal Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
In addition, Swift purchased her family a four-bedroom
mansion in Belle Meade, Tennessee.
According to Forbes's Celebrity 100 list, released annually
in the month of May, Swift earned $18 million in 2009,
$45 million in 2010,
$45 million in
$57 million in 2012
and $55 million in 2013.
Swift dated singer Joe Jonas from July to October 2008,
and actor Taylor Lautner from
October to December 2009.
She was romantically linked to musician John Mayer from late
2009 until early 2010.
She dated actor Jake Gyllenhaal from October to December
Following their break-up, they were seen together in January and February
Swift dated political heirConor Kennedy from July to September 2012.
dated One Direction singer Harry Styles from October 2012 to January 2013.
Swift says she registered to vote on her eighteenth birthday.
During the 2008 presidential
campaign, she supported the Every Woman Counts campaign, aimed at engaging women in the
political process, and was one of many country stars to record a public service announcementfor
the Vote (For Your) Country campaign.
She stated: "I don't think it's my job to try and influence
people which way they should vote."
Following President Obama's inauguration, she told Rolling
Stone that she supported the president: "I've never seen this country so happy about a political
decision in my entire time of being alive. I'm so glad this was my first election."
In 2010, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush attended the taping of a Swift television special
in Kennebunkport, Maine,
and later described Swift as "unspoiled" and "very nice".
Swift was presented with a Kids' Choice Award in recognition of her charitable work by Michelle
Obama, who praised her as someone who "has rocketed to the top of the music industry but still
keeps her feet on the ground, someone who has shattered every expectation of what a 22-year old
Swift later described the First Lady as "a role model".
In a 2012 interview,
Swift remarked that, although she tries tokeep herself ―as educated and informed as possible‖, she
doesn‘t ―talk about politics because it might influence other people."
She has spoken of her
interest in American history and has read books about Abraham Lincoln, John Adams,
the Founding Fathers and Ellis Island.
Swift is a friend of the Kennedy family. "She's a great friend of all of ours," Rory Kennedy has said.
"She's awesome and we love her".
The singer has spoken of her admiration for Ethel
and, when asked about her friendship with Swift, Ethel replied, "Oh, she is amazing!
Such good company." Rory has said, "There is amutual admiration society between my mother and
Taylor Swift and I just love it! I think it says so much about Taylor – she has that ability toconnect
and cross generations ... She's terrific and such a great role model for young girls, as well as for all
women, really ... She's just so curious and interested".