First woman to have two million-selling album openings, first act to have three albums sell a million copies within one week in the United States, first woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice
"Taylor Swift is an American singer-songwriter. One of the leading contemporary recording artists, she is known for narrative songs about her personal life, which have received widespread media coverage.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed with the label Big Machine Records and became the youngest artist ever signed by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. Her 2006 self-titled debut album peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 and spent the most weeks on the chart in the 2000s. 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 United States. The album won four Grammy Awards, with Swift becoming the youngest Album of the Year winner.
Swift was the sole writer of her 2010 album, Speak Now. It debuted at number one in the United States 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". With her fifth album, the pop-focused 1989 (2014), she became the first act to have three albums sell a million copies within one week in the United States. Its singles "Shake It Off", "Blank Space", and "Bad Blood" reached number one in the US, Australia, and Canada. The album received three Grammy Awards, and Swift became the first woman and fifth act overall to win Album of the Year twice. The 2015 concert tour for 1989 became one of the highest-grossing of the decade. Swift's sixth album, Reputation (2017) and its lead single "Look What You Made Me Do" topped the UK and US charts.
As a songwriter, Swift 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. She is also the recipient of 10 Grammy Awards, five Guinness World Records, one Emmy, 21 Billboard Music Awards, and 12 Country Music Association Awards. Swift is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums—including 27.8 million in the US—and 130 million single downloads. She has appeared in Time's 100 most influential people in the world (2010 and 2015), Forbes' top-earning women in music (2011–2015), Forbes' 100 most powerful women (2015), and Forbes Celebrity 100 (2016). Her inclusion in the third of these made her the youngest woman on the list, and she ranked first in Celebrity 100…
Swift has received many awards and honors, including 10 Grammy Awards, 19 American Music Awards, 21 Billboard Music Awards (the most wins by an act), 12 Country Music Association Awards, 8 Academy of Country Music Awards, one Brit Award, and one Creative Arts Emmy Award. As a songwriter, she has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has been listed in Rolling Stone's 2015 list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
By the beginning of 2016, Swift had sold more than 40 million albums, 130 million single downloads and was one of the top five music artists with the highest worldwide digital sales. Swift's studio albums Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, and 1989 have all sold over 4 million copies in the US…
In 2008, she donated $100,000 to the Red Cross to help the victims of the Iowa flood of 2008. The singer has performed in charity reliefs like Sydney's Sound Relief concert. She also recorded a song for the Hope for Haiti Now album. In response to the May 2010 Tennessee floods, Swift donated $500,000 during a telethon hosted by WSMV. 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. In 2012, Swift supported Architecture for Humanity's Restore the Shore MTV telethon in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In 2016, she made donations to the Louisiana flood relief and Dolly Parton Fire Fund.
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. 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. Also in 2012, Swift partnered with textbook rental company Chegg to donate $60,000 to the music departments of six US colleges. Swift also promotes children's literacy. In 2009, she donated $250,000 to various schools around the country for improvement of education. Her other endeavors to promote literacy include donating 6,000 Scholastic books to Reading Public Library, Pennsylvania; 14,000 books to Nashville Public Library, Tennessee; 2,000 Scholastic books to the Reading Hospital Child Health Center's early literacy program; and 25,000 books to New York City schools in 2015.
In 2007, she launched a campaign to protect children from online predators, in partnership with the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. 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. Swift has donated items for auction to several charities, including: the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the UNICEF Tap Project, MusiCares, and Feeding America. 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. 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. In 2014, she donated $100,000 to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, and $50,000 to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The singer made private visits to hospitals to meet with sick patients and to support them. Swift has encouraged young people to volunteer in their local communities as part of Global Youth Service Day. In 2018, she collaborated with 300 women in Hollywood to set up the Time's Up initiative to protect women from harassment and discrimination.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Swift promoted the Every Woman Counts campaign, aimed at engaging women in the political process, and was one of many country stars to record a PSA for 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 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."
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 it might influence other people. Writing about media pressure on Swift to publicly take political stances, Politico called Swift "studiously apolitical". Swift has spent time with the Kennedy family and has spoken of her admiration for Ethel Kennedy. Swift is also a feminist. She has spoken out against LGBT discrimination. Following the 2008 murder of Larry King, she recorded a GLSEN 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". The music video for Swift's anti-bullying song "Mean" deals in part with homophobia in high schools; the video was nominated for an MTV VMA social activism award in 2011. 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"." (1)