Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American country pop singer-songwriter.
Swift released her debut single, Tim McGraw in June 2006, shortly followed by her self-titled debut album in October. The album peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200. As of March 2011, the album has sold 5.5 million copies worldwide. After that, she released 2 extended plays: Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, a Christmas collection, and a Walmart exclusive, Beautiful Eyes.
Her next major release was Fearless in 2008, which was very commercially successful and peaked at #1. Along with Fearless also came the Fearless Tour, Swift's first headlining world tour.
Fearless was followed by Speak Now in 2010, which was also very successful, selling over a million copies in the first week. Swift had another tour, the Speak Now World Tour, which was recorded and put it into a live CD/DVD, the Speak Now: World Tour Live.
Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of Andrea Swift, and Scott Swift. She has a younger brother named Austin Swift, who is a photographer. Her maternal grandmother was an opera singer named Marjorie Finlay.
Swift first gained success as a writer at age 9, when she won a national poetry contest with a three-page poem titled "Monster in My Closet". She was taught how to play guitar by a computer repairman at age 10, which lead her into an interest in songwriting. Swift wrote her first song, "Lucky You", at age 12, and spent a summer vacation writing an unpublished 350-page novel.
When Swift was 14, she and her family moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked with songwriters and sang at karaokes and venues. She attended Hendersonville High School but was homeschooled for her junior and senior years, to focus on her career.
Swift's main residence is in the middle of Nashville, Tennessee. She also owns a house in Beverly Hills, California.
Swift dated singer Joe Jonas from July to October 2008. Jonas ended the relationship with an infamous 27-second phone call to date actress Camilla Belle. The songs "Forever & Always" and "Last Kiss" are inspired by Jonas, and "Better than Revenge" is inspired by Belle. Swift casually dated actor Taylor Lautner from October to December 2009. Swift ended the relationship on her birthday, when Lautner went to visit her. The song Back to December is an apology addressed to Lautner.
Swift dated singer John Mayer from late 2009 to June 2010. They recorded a duet, Half of My Heart together. Although not confirmed, "Dear John" is commonly speculated to be about Mayer. The Story of Us is not confirmed to be about Mayer either, but Swift has stated that "The Story of Us" and "Dear John" are written about the same person.
Swift dated actor Jake Gyllenhaal from October to December 2010. Swift has indicated that her upcoming album will be about the relationship.
2000-2005: Musical beginnings
At age 11, Swift visited Nashville, hoping to obtain a record deal. She send a copy of a demo tape to every label in town with her singing karaoke, but was rejected by all. After she returned to Pennsylvania, she was asked to sing the national anthem at an US Open tennis tournament. She wrote her first original song, "Lucky You" at age 12.
Swift rejected RCA Records at age 15 because they wanted to keep her on an artist development deal. Swift caught the attention of Scott Borchetta after performing at The Bluebird Cafe. Borchetta signed her to his record label, Big Machine Records. Swift was the first person to be signed onto Big Machine, and also the youngest staff songwriter to be hired by the Sony/ATV Tree publishing house at age 14.