Born to parents Scott Kingsley Swift – a Merrill Lynch financial adviser, and Andrea – homemaker, and eventual chaperon for Taylor whenever she performs. Swift’s parents have a son when she is two and a half, and brother Austin and his older sister spend their early childhood on their family’s Christmas tree farm. She becomes interested in singing at the age of five. At age ten she begins performing at local events, with her mother driving her to karaoke competitions. At age twelve Swift begins writing her own songs and learning to play the guitar.
At age thirteen, after visiting Nashville numerous times to distribute samples of her music, Swift is offered a one year developmental deal with RCA Records.
I decided to move to Nashville when I was about 10 years old. I began relentlessly nagging, begging, and pleading with my parents to take me on a trip there. When I was 11, my mom took my brother and me to Nashville on spring break and we drove up and down Music Row. She would wait in the car as I scampered into record labels one by one, handing my demo CD to the receptionists.
Living in Pennsylvania was great, and it was an incredible place to grow up, but I didn’t have any friends, so I was like, “Sure, let’s move. I’ll miss my friends even though I don’t have any.” So that wasn’t a big deal for me. But my dad had to transfer his work to Nashville. For a while, he was commuting back and forth and it was an incredible sacrifice for my parents to make and I’ve never forgotten it.
I wrote [the song] in my freshman year of high school. I got the idea in math class. I was just sitting there, and I started humming this melody. I kind of related it to this situation I was in. 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 about 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.
I wrote this song in my freshman year of high school for my 9th grade talent show. So I was sitting there thinking, ‘I’ve gotta write a song that’s gonna relate to everyone in the talent show, and it’s gotta be upbeat.’ And at that time, I was dating a guy, and we didn’t have a song. So I went ahead and wrote us one, and I played it at the talent show at the end of the year. And months later, people would come up to me and they’re like, ‘I loved that song that you played – ‘Our Song’.’ And then they’d start singing lines of it back to me. And they’d only heard it once, so I thought, ‘There must be something here!’
I used to have a huge crush on this guy, who would sit there every day talking to me about…another girl: how beautiful she was, how nice and smart and perfect she was. And I sat there and listened, never meaning it any of the times I said `Oh, I’m so happy for you.’ I guess this is a good example of how I let my feelings out in songs, and sometimes no other way. And I’ve never been afraid of using names. I love this song because of its honesty and vulnerability. To this day, they are still together and he has no idea about this song.
Swift releases her first studio album self-titled Taylor Swift. The 15 track record features singles Teardrops on My Guitar and Our Song. The album also features collaborations with writer Liz Rose for each of the album’s tracks.
I love writing with Liz. When we write, I usually come in with a melody and some lyric content, and then we’ll work on creating the rest of the song. She’s a really good song editor.
I think girls can relate to the song because basically it’s about just being mad. And it’s OK to be mad after a breakup or after something goes wrong with a relationship. It’s just like completely, brutally honest. It’s also kind of funny. It’s got a comedic edge to it.
Swift performs Picture To Burn at the CMT Awards from her album Taylor Swift.
Swift performs Fearless on Late Show with David Letterman from her album Fearless.
Swift releases her second studio album Fearless. The 13 track album is co-written by Swift and collaborators Liz Rose, Hillar Lindsey, Colbie Caillat and John Rich. Singles Love Story, Fifteen and Fearless are all featured songs on the record.
On this album, I deal with a lot of fairy tale themes. Sometimes they turn out good, sometimes they turn out bad. Love Story was a really happy ending — you put everything you have into love and it works out. Then in the song White Horse, you put everything you have into love and you get your heart broken. It blew my mind that such a personal song was the one people were talking the most about, because I always felt like the more personal my songs were, the more I could just relate to them. But, really, more people have been able to relate to those songs — the ones that I wrote when I was really going through something terrible.
Swift appears on the cover of the December 2008/January 2009 issue of Cosmo Girl magazine. She talks about love, success, and revenge. This is the last issue of Cosmo Girl.
Swift appears on the cover of the March 2009 issue of Teen Vogue magazine. She talks about having her picture taken, her style, and her love for country music.
Well, I started begging my mom to bring me here after I saw a TV special on Faith Hill she came to Nashville, and that’s how she made it. So for spring break we rented a car and drove up and down Music Row, handing my homemade demo CD to the receptionists at all the labels. I’d say, ‘Hey, I’m eleven, and I want a record deal. Call me.
Swift appears on the cover of the May 2009 issue of Seventeen magazine. She talks about her song about Joe Jonas, her friends, and her favorite thing to write songs about.
Right now, my favorite thing to write about is love. And breakups. And boys. And feelings. Honesty is a big part of my writing, because when I was younger and fell in love with songs I’d hear, I would always wonder who that song was about. It would have totally broken my heart to know it wasn’t about anyone and was just written so it could be on the radio.
Cyrus and Swift appear on the cover of the May 2009 issue of Creme New Zealand magazine.
Swift performs Love Story on The Today Show from her album Fearless.
Marie Claire interviews Swift about how personal her song writing is to her and her writing style.
For me, writing a song, I sit down and the process doesn’t really involve me thinking about the demographic of people I’m trying to hit or who I want to be able to relate to the song or what genre of music it falls under. When I sit down and write a song the only person that I’m thinking about in that room is the person that I’m writing the song about and what I want them to know and what I wish I could tell them to their face, but I’m going to say it in a song instead. So, for me, music is really more about a diary and a confession. I love it. I love getting to say things to people that I wouldn’t say to them if I was standing face to face with them. Music is a way of verbalizing those things that I feel that I can’t say.
Swift appears on the cover of the August 2009 issue of Glamour magazine. She talks about maintaining who she is, using her life to inspire songs, and the logistics of having a boyfriend.
It’s always going to be long-distance, even if I date the boy who lives next door to me in Nashville. I’ll be flying to see him and flying him places to see me. It feels like it would involve more scheduling, and I already deal with a lot of scheduling in my life. Of course, if I met somebody who was worth it, I would probably stop thinking that way!
Swift appears on the cover of a September 2009 issue of Bliss magazine.
During the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, West interrupts Swift’s speech. Swift, who wins the award for Best Female Video (You Belong With Me), is beginning her acceptance speech when West storms the stage and takes the microphone from her.
Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!
West is referring to Beyonce’s video for Single Ladies. Swift:
I was standing onstage, and I was really excited because I’d just won the award, and then I was really excited because Kanye West was onstage. And then I wasn’t excited anymore after that.
West calls Swift and apologizes for interrupting her speech at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Kanye did call me and he was very sincere in his apology. And I accepted that apology
Swift performs Fearless during The Ellen Show to promote her album Fearless.
Swift appears on the cover of the Holidays 2009 issue of New York Times Style magazine.
If I were to do karaoke, it would probably be something from Grease! I’d sing “You’re The One That I Want” — or Def Leppard. Whenever I hear Def Leppard, I just freak out.
The 20 year old country music singer makes history at the 52nd Grammy Awards by becoming the youngest artist to win the Album of the Year award. Swift walks away with four Grammys by the end of the award show.
I just hope that you know how much this means to me … that we get to take this back to Nashville.
Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks perform Today Was A Fairy Tale and Rhiannon during the Grammy Awards show to promoting Swift’s album Valentines Day.
Swift wins Grammys for Album Of The Year, Best Country Album for Fearless and Best Female Country Vocal Performance, Best Country Song for White Horse.
This is my first Grammy you guys! This is a Grammy. I live in awe of the people I was nominated against in this category.
Swift releases her single, Back to December, from her album, Speak Now.
Swift appears on the cover of the April 2010 issue of Elle magazine. She talks about finding inspiration from relationships and media scrutiny.
I’ve had countless opportunities to do some really bad things. And then people start combing through everything I do trying to find the next mistake and misperception, which leads to more scrutiny. Like, if I go to a bar, even if I’m not drinking, who’s to say that a source isn’t going to say that I was doing something I shouldn’t have been doing? So it’s not only about your own moral compass, but the moral compasses of other people that you don’t know.
Swift appears on the cover of a October 2010 issue of Billboard magazine. She talks about seinding CDs to radio stations, planning a tour, and her song about Kanye West.
It took a while to write that song. That was a huge, intense thing in my life that resonated for a long time. It was brought up to me in grocery stores and everywhere I went, and in a lot of times in my life, when I don’t know how I feel about something, I say nothing. And that’s what I did until I could come to the conclusion that I came to in order to write ‘Innocent.’ Even then, I didn’t talk about it, and I still don’t really talk about it. I just thought it was very important for me to sing about it.
Swift appears on the cover of a October 2010 issue of Parade magazine. She talks about her love life.
Things change so quickly. I have no idea who’s going to be a recurring character and who’s just a guest star for one episode. Love is fascinating. Wishing for it, pining for it, and the anger that comes when you lose it. I used to think that I could figure out some pattern to love, like if you don’t text a guy back for a half hour, he’ll like you more. But there is no pattern. Absolutely nothing is predictable in love or in life.
Swift releases her third studio album Speak Now. The record features 14 tracks including her singles Mine, The Story Of Us and Back To December. Swift wrote the entire album by herself and had producing assistance from Nathan Chapman.
Every single song is like a road map to what that relationship stood for, with little markers that maybe everyone won’t know, but there are things that were little nuances of the relationship, little hints. And every single song is like that.
Swift performs Mine during The Late Show with David Letterman to promote her album Speak Now.
Swift performs Speak Now on the Late Show with David Letterman from her album Speak Now.
Swift performs You Belong With Me on The Ellen Show from her album Fearless.
Swift performs Mine during The Ellen Show to promote her album Speak Now.
Swift appears on the cover of the November 2010 issue of Glamour magazine. She talks about Taylor Lautner, regretting writing songs about exes. and finding love.
I’ve learned that you can’t predict it or plan for it. For someone like me who is obsessed with organization and planning, I love the idea that love is the one exception to that. Love is the one wild card.
Swift performs Back To December at the American Music Awards from her album Speak Now.
Swift appears on the cover of the January 2011/December 2010 issue of Seventeen magazine. She talks about style with the magazine.
I love sparkly headbands, so I go to the craft store and buy ribbon to make my own. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. I go in there and just have so much fun in the ribbon section. It’s a really fun activity and way to get an entire collection.
Swift appears on the cover of the December 2010 issue of Allure magazine. She talks about Justin Bieber and how she used to give bad relationship advice.
Like, the best way to get a guy to like you would be to actively ignore him. I was filled with advice! I’d tell my friends things like, Don’t accept that apology! That isn’t sincere! Or He hung out with his ex-girlfriend? Get rid of him. But love is never that simple. Now I’m finally getting the idea it’s the one thing I don’t need to have a strategy for. I can only write the material I know, which is what happens to me.
Swift performs Love Story during The Late Show with David Letterman to promote her album Red.
Swift wins People’s Choice Award for Favorite Country Artist.
Swift performs The Story Of Us during The Ellen Show to promote her album Speak Now.
Swift releases her single, The Story of Us, from her album, Speak Now.
Swift appears on the cover of the June 2011 issue of In Style magazine. She talks about what she wants in the future and love
There are no rules when it comes to love. I just try to let love surprise me because you never know who you’re going to fall in love with. You never know who’s going to come into your life – and for me, when I picture the person I want to end up with, I don’t think about what their career is, or what they look like. I picture the feeling I get when I’m with them.
Swift appears on the cover of the August 2011 issue of Teen Vogue magazine. She talks about nerves, Law and Order SVU, her best friends, and her favorite dress.
I get to wear it every night on tour at the end of the show when I’m singing ‘Love Story.’ It’s long and sparkly (big surprise, right?) and a total princess dress.
Swift releases her single, Sparks Fly, from her album, Speak Now.
Seacrest interviews Swift during On Air With Ryan Seacrest about rumors that she and Taylor Lautner are dating again.
Didn’t hear that one! We’re incredibly close friends but that’s not something that’s newsworthy so people write other stuff. We’re just really good friends.
This is a situation where a guy that I just barely knew put his arm around me by the water, and I saw the entire relationship flash before my eyes, almost like a weird science-fiction movie. After I wrote the song, things sort of fell apart, as things so often do. And I hadn’t talked to him in a couple months. And the song came out, and that day, I got an e-mail from him. And I was like, ‘Yes!’ Because that one was sort of half-confession and half-prediction or projection of what I saw.
Swift performs Ours at The Country Music Awards from her album Speak Now.