2 multi-platinum albums, a dozen different awards, 6 (and counting) Top 40 singles, and all before she had turned 20. To say that Taylor Swift is a musical phenomenon is putting it a little mildly.
Born December 13, 1989 in small-town Pennsylvania, and raised on a christmas tree farm, Taylor Alison Swift showed from a very early age that she was destined for big things. At the tender age of 9, Taylor won a national poetry contest, and it came as a surprise to no-one when she turned her literary talents to songwriting, and singing at karaoke contests, fairs, and festivals in and around her home town.
Her next stop was Nashville where, at 12 years old, she handed copies of her karaoke demo tapes to all the major record labels, only to be rejected by them all. Undaunted, she headed home to continue writing, and caught her first big break when she was asked to perform the national anthem at the US Tennis Open, a performance that brought her a great deal of national attention.
The next couple of years saw Taylor make continued trips to Nashville in hopes of landing a record deal, before her family finally decided to support her by making a permanent move south. That deal finally came when she was 15, but in a move that stunned everyone, she walked away and refused to sign on the grounds that the record label, RCA, refused to let her record her own songs. Finally, after numerous appearances at the famed, “Bluebird Cafe,” Taylor was spotted Scott Borchetta, head of a fledgling record company called Big Machine Records. She quickly put pen to paper, and in 2006, her self-titled debut album was released with all the songs either written or co-written by Swift.
The album was slow to take off, but that all changed when, at a live appearance during the 2007 Academy Of Country Music Awards, Taylor sung her debut single, “Tim McGraw,” and McGraw, who was in the audience, was so taken he invited her to be part of his next tour along with wife, Faith Hill. The nationwide tour introduced Swift to a big audience and her album sales picked up momentum, peaking at just fewer than 4 million sold.
In between touring, performing live and selling millions of albums, Taylor still found time to graduate from high school and write songs for her second album, “Fearless” which was released in November, 2008. Unlike the debut album, “Fearless” bolted out of the gate, selling 129,000 copies in its first week, a record mark for a female country album. As if that weren’t enough, one of the singles from the CD, “Change,” was chosen to be part of a soundtrack in support of Team USA at the Summer Olympics.
It’s all very heady stuff for someone so young, but Taylor Swift continues to handle herself with the grace and confidence of someone twice her age, a trait that should see her have a long lasting, successful career.