Friday, February 24, 2012

Taylor Swift

Taylor Alison Swift (December 13, 1989) is an American country pop singer-songwriter, musician and actress.

In 2006, she released her debut single "Tim McGraw", then her self-titled debut album, which was subsequently certified multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In November 2008, Swift released her second album, Fearless, and the recording earned Swift four Grammy Awards, including the Album of the Year, at the 52nd Grammy Awards. Fearless and Taylor Swift finished 2008 at number-three and number-six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. Fearless topped the Billboard 200 for 11 non-consecutive weeks. Swift was named Artist of the Year by Billboard Magazine in 2009. Swift released her third album Speak Now on October 25, 2010, which sold 1,047,000 copies in its first week. From this album, her song "Mean" was awarded Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance at the 54th Grammy Awards.

In 2008, her albums sold a combined four million copies, making her the best-selling musician of the year in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Forbes ranked Swift 2009's 69th-most powerful celebrity with earnings of $18 million, 2010's 12th-most powerful celebrity with earnings of $45 million and 2011's 7th-most powerful celebrity with earnings of $45 million, too. Swift was ranked the 38th Best Artist of the 2000s by Billboard. In 2012 Nielsen SoundScan listed Swift as the fifth most successful digital artist in music history with over 41.8 million digital tracks sold. On June 2011, renowned site The Boot named Swift and Carrie Underwood The Country Royalty, as they were the only female country artists to be ranked on Rolling Stone's Queens of Pop list. As of March 2011[update], she has sold over 20 million albums and 41.8 million singles worldwide. She has been listed in the 2012 Guinness Book Of World Records as the Fastest Selling Digital Album by a Female Artist for her album Speak Now, and Most Simultaneous U.S. Hot 100 Hits by a Female Artist. In 2011, Billboard named her woman of the year.

Early Life
Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania, and raised in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of Andrea Gardner (née Finlay), a homemaker who previously worked in finance, and Scott Kingsley Swift, a stockbroker. Her maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay (née Moehlenkamp), was an opera singer. Swift has a younger brother, Austin. She grew up on a Christmas-tree farm.

When Swift was in fourth grade, she won a national poetry contest with a three-page poem, "Monster in My Closet". At the age of ten, a computer repairman showed her how to play three chords on a guitar, sparking her interest in learning the instrument. Afterwards, Swift wrote her first song, "Lucky You". When Swift was 12, she devoted an entire summer to writing a 350-page novel, which remains unpublished. She began writing songs regularly and used it as an outlet to help her with her pain from not fitting in at school. Swift was a victim of bullying, and spent her time writing songs to express her emotions. She also started performing at local karaoke contests, festivals, and fairs.

Swift began to regularly visit Nashville, Tennessee, and work with local songwriters. When she was 14, her family relocated to Nashville. Her first major show was a well-received performance at the Bloomsburg Fair. In Tennessee, Swift attended Hendersonville High School, but was subsequently homeschooled for her junior and senior years. In 2008, she earned her high school diploma.

Swift's greatest musical influence is Shania Twain. Her other influences include LeAnn Rimes, Tina Turner, Dolly Parton, and Swift's grandmother. Although her grandmother was a professional opera singer, Swift's tastes always leaned more toward country music. In her younger years, she developed a love for Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton. She also credits the Dixie Chicks for demonstrating the impact that one can have by "stretching boundaries".

Personal Life
In addition to her relationship with Joe Jonas, which ended in October 2008, Swift's dating history has included other celebrities: Taylor Lautner, for three months in 2009; and Jake Gyllenhaal, from late 2010 to early 2011. Swift has also been romantically linked to John Mayer. There has been speculation that the songs "Dear John" and "The Story of Us" from her album Speak Now are about Mayer. In October 2011, she revealed to Ellen DeGeneres on her show Ellen that, "I don't even have, like, kind of a boyfriend. I don't have someone that I'm texting that is a guy that someday might be my boyfriend. There's like nothing going on right now."

In November 2011, Taylor adopted a Scottish fold kitten. She named her Meredith after the character Meredith Grey from the popular ABC drama Grey's Anatomy. The kitten appeared in the official music video for Taylor's song Ours alongside Taylor and Friday Night Lights star Zach Gilford. 

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