BiographyTaylor Alison Swift was born December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania, and grew up in the nearby town of Wyomissing. Although her grandmother was a professional opera singer, Taylor Swift’s tastes always ran more toward country and she developed a love for Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton at an early age.
taylor swift discovers her country rootsTaylor Swift was given the opportunity to showcase her own vocal chops at the age of 8 when she joined a local children's theater group for a production of Grease. "I was playing the role of Sandy... and it just came out sounding country,” she recalls. “It was all I had listened to so I guess it was just kind of natural. I decided country music was what I needed to be doing."
Throughout the next few years, Taylor Swift began honing her talent by singing at every venue she could. “Every weekend I would go to festivals and fairs and karaoke contests -- any place I could get up on stage,” she says. That experience clearly paid off, and at the age of 11, she was invited to sing the national anthem in front of thousands of boisterous fans at a Philadelphia 76ers game.
taylor swift gets her first guitarThe following year, Taylor Swift received her first guitar and underwent the process of transforming herself from a singer into a singer-songwriter. "I was playing four hours a day until my fingers were bleeding and my mom called me to dinner," she says. As her talent increased, Taylor Swift and her parents made increasingly frequent trips to Nashville, Tennessee, where she performed at local clubs and wrote songs with some of the town’s best up-and-coming songwriters.
As the trips began to become more regular, Taylor Swift’s parents made the decision to relocate the entire family in 2003 to Hendersonville, a bustling suburb just north of Nashville. Luckily, the move paid immediate dividends and Taylor Swift was soon offered a recording contract with Big Machine Records after performing a killer set at a local showcase.
taylor swift releases her debut albumWith Big Machine Records firmly in her corner, Taylor Swift came busting out of the gates on October 24, 2006, with her self-titled debut album. Despite her relatively low profile in the business, the 11-song album proved to be an immediate hit, claiming the No. 3 spot on the Country Albums chart and the No. 19 spot on the U.S. Albums chart.
The album’s biggest success story, however, was the single “Tim McGraw,” a catchy tune that made Taylor Swift a household name. “I wrote the song in my freshman year of high school,” she says. “I was dating a guy who was about to go off to college. I knew we were going to break up so I started thinking of all the things that I knew would remind him of me. Surprisingly, the first thing that came to mind was that my favorite country artist is Tim McGraw.”
After completing the album, Taylor Swift kept herself busy by aggressively promoting her songs with her own radio tour. “Radio tours for most artists last six weeks,” she explains. “Mine lasted six months. That’s because I wanted it to. I wanted to meet every single one of the people that was helping me out.”
taylor swift releases fearlessIn July 2008, Taylor Swift graduated from Aaron Academy. She also worked on her second studio album called Fearless (scheduled for release in November). She also tried her hand at acting, having a cameo appearance in the flick Hannah Montana: The Movie, which should be hitting theaters in 2009.
Also in '09, Taylor Swift made AskMen.com's Top 99 Most Desirable Women.