Taylor Swift

Last updated

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift 2 - 2019 by Glenn Francis (cropped) 3.jpg
Born
Taylor Alison Swift

(1989-12-13) December 13, 1989 (age 29)
Occupation
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • actress
Years active2004–present
Net worth$360 million (2019 estimate)
Relatives Austin Swift (brother)
Awards Full list
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • banjo
  • piano
Labels
Associated acts
Website taylorswift.com

Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. She is known for narrative songs about her personal life, which have received widespread media coverage. Born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed with label Big Machine Records and became the youngest artist signed by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. Her 2006 eponymous debut album was the longest-charting album of the 2000s in the U.S., where it peaked at number five. The album's third single, "Our Song", made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number-one song on the Hot Country Songs chart. Swift's second album, Fearless , was released in 2008. Buoyed by the success of pop crossover singles "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me", Fearless became the best-selling album of 2009 in the U.S. The album won four Grammy Awards, and Swift became the youngest Album of the Year winner.

Sentimental ballads are an emotional style of music that often deal with romantic and intimate relationships, and to a lesser extent, war, loneliness, death, drug abuse, politics and religion, usually in a poignant but solemn manner. Ballads are generally melodic enough to get the listener's attention.

Reading, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States

Reading is a city in and the county seat of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. With a population of 87,575, it is the fifth-largest city in Pennsylvania. Located in the southeastern part of the state, it is the principal city of the Greater Reading Area, and is furthermore included in the Philadelphia-Reading-Camden PA-NJ-DE-MD Combined Statistical Area.

Nashville, Tennessee State capital and consolidated city-county in Tennessee, United States

Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The city's population ranks 24th in the U.S. According to 2018 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 692,587. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County, was 669,053 in 2018.

Contents

Swift was the sole writer of her 2010 album Speak Now . It debuted at number one in the U.S., and the single "Mean" won two Grammy Awards. Her fourth album, Red (2012), yielded the successful singles "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble". For her fifth album, the pop-focused 1989 (2014), she received three Grammys and became the first woman and fifth act overall to win Album of the Year twice. Its singles "Shake It Off", "Blank Space", and "Bad Blood" reached number one in the U.S., Australia, and Canada. The first two made Swift the first woman in the Billboard Hot 100's history to succeed herself at the top spot. Her sixth album, Reputation (2017), and its lead single, "Look What You Made Me Do", topped the UK and U.S. charts; with the release of Reputation, Swift became the first act to have four albums sell one million copies within one week in the U.S. Her seventh album, Lover (2019), spawned two U.S. number-two singles, "Me!" and "You Need to Calm Down".

<i>Speak Now</i> 2010 studio album by Taylor Swift

Speak Now is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It was released on October 25, 2010, by Big Machine Records. Production for the album took place during 2009 to 2010 at several recording studios, and was handled by Swift and Nathan Chapman. Written entirely by Swift as the follow-up to Fearless, Speak Now expands on the country pop style of her previous work, and features lyrical themes including love, romance, and heartbreak.

Mean (song) 2011 single by Taylor Swift

"Mean" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her third studio album, Speak Now (2010). Produced by Swift alongside Nathan Chapman, the song was sent to country radio in the United States on March 13, 2011, as the third single from Speak Now. "Mean" garnered positive reviews from critics for its lyrical detail and profound country sound. The song received commercial success in the United States and Canada, debuting at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number ten on the Canadian Hot 100. The song also appeared on the Australian Singles Chart at number 45.

<i>Red</i> (Taylor Swift album) 2012 studio album by Taylor Swift

Red is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It was released on October 22, 2012, by Big Machine Records. Inspired by "semi-toxic relationships" evoking intense, tumultuous "red emotions" that Swift was experiencing during conception of the album, Red touches on Swift's recurring themes of romance and heartbreak, but represents a more mature perspective and also explores the pressure of being in the public eye. Featuring collaborations with Gary Lightbody and Ed Sheeran, the album musically incorporates pop, rock and country styles, experimenting with new genres for Swift such as heartland rock and dubstep.

Having sold more than 50 million albums—including 32 million in the U.S.—and 150 million singles, Swift is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. As a songwriter, she has received awards from the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and was included in Rolling Stone 's 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time in 2015. Her other accolades include 10 Grammy Awards, one Emmy, 23 Billboard Music Awards, six Guinness world records, and appearances in Time 's 100 most influential people in the world (2010, 2015, 2019). She also ranked first in the Forbes Celebrity 100 (2016 and 2019), and was the youngest to be featured in the magazine's listing of the 100 most powerful women (2015).

The Nashville Songwriters Association International is a 501(c) not-for-profit trade organization that works to help songwriters in three ways: through legislative advocacy, through education and advice about the actual craft of songwriting, and through teaching about the music industry, and how to best position a song for success within it. They own the Bluebird Cafe.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and music publisher/songwriter Abe Olman and publisher/executive Howie Richmond to honor those whose work represents and maintains the heritage and legacy of a spectrum of the most beloved songs from the world's popular music songbook. It not only celebrates these established songwriters, but is also involved on the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. There are many programs designed to teach and discover new songwriters. Nile Rodgers serves as the organization's chairman.

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage of rock music and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine broadened and shifted its focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. It has returned to its traditional mix of content, including music, entertainment, and politics.

Life and career

1989–2003: Early life

Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. [1] Her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, was a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch; her mother, Andrea Gardner Swift (née Finlay), was a homemaker who had worked as a mutual fund marketing executive. [2] Swift, who has said she has Scottish heritage [3] was named after the singer-songwriter James Taylor. [4] She has a younger brother named Austin, who is an actor. [5] Swift spent her early years on a Christmas tree farm, which her father purchased from one of his clients. [6] [7] She attended preschool and kindergarten at the Alvernia Montessori School, run by Franciscan nuns, [8] before transferring to The Wyndcroft School. [9] The family moved to a rented house in the suburban town of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, [10] where she attended Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School. [11]

Stockbroker Professional who buys and sells shares for others

A stockbroker, share brokerregistered representative, trading representative, or more broadly, an investment broker, investment adviser, financial adviser, wealth manager, or investment professional is a regulated broker, broker-dealer, or registered investment adviser who may provide financial advisory and investment management services and execute transactions such as the purchase or sale of stocks and other investments to financial market participants in return for a commission, markup, or fee, which could be based on a flat rate, percentage of assets, or hourly rate. Examples of professional designations held by individuals in this field, which affects the types of investments they are permitted to sell and the services they provide include chartered financial consultants, certified financial planners or chartered financial analysts, chartered strategic wealth professionals, chartered financial planners, and Master of Business Administration. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority provides an online tool designed to help understand professional designations in the United States.

Merrill, legally Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and previously branded as Merrill Lynch, is an American investing and wealth management division of Bank of America. Along with BofA Securities, the investment banking arm, both firms engage in prime brokerage and broker-dealer activities. The firm is headquartered in New York City, and occupies the entire 34 stories of 250 Vesey Street, part of the Brookfield Place complex in Manhattan. Merrill employs over 14,000 financial advisors and manages $2.3 trillion in client assets. The company also operates Merrill Edge, an electronic trading platform.

A mutual fund is a professionally managed investment fund that pools money from many investors to purchase securities. These investors may be retail or institutional in nature.

At age nine, Swift became interested in musical theater and performed in four Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions. [12] She also traveled regularly to New York City for vocal and acting lessons. [13] Swift later shifted her focus toward country music inspired by Shania Twain's songs, which made her "want to just run around the block four times and daydream about everything". [14] She spent her weekends performing at local festivals and events. [15] [16] After watching a documentary about Faith Hill, Swift felt sure she needed to go to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a music career. [17] She traveled with her mother at age eleven to visit Nashville record labels and submitted a demo tape of Dolly Parton and Dixie Chicks karaoke covers. [18] She was rejected, however, because "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". [19]

Berks County, Pennsylvania U.S. county in Pennsylvania, United States

Berks County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 411,442. The county seat is Reading.

Shania Twain Canadian recording artist; country pop singer and songwriter

Shania Twain, OC is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actress. She has sold over 100 million records, making her the best-selling female artist in country music history and among the best-selling music artists of all time. Her success garnered her several honorific titles including the "Queen of Country Pop".

Faith Hill American country music singer

Audrey Faith McGraw, known professionally as Faith Hill, is an American singer and record producer. She is one of the most successful country artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. Hill is married to American singer Tim McGraw, with whom she has recorded several duets.

When Swift was about 12 years old, computer repairman and local musician Ronnie Cremer taught her to play guitar. He helped with her first efforts as a songwriter, leading to her writing "Lucky You". [20] In 2003, Swift and her parents started working with New York-based music manager Dan Dymtrow. With his help, Swift modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch as part of their "Rising Stars" campaign, had an original song included on a Maybelline compilation CD, and attended meetings with major record labels. [21] After performing original songs at an RCA Records showcase, Swift was given an artist development deal and began making frequent trips to Nashville with her mother. [22] [23]

Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) is an American lifestyle retailer that focuses on casual wear. Its headquarters are in New Albany, Ohio. The company operates two other offshoot brands: Abercrombie Kids and Hollister Co. The company operates 1,049 stores across all three brands.

Maybelline LLC, branded as Maybelline New York, is a major American makeup brand sold worldwide and a subsidiary of French cosmetics company L'Oréal.

RCA Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. It is one of Sony Music's four flagship labels, alongside RCA's former long-time rival Columbia Records, Arista Records, and Epic Records. The label has released multiple genres of music, including pop, classical, rock, hip hop, afrobeat, electronic, R&B, blues, jazz, and country. Its name is derived from the initials of its defunct parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). It was fully acquired by Bertelsmann in 1986, making it a part of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG); however, RCA Records became a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a merger between BMG and Sony Music, in 2004, and was acquired by the latter in 2008, after the dissolution of Sony BMG and the restructuring of Sony Music. It is the second oldest record label in American history, after sister label Columbia Records.

To help Swift break into country music, her father transferred to Merrill Lynch's Nashville office when she was 14, and the family relocated to a lakefront house in Hendersonville, Tennessee. [6] [24] Swift attended Hendersonville High School [25] but after two years transferred to the Aaron Academy, which through homeschooling could accommodate her touring schedule; she graduated a year early. [26]

2004–2008: Career beginnings and Taylor Swift

In Nashville, Swift worked with experienced Music Row songwriters such as Troy Verges, Brett Beavers, Brett James, Mac McAnally, and the Warren Brothers, [27] [28] and formed a lasting working relationship with Liz Rose. [29] They began meeting for two-hour writing sessions every Tuesday afternoon after school. [30] Rose thought 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 to say. And she'd come in with the most incredible hooks." Swift was signed by the Sony/ATV Tree publishing house, [31] but left RCA Records when she was 14. [16] She later said: "I genuinely felt that I was running out of time. I wanted to capture these years of my life on an album while they still represented what I was going through". [32]

Swift performing at Yahoo! headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, in 2007 Taylor Swift at Yahoo crop.jpg
Swift performing at Yahoo! headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, in 2007

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 an independent record label, Big Machine Records. She first met Borchetta in 2004. [33] Swift became one of Big Machine's first signings, and her father purchased a three-percent stake in the company for an estimated $120,000. [34] [35] She began working on her eponymous debut album shortly after. Swift persuaded Big Machine to hire her demo producer Nathan Chapman, with whom she felt she had the right "chemistry". [16] She wrote three of the album's songs alone, and co-wrote the remaining eight with Rose, Robert Ellis Orrall, Brian Maher, and Angelo Petraglia. [36] Taylor Swift was released on October 24, 2006. [37] Jon Caramanica of 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". [38] Taylor Swift peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the United States, spending 157 weeks there—the longest stay on the chart by any release in the U.S. that decade. [39] As of August 2016, the album had sold over 7.75 million copies worldwide. [40]

Big Machine Records was still in its infancy during the June 2006 release of the lead single, "Tim McGraw". Swift and her mother helped "stuff the CD singles into envelopes to send to radio". [41] She spent much of 2006 promoting Taylor Swift with a radio tour, television appearances, and opening for Rascal Flatts on select dates during their 2006 tour [42] [43] after they fired their previous opening act, Eric Church, for playing longer than his allotted time. Church jokingly told Swift she should give him her first gold record as thanks for getting fired. She sent him her first gold record with a note that said, "Thanks for playing too long and too loud on the Flatts tour. I sincerely appreciate it. Taylor." [44]

Borchetta said that record industry peers disapproved of his signing a 16-year-old singer-songwriter, but that Swift tapped into a previously unknown market—teenage girls who listen to country music. [6] Following "Tim McGraw", four more singles were released throughout 2007 and 2008: "Teardrops on My Guitar", "Our Song", "Picture to Burn" and "Should've Said No". All were successful on Billboard 's Hot Country Songs chart in the United States, with "Our Song", and "Should've Said No" reaching number one. With "Our Song", Swift became the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number-one song on the chart. [45] "Teardrops on My Guitar" reached number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart in the United States. [46] Swift also released the holiday album Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection in October 2007 and the EP Beautiful Eyes in July 2008. [47] [48] She promoted her debut album extensively as the opening act for other artists on their tours. [49]

Swift won accolades for Taylor Swift. She was one of the recipients of the Nashville Songwriters Association's Songwriter/Artist of the Year in 2007, becoming the youngest person to be honored with the title. [50] She also won the Country Music Association's Horizon Award for Best New Artist, [51] the Academy of Country Music Awards' Top New Female Vocalist, [52] and the American Music Awards' Favorite Country Female Artist honor. [53] She was also nominated for Best New Artist at the 2008 Grammy Awards. [54] She opened for the Rascal Flatts on their 2008 summer and fall tour. [55] In July of that year, Swift began a romance with singer Joe Jonas that ended three months later. [56] [57]

2008–2010: Fearless and acting

Swift's second studio album, Fearless , was released on November 11, 2008. [37] The lead single, "Love Story", was released in September 2008. It peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 [58] and number one in Australia. [59] 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 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number two. [60] The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was the top-selling album of 2009 in the United States. [61] Swift's first concert tour, the Fearless Tour, promoted the album; [62] it grossed over $63 million. [63] Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless , a concert film, was aired on television and later released on DVD and Blu-ray. [64] Swift also performed as a supporting act for Keith Urban's Escape Together World Tour. [65]

Pictured at the premiere of Hannah Montana: The Movie, Swift had a cameo appearance in the film and recorded two songs for its soundtrack. TaylorSwiftApr09.jpg
Pictured at the premiere of Hannah Montana: The Movie , Swift had a cameo appearance in the film and recorded two songs for its soundtrack.

In 2009, the music video for "You Belong with Me" was named MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video. [68] Her acceptance speech was interrupted by rapper Kanye West. [69] The incident was the subject of controversy and widespread media attention, resulting in many Internet memes. [70] James Montgomery of MTV argued the incident and subsequent media attention turned Swift into "a bona-fide mainstream celebrity". [71] That year she won five American Music Awards, including Artist of the Year and Favorite Country Album. [72] Billboard named her 2009's Artist of the Year. [73] The album ranked number 99 on NPR's 2017 list of the 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women. [74]

At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, Fearless was named Album of the Year and Best Country Album, and "White Horse" was named Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Swift was the youngest artist to win Album of the Year. [75] During the ceremony, Swift sang "You Belong with Me" and "Rhiannon" with Stevie Nicks. Her performance received negative reviews and caused a media backlash. [71] [76] Jon Caramanica of 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". [77] Swift became the youngest artist to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association. [78] Fearless also won the Association's Album of the Year award. [79]

Swift contributed backing vocals to John Mayer's "Half of My Heart", a single featured on his fourth album, Battle Studies (2009). [80] She co-wrote and recorded "Best Days of Your Life" with Kellie Pickler, [81] and co-wrote two songs for the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack—"You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home" and "Crazier". [67] Swift also provided vocals for Boys Like Girls' "Two Is Better Than One". [82] She contributed two songs to the Valentine's Day soundtrack, including "Today Was a Fairytale", which became her first number one on the Canadian Hot 100 chart. [83] [84] While filming her cinematic debut Valentine's Day in October 2009, Swift began a romantic relationship with co-star Taylor Lautner; they broke up later that year. [85] [86] The romantic comedy, released the following year, saw her play the ditzy girlfriend of a high school jock, a role which the Los Angeles Times felt showed Swift had "serious comedic potential". [87] In a scathing review, a critic for Variety deemed her "entirely undirected", arguing "she needs to find a skilled director to tamp her down and channel her obviously abundant energy". [88]

Swift made her TV acting debut in a 2009 episode of CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation , playing a rebellious teenager. The New York Times noted the character allowed Swift to be "a little bit naughty, and credibly so". [89] Later that year, Swift both hosted and performed as the musical guest on an episode of Saturday Night Live . [90] Entertainment Weekly described her as "this season's best Saturday Night Live host so far", noting she "was always up for the challenge, seemed to be having fun, and helped the rest of the cast nail the punchlines". [91]

2010–2014: Speak Now and Red

In August 2010, Swift released "Mine", the lead single from her third studio album, Speak Now. It entered the U.S. charts at number three, making Swift the second female artist in the history of the Hot 100 (after Mariah Carey) to debut multiple tracks in the top five in one year; the other was "Today Was a Fairytale" at number two. [92] Swift wrote the album alone and co-produced every track. [93] Speak Now, released on October 25, 2010, [37] was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200, and becoming the 16th album to achieve opening week sales of one million copies. [94] It became the fastest-selling digital album by a female artist, with 278,000 downloads in a week, earning Swift an entry in the 2010 Guinness World Records . She earned a second entry after she became the first woman to achieve 10 track debuts on the Billboard Hot 100. [95] [96] Three of the album's singles, "Mine", "Back to December", and "Mean", peaked in the top ten in Canada. [84] Later in 2010, she briefly dated actor Jake Gyllenhaal. [97]

"Mean" won Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. [98] Swift performed it during the ceremony. Claire Suddath of Time felt she "delivered her comeback on-key and with a vengeance"; [99] Jayme Deerwester of USA Today wrote that the criticism in 2010 seemed to have "made her a better songwriter and live performer". [100] Swift won other awards for Speak Now, including Songwriter/Artist of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association (2010 and 2011), [101] [102] Woman of the Year by Billboard (2011), [103] and Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music (2011 and 2012) [104] and the Country Music Association in 2011. [105] At the American Music Awards of 2011, Swift won Artist of the Year and Favorite Country Album. [106] Rolling Stone placed Speak Now at number 45 in its 2012 list of the "50 Best Female Albums of All Time", writing: "She might get played on the country station, but she's one of the few genuine rock stars we've got these days, with a flawless ear for what makes a song click." [107]

Swift performing during the Speak Now World Tour in 2012 Taylor Swift Sydney.jpg
Swift performing during the Speak Now World Tour in 2012

The Speak Now World Tour ran from February 2011 to March 2012 and grossed over $123 million. [108] In November 2011, Swift released her first live album, Speak Now World Tour: Live . [109] The following month, she contributed two original songs to The Hunger Games soundtrack album: "Safe & Sound", cowritten and recorded with the Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett, and "Eyes Open". "Safe & Sound" won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. [110] Swift contributed vocals to rapper B.o.B's "Both of Us", released in May 2012. [111] From July to September 2012, Swift dated political heir Conor Kennedy. [112] In August, Swift released "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", the lead single from her fourth studio album, Red . It became her first number one in the U.S. and New Zealand [113] [114] and reached the top slot on iTunes' digital song sales chart 50 minutes after its release, earning the Fastest Selling Single in Digital History Guinness World Record. [115] Swift released the album's second single, "Begin Again", in October. It reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. [116] Other singles released from the album include "I Knew You Were Trouble", "22", "Everything Has Changed", "The Last Time", and "Red". "I Knew You Were Trouble" was a major commercial success, [117] peaking at number two in the United States. [116]

Red was released on October 22, 2012, [37] incorporating new genres for Swift, such as heartland rock, dubstep and dance-pop. The album was a critical and commercial success, [14] and 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 in the United States, and made Swift the first female to have two million-selling album openings, a record recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. [118] [119] The Red Tour ran from March 2013 to June 2014 and grossed over $150 million; the tour broke the ticket sales record in China with all 18,000 tickets sold in 60 seconds. [120] [121] Red earned several accolades, including four nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. [122] Its single "I Knew You Were Trouble" won Best Female Video at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. [123] Swift was named Best Female Country Artist at the 2012 American Music Awards and Artist of the Year at the 2013 ceremony. [124] [125] She received the Nashville Songwriters Association's Songwriter/Artist Award for the fifth and sixth consecutive years in 2012 and 2013. [126] Swift was also honored by the Association with a special Pinnacle Award, making her the second recipient of the accolade after Garth Brooks. [127] During this time, she had a short-term relationship with British singer Harry Styles. [128]

In 2013, Swift co-wrote and co-produced "Sweeter than Fiction" with Jack Antonoff for the One Chance soundtrack, and received a Best Original Song nomination at the 71st Golden Globe Awards. [129] She provided guest vocals for Tim McGraw's song "Highway Don't Care", featuring guitar work by Keith Urban. [130] Swift performed "As Tears Go By" with the Rolling Stones in Chicago, Illinois as part of their 50 & Counting tour, [131] and said that the band was a major influence on her career outlook. [132] She also joined Florida Georgia Line on stage during their set at the 2013 Country Radio Seminar to sing "Cruise". [133] Swift voiced Audrey, a tree lover, in the animated film The Lorax (2012), [134] made a cameo in the sitcom New Girl (2013), [135] and had a supporting role in the film adaptation of The Giver (2014). [136]

2014–2017: 1989

In March 2014, Swift relocated to New York City. [137] Around this time, she was working on her fifth studio album, 1989 , with co-writers Antonoff, Max Martin, Shellback, Imogen Heap, Ryan Tedder, and Ali Payami. [138] She promoted the album through various campaigns, including inviting fans to secret album-listening sessions. [139] Credited as her "first documented, official pop album", it marked a departure from her country albums. [140] The album was released on October 27, 2014, to positive reviews. [37] [141]

Swift performing during the 1989 World Tour, the highest-grossing tour of 2015 Taylor Swift 039 (18117627828).jpg
Swift performing during the 1989 World Tour, the highest-grossing tour of 2015

1989 sold 1.28 million copies in the U.S. during the first week of its release and debuted atop the Billboard 200. This made Swift the first act to have three albums sell more than one million copies in their opening release week, for which she earned another Guinness World Record. [142] [143] As of June 2017, 1989 had sold over 10 million copies worldwide. [144] The lead single, "Shake It Off", was released in August 2014 and debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. [145] The album generated two additional number-one singles—"Blank Space" and "Bad Blood" (featuring Kendrick Lamar)—as well as the top-ten entries "Style" and "Wildest Dreams", and other singles "Out of the Woods" and "New Romantics". [146] "Shake It Off", "Blank Space", and "Bad Blood" also topped the charts in Australia and Canada. [59] [84] After "Blank Space" reached number one in the U.S. following "Shake It Off", Swift became the first woman in the Hot 100's history to "succeed herself at the top spot". [147] The music video for "Blank Space" was briefly the fastest video to reach one billion views on Vevo. [148] The videos for "Blank Space" and "Bad Blood" earned four nominations at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. "Bad Blood" won Video of the Year and Best Collaboration. [149] Swift's headlining tour, the 1989 World Tour, running from May to December 2015, grossed over $250 million, and was highest-grossing tour of the year. [150]

Swift was named Billboard's Woman of the Year in 2014—the first artist to win the award twice. [151] That year she also received the Dick Clark Award for Excellence at the American Music Awards. [152] In 2015, "Shake It Off" was nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year; Swift won the Brit Award for International Female Solo Artist. [153] [154] Swift was one of eight artists to receive a 50th Anniversary Milestone Award at the 2015 Academy of Country Music Awards. [155] In 2016, she won three Grammy Awards for 1989—Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Music Video for "Bad Blood". She became the first woman, and the fifth act, to win the first of these twice. [156]

Prior to 1989's release, Swift stressed the importance of albums to artists and fans. [157] In November 2014, she removed her entire catalog from the streaming service Spotify, arguing that its ad-supported free service undermined the premium service, which provides higher royalties for songwriters. [158] In a June 2015 open letter, Swift criticized Apple Music for not offering royalties to artists during their free three-month trial period and said she would pull 1989 from the catalog. [159] The following day, Apple announced it would pay artists during the free trial period, [160] and Swift agreed to stream 1989 on their streaming service. [161] Swift's intellectual property rights management and holding company, TAS Rights Management, filed for 73 trademarks related to Swift and the 1989 era memes. [162] She re-released her entire catalog plus 1989 to Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Play and other digital streaming platforms in June 2017. [163]

In 2015, Swift performed "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Shake It Off" with Paul McCartney at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special after-party. [164] She joined Kenny Chesney to sing "Big Star" on the opening night of his Big Revival Tour in Nashville. [165] In March 2015, Swift started dating Scottish DJ and record producer Calvin Harris. [166] By June 2015, the duo were ranked as the highest-paid celebrity couple over the past year by Forbes with combined earnings of over $146 million. [167] Before Swift and Harris announced the end of their relationship in June 2016, [168] they co-wrote his song "This Is What You Came For" (featuring Rihanna), for which she was initially credited under the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg. [169] The same month Swift began dating English actor Tom Hiddleston; [170] the relationship ended several months later. In August, Swift addressed her mother's cancer diagnosis and encouraged others to get a medical checkup. [171] In September 2016, Swift began dating British actor Joe Alwyn. [172] [173] In October, Little Big Town released "Better Man", written solely by Swift, for their seventh album, The Breaker . [174] She had emailed them the song and offered it to them, having their vocal harmonies in mind. [175] The song earned Swift an award for Song of the Year at the 51st CMA Awards. [176] Two months later, Swift and British singer Zayn Malik released a single together called "I Don't Wanna Live Forever", for the soundtrack of the film Fifty Shades Darker (2017). The song reached number one in Sweden and peaked at number two in the United States. [177] [178] At the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, the duo won the award for Best Collaboration for the song's music video. [179]

2017–2019: Reputation

Swift performing during her Reputation Stadium Tour (2018). Taylor Swift Reputation Tour1 (cropped).jpg
Swift performing during her Reputation Stadium Tour (2018).

In August 2017, Swift successfully sued David Mueller, a former morning show personality for Denver's KYGO-FM. Four years earlier, Swift had informed Mueller's bosses that he had sexually assaulted her by groping her at an event. After being fired, Mueller accused Swift of lying and sued her for damages from his loss of employment. Shortly after, Swift counter-sued for sexual assault. The jury rejected Mueller's claims and ruled in favor of Swift. [180] Swift thereafter cleared her social media accounts [181] and then released "Look What You Made Me Do" as the lead single from her sixth album, Reputation . [182] The song topped the charts in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. [183] [184] Its music video had over 43.2 million views during its first day on YouTube, breaking the site's record for the most-viewed music video in 24 hours. [185] In October, Swift released the album's second single "...Ready for It?", [186] which charted at number three in Australia and at number four in the United States. [187] [184]

Two promotional singles were released from Reputation, "Gorgeous" and "Call It What You Want". "Gorgeous" later became the album's fifth single but was released as such only in Europe. [188] The album was released on November 10. It sold 1.216 million copies in the United States becoming 2017's the country's top-selling album (pure sales only). First-week worldwide sales amounted to two million copies. [189] With this achievement, she became the first act to have four albums sell one million copies within one week in the U.S. [190] The album topped the charts in several countries, including the U.S., the UK, Australia, and Canada. [191] [192] Later that month, Swift performed "...Ready for It?" and "Call It What You Want" on Saturday Night Live. [193] "End Game", featuring Ed Sheeran and rapper Future, followed in November as the third single; it peaked at number 18 in the U.S. [194] Other singles from the album include "New Year's Day" released exclusively to country radio, and "Delicate". [195]

In April 2018, Swift featured on Sugarland's "Babe" from their album Bigger . [lower-alpha 1] In support of Reputation, Swift embarked on her Reputation Stadium Tour from May to November 2018. [197] The tour broke multiple venue attendance and gross earnings records in the United States, taking in $266.1 million—selling more than two million tickets. Swift broke her own record for the highest-grossing domestic tour by a woman [lower-alpha 2] and surpassed The Rolling Stones' $245 million-grossing A Bigger Bang Tour (2005–2007). [198] Worldwide, the tour grossed $345.7 million, [199] making it the second highest-grossing concert tour of the year. [200] At the American Music Awards of 2018, Swift won Tour of the Year award, Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, and Favorite Pop/Rock Album for Reputation. With a total of 23 awards, she became the most awarded female winner in AMA history, a record previously held by Whitney Houston. [201] Reputation was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Pop Vocal Album category. [202]

Reputation was Swift's last album under her 12-year contract with Big Machine Records. In November 2018, Swift signed a new multi-album deal with Big Machine's distributor Universal Music Group; in the United States, her future releases will be promoted under the Republic Records imprint. Swift said the contract included a provision for her to maintain ownership of her master recordings. In addition, in the event that Universal sells any part of its stake in Spotify, Spotify agreed to distribute a non-recoupable portion of the proceeds among their artists. [203] In late November, Big Machine Records released a Reputation Stadium Tour playlist for streaming services. The playlist includes every song performed on B-stages during the Reputation Stadium Tour. [204] On December 31, Reputation Stadium Tour, a concert film, was released on Netflix. [205]

2019: Lover

Swift released "Me!", featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco on April 26, 2019, as the lead single from her seventh studio album, Lover . [206] [207] The song debuted at number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 three days after its release, and jumped to number two the following week—the biggest single-week jump in the Hot 100's history. [208] The music video for "Me!" broke a Vevo record by amassing 65.2 million views within its first day of release. [209] On June 14, she released the second single "You Need to Calm Down", which debuted and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, [210] [211] and gave a surprise performance at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, to commemorate Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019. [212] On July 23, she released a promotional single from the album, "The Archer". [213] The title track was released as the third single on August 16. [214]

Lover was released on August 23 to positive reviews, [215] and debuted atop the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 679,000 copies. [216] Upon the album's release, all of its 18 songs entered the Billboard Hot 100, setting the record for the most simultaneous chart entries for a female artist. [217] At the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, the videos for "Me!" and "You Need to Calm Down" received twelve nominations. "Me!" won Best Visual Effects, and "You Need to Calm Down" won Video of the Year and Video for Good. [218]

In June, Big Machine, Swift's former record label, was purchased by music manager Scooter Braun, including the masters for her first six albums. [219] Swift voiced her displeasure in a Tumblr post, saying she had been trying to buy the masters for years and describing Braun as an "incessant, manipulative bully". [219] In August, Swift announced plans to rerecord the albums in November 2020. [220] Swift was cast as Bombalurina in the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats , which will be released on December 20, 2019. [221]

Artistry

Influences

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Shania Twain (left) and Stevie Nicks (right) have influenced Swift.

One of Swift's earliest musical memories is listening to her maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, sing in church. [2] As a child, she enjoyed Disney film soundtracks: "My parents noticed that, once I had run out of words, I would just make up my own". [222] Swift has said she owes her confidence to her mother, who helped her prepare for class presentations as a child. [223] She also attributes her "fascination with writing and storytelling" to her mother. [224] Swift was drawn to the storytelling aspect of country music, [225] and was introduced to the genre listening to "the great female country artists of the '90s"—Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and the Dixie Chicks. [226] [227] Twain, both as a songwriter and performer, was her biggest musical influence. [228] Hill was Swift's childhood role model: "Everything she said, did, wore, I tried to copy it". [229] She admired the Dixie Chicks' defiant attitude and their ability to play their own instruments. [230] The band's "Cowboy Take Me Away" was the first song Swift learned to play on the guitar. [231] Swift also explored the music of older country stars, including Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette. [15] She believes Parton is "an amazing example to every female songwriter out there". [232] Alt-country artists like Ryan Adams, [233] Patty Griffin [234] and Lori McKenna have also inspired Swift. [6]

Swift lists Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, [132] 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". [6] [235] McCartney, both as a Beatle and a solo artist, makes Swift feel "as if I've been let into his heart and his mind ... He's out there continuing to make his fans so happy. Any musician could only dream of a legacy like that." [236] She admires Springsteen for being "so musically relevant after such a long period of time". [237] She aspires to be like Harris as she grows older: "It's not about fame for her, it's about music". [238] "[Kristofferson] 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 out", Swift says. [239] She admires Simon's "songwriting and honesty ... She's known as an emotional person but a strong person". [240]

Swift has been influenced by other non-country artists. As a pre-teen, she enjoyed bubblegum pop acts including Hanson and Britney Spears, for whom Swift has said she has an "unwavering devotion". [241] [242] In her high school years, Swift listened to rock bands like Dashboard Confessional, [243] Fall Out Boy, [244] and Jimmy Eat World. [245] She has also spoken fondly of singers and songwriters like Michelle Branch, [245] Alanis Morissette, [246] Ashlee Simpson, [247] Fefe Dobson, [245] Colbie Caillat, [248] Beyoncé, [249] and Justin Timberlake; [250] and the 1960s acts The Shirelles, Doris Troy, and The Beach Boys. [251] Swift's fifth album, the pop-focused 1989, was influenced by some of her favorite 1980s pop acts, including Annie Lennox, Phil Collins and "Like a Prayer-era Madonna". [252] Discussing Madonna, Swift said: "One element of Madonna's career that really takes center stage is how many times she's reinvented herself. It's easier to stay in one look, one comfort zone, one musical style. It's inspiring to see someone whose only predictable quality is being unpredictable." [253]

Musical style

Swift's Les Paul guitar and cordless microphone on exhibit in the Artist Gallery of the Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix in Arizona Phoenix-Musical Intrument Museum-Taylo Swift Les Pual guitar.jpg
Swift's Les Paul guitar and cordless microphone on exhibit in the Artist Gallery of the Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix in Arizona

Swift's music contains elements of pop, pop rock, country [254] and country pop. [255] She described herself as a country artist until the 2014 release of 1989, which she characterized as a "sonically cohesive pop album". [256] Rolling Stone wrote: "[Swift] might get played on the country station, but she's one of the few genuine rock stars we've got these days." [257] According to The New York Times, "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 Nashville." [258] The Guardian wrote that Swift "cranks melodies out with the pitiless efficiency of a Scandinavian pop factory." [259]

Swift's vocals were described by Sophie Schillaci of The Hollywood Reporter as "sweet, but soft". [260] The Los Angeles Times identified Swift's "defining" vocal gesture in studio recordings as "the line that slides down like a contented sigh or up like a raised eyebrow, giving her beloved girl-time hits their air of easy intimacy". [261] Rolling Stone, in a Speak Now review, wrote: "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." [262] In another review of Speak Now, The Village Voice wrote 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." [263] The Hollywood Reporter wrote that her live vocals are "fine", but they do not match those of her peers. [260] In 2009, Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly described Swift's vocals as "flat, thin, and sometimes as wobbly as a newborn colt". [264] However, Swift has been praised for refusing to correct her pitch with Auto-Tune. [265]

In an interview with The New Yorker , Swift characterized herself primarily as a songwriter: "I write songs, and my voice is just a way to get those lyrics across." [6] A writer for The Tennessean conceded in 2010 that Swift is "not the best technical singer", but described her as the "best communicator that we've got". [266] Swift's vocal presence is something that concerns her and she has "put a lot of work" into improving it. [267] It was reported in 2010 that she continues to take vocal lessons. [268] She has said that she only feels nervous performing "if I'm not sure what the audience thinks of me, like at award shows". [269]

Songwriting

Swift uses her life experiences as an inspiration in her work. [270] She often addresses the "anonymous crushes of her high school years" and celebrities in her early songs. [271] Swift frequently criticizes ex-boyfriends, [272] an aspect of her songwriting downplayed by The Village Voice: "Being told What 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." [273] However, New York believes the media scrutiny over her decision to "mine her personal life for music ... is sexist, inasmuch as it's not asked of her male peers". [274] Swift said that not all of her songs are factual and they are sometimes based on observations. [275] Aside from clues provided in her liner notes, Swift tries not to talk about song subjects specifically "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." [276]

Swift during her Speak Now World Tour in Pittsburgh, 2011 Taylor Swift Speak Now Tour 2011 4.jpg
Swift during her Speak Now World Tour in Pittsburgh, 2011

For a female to write about her feelings, and then be portrayed as some clingy, insane, desperate girlfriend in need of making you marry her and have kids with her, I think that's taking something that potentially should be celebrated—a woman writing about her feelings in a confessional way—that's taking it and turning it and twisting it into something that is frankly a little sexist.

Swift in response to criticism of her songwriting [277]

The Guardian has praised Swift for writing about teenage years "with a kind of wistful, sepia-toned nostalgia" over the course of her first two albums. [259] New York has remarked that many singer-songwriters have made great records as teens, but "none made great records so explicitly about their teens". The magazine has also compared her work to Brian Wilson. [278] In Fearless, Swift featured fairy tale imagery and explored the disconnect "between fairy tales and the reality of love". [279] Her later albums address more adult relationships. [235] In addition to romance and love, Swift's songs have discussed parent-child relationships, friendships, [280] [281] alienation, fame, and career ambitions. [224] 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 narrative". [282]

Rolling Stone describes Swift as "a songwriting savant with an intuitive gift for verse-chorus-bridge architecture". [283] According to The Village Voice, she often uses third-verse point of view reversals. [282] In terms of imagery, repetition is evident in Swift's songwriting. In The Guardian's words, "she spends so much time kissin' in the rain that it seems a miracle she hasn't developed trenchfoot". [259] Slant Magazine adds, "to Swift's credit, she explores new lyrical motifs over the course of [her fourth] album". [284] Although 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". [6]

Music videos

Swift has collaborated with many different directors to produce her music videos, and over time she has become more involved with writing and directing. She has her own production house, Taylor Swift Productions, Inc., which is credited with producing the music video for "Me!". [285] In 2010, Swift co-directed the music video for "Mine" with Roman White. [286] In 2011, she continued to collaborate with White on the music videos for "Mean" and "Ours". Swift developed the concept and treatment for "Mean". [287] In an interview, White elaborated that Swift "was keenly involved in writing the treatment, casting and wardrobe. And she stayed for both the 15-hour shooting days, even when she wasn't in the scenes." [288] Swift wrote the concept for the "Ours" music video and then brought in White to direct, describing her vision of both videos as being "storylines". [289] [290]

From 2014 to 2018, Swift collaborated with director Joseph Kahn on eight music videos—four each from her albums 1989 and Reputation. Kahn has praised Swift's involvement in the craft. [291] In 2016, Swift worked with American Express for her "Blank Space" music video (which Kahn directed), and released the interactive app AMEX Unstaged: Taylor Swift Experience. Swift received starring and executive producer credit, and in 2015 won a Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Interactive Program category for the app. [292]

In 2018, Swift developed the concept and then wrote the treatment for the music video for the Sugarland song "Babe". [293] She co-starred in the video with the two members of Sugarland Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, directed by Anthony Mandler. Nettles described it as "cinematic" and "a period piece", while Bush referenced its Mad Men influences. [294] Nettles also said, "I have a feeling we'll see her directing at some point soon, because she was really good at it." [295] In 2019, Swift co-directed the music videos for "Me!" with Dave Meyer and "You Need to Calm Down" with Drew Kirsch. She also co-executive produced the latter with Todrick Hall. [296] [297] In August 2019, she revealed in an interview that she wrote the treatments for the two music videos as well. [298] Swift also co-directed her 2019 "Lover" music video with Kirsch. [299] At the 2019 VMAs she won Video of the Year for "You Need to Calm Down", becoming the second artist to win the award for a video that they co-directed. [300]

Public image

Swift's personal life is the subject of constant media attention. [301] In 2013, Abercrombie & Fitch marketed a slogan T-shirt with a "slut-shaming" remark directed toward her. [302] The New York Times asserted in 2013 that her "dating history has begun to stir what feels like the beginning of a backlash". They questioned whether Swift was in the midst of a "quarter-life crisis". [303] Swift has said she is unwilling to discuss her personal life in public; [301] she believes that talking about it can be "a career weakness". [304] In 2015, singer Ray Stevens released his album Here We Go Again which included the single "Taylor Swift is Stalking Me". [305]

Swift at the 2010 Time 100 Gala in Manhattan, where she was honored 5.3.10TaylorSwiftByDavidShankbone.jpg
Swift at the 2010 Time 100 Gala in Manhattan, where she was honored

Rolling Stone remarks upon her polite manner: "If this is Swift's game face, it must be tattooed on because it never drops." [26] The magazine also takes note of her "ease with glad-handing", [34] and The Hollywood Reporter has credited her as "the Best People Person since Bill Clinton". [306] While presenting Swift with an award for her humanitarian endeavors in 2012, Michelle Obama described her as a singer 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 can accomplish". [307] Swift considers Michelle Obama to be a role model. [308] Swift is one of the most-followed people on social media, and is known for her friendly interactions with her fans. [309] [310] She has delivered holiday gifts to fans by mail and in person, dubbed "Swiftmas". [311] She considers it her "responsibility" to be conscious of her influence on young fans, [312] and has said they are "the longest and best relationship I have ever had". [313]

Often described by the media as "America's Sweetheart", [314] Swift insists she does not "live by all these rigid, weird rules that make me feel all fenced in. I just like the way that I feel like, and that makes me feel very free". She refuses to take part in overly sexualized photo-shoots, [315] although Bloomberg L.P. views her as a sex symbol. [316] Vogue named Swift an Icon of American Style in 2011. [317] In 2014 she topped People's annual best dressed list. [318] In 2015, she was named Woman of the Year at the Elle Style Awards, [319] and ranked first on Maxim 's Hot 100 list. [320]

Swift has also appeared in various power listings. Time included her on its annual list of the 100 most influential people in 2010, 2015, and 2019. [321] From 2011 to 2015, she appeared in the top three on the Forbes Top-Earning Women in Music list with earnings of $45 million, $57 million, $55 million, $64 million, and $80 million respectively. [322] Swift again topped the list in 2016 with earnings of $170 million, and placed in the top three in 2017 and 2018, earning $44 million and $80 million. [323] Her 2016 earnings also topped Forbes' annual list of the 100 highest-paid celebrities—a feat that was entered into the Guinness World Records. [324] She topped the list in 2019 with $185 million, and ranked among the top ten in 2011, 2013 and 2015. [325] In 2015, Swift became the youngest woman ever to be included on Forbes' list of the 100 most powerful women, ranked at number 64. [326] She was one of the finalists for Time Person of the Year in 2014 and was awarded the honor in 2017 as one of the "Silence Breakers" who spoke up about sexual assault. [327] [328] In June 2019, Forbes estimated Swift's net worth at $360 million. [329]

Other ventures

Philanthropy

Swift's philanthropic efforts have been recognized by the Do Something Awards and the Tennessee Disaster Services. [330] [331] She has also received The Big Help Award for her "dedication to helping others" and "inspiring others through action", [332] and the Ripple of Hope Award for her "dedication to advocacy at such a young age". As she presented the award to Swift, RFK Center President Kerry Kennedy said: "Taylor is just the kind of woman we want our daughters to be: authentic and mighty. Willing to take a risk and strong enough to walk away." [333] In 2008, she donated $100,000 to the Red Cross to help the victims of the flood in Iowa that year. [334] Swift has performed at charity relief events including Sydney's Sound Relief concert. [335] She also recorded a song for the Hope for Haiti Now album. [336] In response to the May 2010 Tennessee floods, Swift donated $500,000 during a telethon hosted by WSMV. [337] In 2011, Swift used a dress rehearsal of her Speak Now tour as a benefit concert for victims of recent tornadoes in the United States, raising more than $750,000. [338] In 2012, Swift supported Architecture for Humanity's Restore the Shore MTV telethon in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. [339] In 2016, she made a $1,000,000 donation to Louisiana flood relief efforts and donated to the Dolly Parton Fire Fund. [340] [341] In 2017, Swift made a donation to the Houston Food Bank after Hurricane Harvey struck the city. [342]

Swift is a supporter of the arts and donated $75,000 to Nashville's Hendersonville High School in 2010 to help refurbish the school auditorium. [343] 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. [344] Also, in 2012 Swift partnered with textbook rental company Chegg to donate $60,000 to the music departments of six U.S. colleges. [345] Swift also promotes children's literacy. In 2009, she donated $250,000 to various schools around the country to improve education. [346] Her other endeavors to promote literacy included donating 6,000 Scholastic books to the Reading Public Library in Pennsylvania; [347] 14,000 books to the Nashville Public Library in Tennessee; [348] 2,000 Scholastic books to the Reading Hospital Child Health Center's early literacy program; [349] and 25,000 books to New York City schools in 2015. [350] The same year, Swift donated all proceeds from the sale of the promotional single "Welcome to New York", at the time $50,000, to the New York City Department of Education. [351] In 2019, Swift sampled a song by the Toronto-based Regent Park School of Music in her album Lover , thus enabling the school to earn royalties from her album; she also made a personal donation. [352]

In 2007, she launched a campaign to protect children from online predators, in partnership with the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. [353] In 2009, Swift recorded a Sound Matters public service announcement (PSA) to make listeners aware of the importance of listening "responsibly" to prevent hearing impairment. [354] Swift has donated items to several charities for auction, including: the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the UNICEF Tap Project, MusiCares, and Feeding America. [355] As a recipient of the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year in 2011, Swift donated $25,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Tennessee. [356] In 2012, Swift participated in the Stand Up to Cancer telethon, performing "Ronan", a song she wrote in memory of a four-year-old boy who died of neuroblastoma. The song was made available for digital download with all proceeds donated to cancer-related charities. [357] In 2014, she donated $100,000 to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, [358] and $50,000 to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. [359] She has made private visits to hospitals to meet with sick patients and support them. [360] Swift has encouraged young people to volunteer in their local communities as part of Global Youth Service Day. [361]

In 2018, Swift collaborated with 300 women in Hollywood to set up the Time's Up initiative to protect women from harassment and discrimination, [362] and donated $100,000 to its legal defense fund. [363] In March 2018, she donated to March for Our Lives. [364] In April 2018, Swift donated to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. [365] On May 7, 2018, the day before her Reputation Stadium Tour kicked off, Swift invited 2,000 foster and adopted children to a dress rehearsal at Glendale, Arizona. [366] Later that year, Swift made a surprise appearance at a benefit concert in New York City raising money for LGBT equality. [367] In April 2019, Swift donated $113,000 to the LGBT organization Tennessee Equality Project. [368] Swift donated an undisclosed sum to the media advocacy organization GLAAD in support of Pride Month in June 2019. [369]

Politics

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Swift promoted the Every Woman Counts campaign, aimed at engaging women in the political process. She was one of many country stars to record a PSA for the Vote (For Your) Country campaign. [370] She said: "I don't think it's my job to try and influence people which way they should vote." [15] Following Barack 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." [26]

In a 2012 interview, Swift remarked that in spite of keeping herself "as educated and informed as possible", she does not discuss politics, fearing that might influence other people. [371] Writing about media pressure on Swift to take public political stances, Politico called Swift "studiously apolitical". [372] Swift is a feminist [373] and pro-choice. [374] She has spoken out against LGBT discrimination [375] and white supremacy. [376] Following the 2008 murder of Larry King, she recorded a GLSEN PSA aimed at combating hate crimes. [377] 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". [378] The music video for Swift's anti-bullying song "Mean" deals in part with homophobia in high schools; it was nominated for an MTV VMA social activism award in 2011. [379] [380] 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 cultural messages". [379]

Prior to the 2018 midterm elections, Swift endorsed candidates for public office for the first time, declaring her support for two Democratic candidates in an Instagram post: [381] [382] Congressman Jim Cooper for re-election to the House of Representatives, and former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen for election to the Senate. She spoke out against Bredesen's opponent, Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, saying she was "appalled" and "terrified" by her voting record. She expressed her desire for LGBT rights and gender and racial equality, and condemned systemic racism. [383] Vote.org reported that 65,000 people registered to vote in the 24 hours following Swift's post, an unprecedented surge even accounting for usual registration increases as deadlines approach. [384] [385] During Swift's acceptance speech for Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards of 2018, she encouraged her fans to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. [201]

In June 2019, Swift published a letter addressed to Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, urging him to support the Equality Act, [386] and created a petition on Change.org urging the Senate to do the same. [387] It has attracted more than 500,000 signatures, [388] including Democrats Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, and Kirsten Gillibrand. [389]

Product endorsements

While promoting her debut album, Swift appeared as the face of Verizon Wireless' Mobile Music campaign. [390] In the Fearless era, she launched a l.e.i. sundress range at Wal-Mart, [391] and designed American Greetings cards and Jakks Pacific dolls. [392] [393] She became a spokesperson for the National Hockey League's (NHL) Nashville Predators and Sony Cyber-shot digital cameras. [394] [395] In the Speak Now era, she released a special edition of her album through Target. [396] Swift became a CoverGirl spokesmodel, [397] and launched two Elizabeth Arden fragrances—Wonderstruck and Wonderstruck Enchanted. [398]

While promoting her fourth album, Red, Swift offered exclusive album promotions through Target, [399] Papa John's Pizza, [400] and Walgreens. [401] She became a spokesmodel for Diet Coke, and Keds sneakers, [402] released her third Elizabeth Arden fragrance named Taylor by Taylor Swift, [403] and continued her partnerships with Sony Electronics and American Greetings. [404] [405] Swift also partnered with the companies AirAsia [406] and Qantas [407] during the Red Tour. These acted as the official airlines for the Australian and Asian legs; Cornetto sponsored the Asian leg of the tour. [408] While promoting 1989, Swift had tie-ins with Subway, Keds, Target and Diet Coke. [409] In 2014, Swift released her fourth fragrance, Incredible Things. [410]

Swift signed a multi-year deal with AT&T in 2016. [411] She later headlined DirecTV's Super Saturday Night, the night prior to the 2017 Super Bowl. While promoting Reputation, Swift released a series of behind-the-scenes videos showing the album recording process through DirecTV. [412] In 2018, Swift released two commercials for AT&T. [413] [414] The same year, Swift partnered with Fujifilm on a special-edition autographed Instax camera, which includes a selfie-mode and double exposure. [415] [416] In 2019, Swift signed a multi-year partnership with Capital One. [417]

Awards and achievements

Swift has received many awards and honors, including 10 Grammy Awards, [418] 23 American Music Awards (most wins by a female artist), [419] 23 Billboard Music Awards (most wins by a female artist), [420] 12 Country Music Association Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards, [421] one Brit Award, [154] and one Emmy Award. [422] As a songwriter, she has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association [50] [423] and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and was listed on Rolling Stone's 2015 list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. [424] [425]

Swift has sold more than 50 million albums—including 32.7 million in the U.S. [426] —150 million single downloads, [427] and was one of the top five music artists with the highest worldwide digital sales. [144] Swift's studio albums Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, and 1989 have all sold over four million copies in the U.S. [428] She is the third best-selling digital singles artist in the U.S. with a total of 120 million equivalent units certified according to the Recording Industry Association of America. [429]

Discography

Tours

See also

Footnotes

  1. Swift and Pat Monahan of Train wrote the song originally for Swift's 2012 album Red . [196]
  2. In August 2015, her 1989 World Tour grossed $181.5 million. [198]

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