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Monday, December 29, 2008

Who is Taylor Alison Swift?


Who is Taylor Alison Swift? Swift is an American country pop singer. Signed to the independent Big Machine Records label in 2006, she made her debut on the Billboard country charts with the release of her debut single "Tim McGraw". This song, which peaked at #6, was the first of five singles from her self-titled debut, which was released in late 2006 and re-issued in 2007, and has been certified 3× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. Following "Tim McGraw" were the #2 "Teardrops on My Guitar", the six-week Number One "Our Song", the #3 "Picture to Burn" and another Number One in "Should've Said No". All five singles from her debut were Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, as was her song "Change" from the AT&T TEAM USA Soundtrack. Her second album, Fearless, was released on November 11, 2008 and its lead-off single "Love Story" has become her highest Hot 100 hit. The New York Times names Swift "one of pop’s finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and [is] more in touch with her inner life than most adults".

Swift was born December 13, 1989 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of Scott and Andrea Swift. She has one younger brother, Austin.Swift grew up on a Christmas tree farm outside of Reading, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a stock broker father and stay-at-home mother. When she was in fourth grade, Swift won a national poetry contest with a three-page long poem entitled "Monster In My Closet". At the age of ten, Swift began to perform around her home town, singing at karaoke contests, festivals, and fairs, and also started writing songs.


Swift's singing influences include her grandmother and LeAnn Rimes. Although her grandmother was a professional opera singer, Taylor's tastes always ran more toward country and she developed a love for Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton at an early age. She also credits the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain for demonstrating how much impact can be made by "stretching boundaries".

At age eleven, Swift made her first trip to Nashville hoping to obtain a record deal by distributing a demo tape of her singing with karaoke songs. She gave a copy to every label on Music Row. Swift faced rejection, not just from record labels, but also from her peers. After Swift returned to Pennsylvania, she was asked to sing at the U.S. Open tennis tournament; her rendition of the national anthem completely moved the crowd.

Swift started writing songs and playing 12-string guitar when she was 12. Swift began to regularly visit Nashville and wrote songs with local songwriters. By the time she was 14, her family decided to move to an outlying Nashville suburb. When Swift was 15, she walked away from a development deal with RCA Records because the company wasn’t interested in her recording her own songs. Swift then performed at Nashville's songwriters' venue, The Bluebird CafĂ©, catching the attention of Scott Borchetta who signed her to his newly-formed record label, Big Machine Records. She also became the youngest staff songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Tree publishing house




Swift's first single, "Tim McGraw", was released to radio in Summer of 2006 and on October 24, 2006, her self-titled album was released. Swift wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album, which debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200 and sold just 39,000 copies during its first week. It later peaked at #1 at Billboard Top Country Albums and #5 at Billboard 200. It also spent eight consecutive weeks at the top of the Top Country Albums charts. In total, it spent at the top on and off for 24 weeks. This accomplishment places Swift in an elite group-the only other country artists this decade to hold the #1 sales position for 20 weeks or more are The Dixie Chicks and Carrie Underwood. To date, it has sold over 3 million copies.
Swift has surpassed the 133 million mark for music streams on MySpace. She is currently ranked in the Top 10 for the most MySpace visits for all genres of music, and is MySpace's current top-ranking Country artist. Swift is the most searched musical artist on MySpace in 2008.


Regarding "Tim McGraw", Swift said, "I wrote the song in my freshman year of high school. 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." "Tim McGraw" peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts for the week of January 27, 2007. The song's music video set a record by appearing for 30 consecutive weeks on GAC's fan-voted weekly Top 20 music countdown show, and reached number one on CMT's video charts. The video also won Swift an award for Breakthrough Video of the Year at the 2007 CMT Music Awards. Her pursuit of country music stardom was the subject of "GAC Short Cuts", a part-documentary, part-music-video series airing since the summer of 2006 on the country music channel.
On May 15, 2007, Swift performed "Tim McGraw" at the Academy of Country Music Awards. She sang the song to Tim McGraw in the audience, and introduced herself for the first time to him. Swift has been an opening act for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their Soul2Soul 2007 tour. She has opened in the past for George Strait, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts as well. On August 21, 2007, Swift performed live on the season finale of America's Got Talent.
The second single from the Taylor Swift album, "Teardrops on My Guitar", was released February 24, 2007. The song was inspired by a true event during her time in high school in which she liked a boy named "Drew Hardwick." He only saw Swift as a friend and a go-to person for advice about his relationship with his girlfriend. She noted she heard "through the grapevine" that Drew is well aware the song was written about him. "Teardrops on My Guitar" originally made its peak positions in Summer 2007, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Country Chart and #33 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was re-released to the Hot 100 and Pop 100 in late 2007 with a Pop remix that brought "Teardrops on My Guitar" to #13 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the Pop 100.
In October 2007, Swift's songwriting peers at the Nashville Songwriters Association International honored her with their Songwriter/Artist of the Year Award, making her the youngest artist ever to win the award.
On November 7, 2007, Swift won the 2007 CMA Horizon Award and also performed "Our Song," the third single from her album, which would go on to become her first #1 song the week of December 22, 2007, where it leaped up from the #6 spot. This was the biggest jump to Number One since January 1998, when Tim McGraw's "Just to See You Smile", also jumped from #6 to #1. "Our Song" spent six weeks at #1 on the Country charts and also peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #24 on the Billboard Pop 100.
Swift also recorded a holiday album, Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, that was released October 16, 2007, exclusively available at Target stores. The album, which was not as successful as her self-titled debut, featured both holiday classics such as "Last Christmas" and original songs written by Swift.
Swift was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award in the category of Best New Artist, but lost to Amy Winehouse. Swift's successful single, "Picture to Burn" was the fourth single from her debut album. The song debuted early in 2008 and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Country Chart in the spring of 2008.
Swift was cover girl of Seventeen in the June 2008 issue. She was also named number fifty-two on Maxim's sexiest women of '08.
Big Machine Records announced the release of "Should've Said No" on Monday, May 19. The song is the fifth and final single from Swift's debut album. She performed it on 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. The performance started off with her dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and jeans, but soon after a short black halter dress was revealed. In the last minute of the song, she went backstage to perform the final verse under a cascading waterfall. Swift had wanted to do that performance on stage with the water and the change of clothes since she was ten years old.[28]
In Summer 2008, Swift released Beautiful Eyes, an EP sold exclusively at Wal-Mart. In its first week of release, the album sold 45,000 copies, debuting at #1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and #9 on the Billboard 200. With her self-titled debut album at #2 the same week, Swift became the first artist to hold the Top 2 positions of the Top Country Albums chart since LeAnn Rimes did so in 1997.
In July 2008, Swift graduated from the Aaron Academy, a Christian school in Hendersonville, TN which offers a home schooling program. "Should've Said No" became her second Number One single for the chart dated August 23, 2008. more

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