Taylor Swift: Born 1989

At the age of 32, Taylor Swift is considered a living legend. Having received top accolades and achieved worldwide success, her tremendous influence over present-day music and popular culture is indisputable. As a singer, songwriter, musician, and businesswoman, Taylor Swift has artfully crafted her career to reflect her life and connect with her fans. This authentic connection to girls and other women not only creates community within her fandom but inspires others to pick up a guitar and experiment with composing music.

Swift began learning guitar when she was 12 years old and soon took to crafting her own original work. Recognizing her talent, Swift’s parents moved their family to a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee and in 2004, at age 14, Swift was signed to Sony as a songwriter. Still performing her music around town, Swift was discovered, signed by Big Machine Records, and had a successful first single release “Tim McGraw” by 2006.

Swift’s career has been an evolution of sound, style, and lyrical content. Beginning as a country artist, Swift’s self-titled debut was certified platinum in 2007 and her second album, Fearless opened at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling more than half a million copies in its first week. Her third album, Speak Now awarded Swift with CMA Entertainer of the Year and her first of numerous Grammys, including Album of the Year. Each of these efforts established Swift as a top country artist and included several hits written on and driven by an acoustic guitar.

Red began Swift’s departure from country music with the lead single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” becoming her first number-one hit on the Billboard pop singles chart. In 2014, Swift released 1989, calling it her first “official pop album,” and was awarded her second Grammy for Album of the Year, amongst others. Swift continued to take risks and further develop her sound with the album Reputation, which became a top-selling album in 2017. In 2019, she released her seventh album, Lover, and in 2020 Miss Americana was released, a documentary that covered the making of her most recent studio albums and other high-profile events. In 2020, Swift released Folklore and its sister record, Evermore.  Folklore would go on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year, making Swift the only female solo artist to win the award three times.

Taylor Swift’s list of awards and accolades is long, diverse, and a direct reflection of the impact she has made on modern-day music. In the present day, Swift has begun re-recording and re-releasing her catalog in an effort to officially own and reclaim the art she has dedicated her life to creating. It is Swift’s relatable music, incredible imagination, and outstanding amount of fortitude that keeps her fans so fully enraptured by the artist. As a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Swift has showcased to generations of young women the power of creation and the endless possibilities that can be discovered, expressed, and written when playing the guitar.

Written by Victoria Shaffer

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