Height: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
Parents: Andrea Finlay, Scott Kingsley Swift
Siblings: Austin Swift
Taylor Alison Swift is an American singer-songwriter. Raised in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of fourteen to pursue a career in country music.
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Raised in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of fourteen to pursue a career in country music. She signed to the independent label Big Machine Records and became the youngest songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. The release of Swift's eponymous debut album in 2006 established her as a country music star. "Our Song", her third single, made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number one song on the country chart. She received a Best New Artist nomination at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
Swift is known for her narrative songs about her experiences as a teenager and young adult. As a songwriter, she has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Swift's other achievements include seven Grammy Awards, eleven American Music Awards, seven Country Music Association Awards and six Academy of Country Music Awards. She has sold over 26 million albums and 75 million digital downloads worldwide. In addition to her music career, Swift has appeared as an actress in the crime drama CSI (2009), the ensemble comedy Valentine's Day (2010) and the animated film The Lorax (2012). Forbes estimates that she is worth over $165 million. As a philanthropist, Swift supports arts education, children's literacy, natural disaster relief, LGBT anti-discrimination efforts, and charities for sick children.
Swift's second album, Fearless, was released in 2008. Buoyed by the pop crossover success of the singles "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me", Fearless became the best-selling album of 2009 and was supported by an extensive concert tour. The record won four Grammy Awards, with Swift becoming the youngest ever Album of the Year winner. Swift's third album, 2010's Speak Now, sold over one million copies in its first week of US release and was supported by the Speak Now World Tour. The album's third single, "Mean", won two Grammy Awards. Swift's fourth album, Red, was released in 2012. Its opening US sales of 1.2 million were the highest recorded in a decade, with Swift becoming the only female artist to have two million-plus opening weeks. The singles "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble" were worldwide hits. The North American leg of Swift's Red Tour will run until September 2013.
Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, is a Merrill Lynch financial adviser. He was raised in Pennsylvania, and is the descendant of three generations of bank presidents. Her mother, Andrea (née Finlay), is a homemaker who previously worked as a mutual fund marketing executive. Andrea spent the first ten years of her life in Singapore, before settling in Texas; her father was an oil rig engineer who worked throughout Southeast Asia. Swift was given a gender-neutral name because her mother believed it would help her forge a successful business career. She has a younger brother, Austin, who attends the University of Notre Dame. She spent the early years of her life on an eleven-acre Christmas tree farm in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She attended preschool and kindergarten at the Alvernia Montessori School, run by Franciscan nuns, and was later educated at the Wyndcroft School, a co-ed private school located in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. When Swift was nine years old, the family moved to Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, where she attended West Reading Elementary Center and Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School. She summered at her parents' beachfront vacation home in Stone Harbor, New Jersey and has described it as the place "where most of my childhood memories were formed".
When Swift was fourteen, her father transferred to the Nashville office of Merrill Lynch and the family relocated to a lakefront house in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Swift later described this as "an incredible sacrifice" for her family to make. "My parents saw that I was so obsessed, that I wasn't going to drop it, that it wasn't some adolescent phase." In Tennessee, she attended Hendersonville High School for her freshman and sophomore years. Later, to accommodate her touring schedule, Swift transferred to the Aaron Academy, a private Christian school which offered homeschooling services. She earned her high school diploma in 2008, having completed her final two years of course work in twelve months.
After watching a Behind the Music episode about Faith Hill, Swift felt sure that she needed to go to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a music career. At the age of eleven, she traveled with her mother to Nashville for spring break to leave a demo of Dolly Parton and Dixie Chicks karaoke covers with record labels along Music Row. She received label rejections and realized that "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". At the age of twelve, Swift was shown by a computer repairman how to play three chords on a guitar, inspiring her to write her first song, "Lucky You". She had previously won a national poetry contest with a poem entitled "Monster in My Closet" but now began to focus on songwriting. In 2003, Swift and her parents started working with New York-based music manager Dan Dymtrow. With Dymtrow's help, Swift modelled for Abercrombie and Fitch as part of their "Rising Stars" campaign, had an original song included in a Maybelline Cosmetics compilation CD and took meetings with major record labels. After performing original songs at an RCA Records showcase, the eighth-grader was given an artist development deal and began making frequent trips to Nashville.
Swift's family owned several Quarter horses and a Shetland pony and her first hobby was English horse riding. Her mother first put her in a saddle when she was nine months old and she later competed in horse shows. At the age of nine, Swift became interested in musical theatre. She performed in many Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions and traveled regularly to Broadway, New York for vocal and acting lessons. Swift then turned her attention to country music and spent her weekends performing at local festivals, fairs, coffeehouses, karaoke contests, garden clubs, Boy Scout meetings and sporting events. At the age of eleven, after many failed attempts, Swift won a local talent competition by singing a rendition of LeAnn Rimes's "Big Deal", and was given the opportunity to appear as the opening act for Charlie Daniels at a Strausstown amphitheater. This growing ambition began to isolate Swift from her middle school peers.