With her iconic glittery dresses, top-hit songs, and remarkable contribution in the music industry, Taylor Swift is a 25 year-old multi-awarded American female recording artist who has inspired her listeners through her relatable, catchy and personally narrated songs.
As a ten-time Grammy winner, she is acclaimed as the only female in the history to have albums hit the 1 million first-week sales figure for over three times. Starting off as a country musician who wanted to reach her childhood dreams, she has become a global phenomenon with her countless awards and influence over the public, especially to young women. Her empowerment in just “being yourself,” winning over heartbreaks, and living one’s life without limits, has paved way for her popularity in various generations.
The singer-songwriter continues to reinvent her music and share her interesting life in media by sharing her passions. Taylor Swift is an epitome of a pop superstar who has managed to successfully cross over from country to mainstream music. As we unravel her journey, we will have the chance to catch a glimpse of her ups and downs, issues and how she has reached her highest peak of success and legacy.
On December 13, 1989, Taylor Alison Swift, a blue-eyed blonde with a white complexion girl was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. Growing up in a supportive family, her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, was a financial advisor while her mother, Andrea Gardner Swift, previously worked as a mutual fund marketing executive and later chose to become a housewife.
Taylor spent most of her childhood in an 11-acre Christmas tree farm in Cumru Township, Pennsylvania together with her brother, Austin Swift. There, she attended preschool and kindergarten at the Alvernia Montessori School before transferring to The Wyndcroft School. Their family then moved in the suburban town of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, where she attended West Reading Elementary Center and Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School.
Taylor usually spent her summers at her parents’ vacation home at the Jersey Shore. One of her hobbies include English horse riding wherein she later on competed in horse shows. When she was nine years old, Taylor already showed her interests in musical theatre and performed in four Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions namely Grease, Annie, Bye Bye Birdie and The Sound of Music.
After many attempts of winning, Taylor won in a local talent competition by singing her own rendition of “Big Deal” by ‘LeAnn Rimes’. As a result of her achievement, she was given the opportunity to star as the opening act for Charlie Daniels in an amphitheater called Strausstown. Given her efforts and endless practices, Taylor slowly prepared herself for a rollercoaster journey of her career that was just waiting to be unfolded.
Beginning of Career
“You’re lucky enough to be different, never change.” – Taylor Swift
Taylor regularly traveled to Broadway, New York for voice and acting lessons in hopes of honing her talents. However, after trying and failing with her auditions in New York, she decided to change gears and started to become interested in country music. At the young age of eleven, Taylor started to perform at local events and festivals. Her mother supported her and visited Nashville record labels to submit a demo tape of karaoke covers.
However, since achieving one’s goals can never come easy, she was rejected again. Taylor persevered with her dreams and by the age of twelve, a computer repairman trained her how to play three chords on a guitar, which led to her first output as a songwriter, “Lucky You.” Through it, she began to appreciate the art of songwriting.
By 2003, her path in the tunnel eventually revealed the city lights. Taylor and her parents started organizing arrangements with New York-based music manager, Dan Dymtrow. With his assistance, Taylor was able to model for Abercrombie & Fitch as a part of their “Rising Stars” campaign.
She also had an original song included on a Maybelline compilation CD, and even attended important meetings with major record labels. After her performances of original songs at an RCA Records showcase, Taylor’s career skyrocketed with an artist development deal and started making frequent visits to Nashville along with her mother.
In order to further help Taylor adjust in her country music interest, her father relocated to the Nashville office of Merrill Lynch. When she was 14, their family transferred to a lakefront house in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Taylor continued to attend in her public high school, but after two years she decided to transfer to the Aaron Academy. Through homeschooling, she afforded to accommodate her touring schedule and even managed to graduate a year early.
In Nashville, Taylor started working with several experienced Music Row song- writers such as Troy Verges, Brett Beavers, Mac McAnally, Brett James and The Warren Brothers. Eventually, she got close to the other artists she’s working with especially with Liz Rose. Their working relationship grew as they met for two-hour writing sessions every Tuesday after her school. Rose noted that Taylor had a distinct talent of her own. She was basically just the editor and
Taylor had a clear vision of what she was trying to say. Soon, Taylor slowly bloomed and had legitimate singing opportunities. She was signed by the Sony/ATV Tree publishing house but later left the RCA records with her aim to reach a larger scope of audience. Taylor felt the need to capture the years of her life on an album while they still represented what she was going through and avoid running out of time.
Taylor had definitely chose the right path. In 2005, at an industry showcase at Nashville’s Bluebird Café, Taylor caught the eyes of Scott Borchetta, a DreamWorks Records executive whose goal was to form his own independent record label. It was later on called as the Big Machine Records, which is now a major records company.
Taylor’s luck never ran out, as she became one of the first signings. Her father, Scott, was supporting as ever as he purchased a three percent stake in the growing company at an estimated cost of $120,000. The young songwriter has started to ignite a spark without the intention of ever burning out.
Timeline of Albums and Successes
As Taylor stepped into her promising career opportunities, the more challenges were up for her to face. From being a country musician, she explores the different versions of herself along with her progress in music and songwriting. Her story has become a web of personal challenges, which created a stronger image for her fans and admirers to love her even more.
“Taylor Swift” album
The singer and songwriter began working on her debut album, Taylor Swift, shortly after signing her record deal on Big Machine Records. She convinced Big Machine to hire her demo producer Nathan Chapman, with whom she felt she had the perfect “chemistry” with. Taylor wrote three of the album’s songs by herself, and cowrote the remaining eight with writers Rose, Robert Ellis Orrall, Brian Maher, and Angelo Petraglia.
Five singles were released from the album, all of which have successfully certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). “Tim McGraw” was promoted as the lead single and grasped the top ten on Billboard’s Hot County Songs. Moreover, “Teardrops on My Guitar” was released as the second single and resulted for the album to become the best-charting song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Eventually, “Our Song” was released as the third single from the album and was considered as Taylor’s first number one Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Due to her top-rated songs, it made Taylor the youngest person to independently write and perform a number one song on the Hot Country Songs chart. “Picture to Burn” and “Should’ve Said No” were released as the fourth single and fifth singles from the album, respectively, and both were popular on the country charts in the United States. Taylor endorsed the album by performing on tour as the opening act for artists such as Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Brad Paisley, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
The Taylor Swift album was released on October 24, 2006 with the songs that were written during her high school years. Musically, the album’s style was country while its lyric content was about her romantic relationships and personal struggles she experienced in high school. Taylor Swift hit the records at number five on the Billboard 200 and extended 157 weeks on the chart, marking the lengthiest stay by any release in the 2000s. As of August 2016, the album has sold over 7.75 million copies worldwide. Taylor Swift was positively welcomed by contemporary critics, who applauded Taylor’s talent at such a young age. The album savored commercial success and propelled Swift’s career in country music.
Taylor has always been known for outdoing herself. As she earned her titles in the industry, she continued to share her talent through her second album, Fearless. The album was released with pride on November 11, 2008, by Big Machine Records.
Taylor wrote and co-wrote all the thirteen tracks on her album and graced the public with five singles. Her first single, “Love Story” sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide and now has more than 350 million views on YouTube. It was a sure hit as it became one of the best-selling singles of all time internationally and was once the best-selling country song of all time. The song was greatly applauded by music critics and enthusiasts who complimented Swift’s writing style and the song’s plot.
The following single, “White Horse”, also created a big noise in the US. It garnered generally positive responses with the public commenting that Taylor was able to deliver its message impeccably. It was also selected as one of the best tracks in Fearless as it peaked at number thirteen in the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on Hot Country Songs. In terms of its sales, it sold over 1.6 million copies in the United States as of February 2011. “Fearless” and “Fifteen” continued with both achieving a platinum certification from the Recording Industry of Association of America (RIAA).
Another one of her hits, “You Belong with Me” was released as the third single from Fearless on April 26, 2009. Critical reaction for the song got different views, ranging from “All of Taylor Swift’s songs just sounds the same’ to claiming it as one of her best songs. Nevertheless, “You Belong with Me” relished commercial success internationally. In the United States, the song was tied for Swift’s best-charting effort with “Today Was a Fairytale” (2010), at number two, until “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” reached the number one spot in 2012.
Being mostly compelled by non-country radio airplay, the song was recognized as the largest crossover radio audience since Faith Hill’s “Breathe” (2000). The track is the third-best-selling country single of all time as it sold over 3.6 million copies as of February 2011. In the music video of “You Belong with Me”, the plot focuses on the protagonist secretively being in love with the male lead, even though he has a girlfriend.
It paved way for her win at the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video in 2009. However, in the course of Taylor’s acceptance speech, rapper Kanye West interrupted, objecting in support of nominee Beyoncé Knowles. The incident triggered commotion in the media, with many people rooting for Taylor.
As Taylor’s success grew rapidly, so did the fans who wanted to meet her and hear her music. Taylor willingly obliged and started out her first ever concert tour. The Fearless Tour was very successful in its 2009 and 2010 ventures in support of her album. On the tour, she was joined by guests: Kellie Pickler and Gloriana. Popular artists such as teen singer Justin Bieber joined her as an opening act for the tour when she visited England in November 2009. During the tour, Taylor performed with John Mayer, Katy Perry, and Faith Hill. The concert tour’s victory was utterly evident as it grossed $63,705,590 from 89 reported shows and an audience of 1,138,977.
Taylor also enriched her career by being present in acting opportunities. She made her debut in acting in an episode of CBS’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, portraying a rebellious teenager. She also engaged in hosting and guesting. Later that year, she performed as the musical guest for an episode of Saturday Night Live, a late-night live television sketch comedy show.
Taylor was indeed always up for a challenge as she performed well in the show and showed her humorous side through her punchlines. Moreover, Taylor also had her first featured film acting in
a movie called Valentine’s Day on October 2009. With this movie, she began a romantic relationship with co-star Taylor Lautner. Indulge with more details about their relationship by further reading it in the Romantic Relationships section of this biography.
Speak Now Album
“I don’t think you should wait. I think you should speak now.” – Taylor Swift
Taylor has become the role model of young people to stand up for yourself no matter what life brings ahead. Be it in life, love, or career, Taylor has been branded as someone who would rise up from every fall. Being true to her mantra, Taylor then released her third studio album called Speak Now. It was released on October 25, 2010, by Big Machine Records.
The whole album was written entirely by Taylor as it entails on the country pop style of hers featuring lyrical themes including love, romance and heartbreak. The album also features CDVU+ technology that contains more than 30 pages of bonus features with an exclusive video performance, 60 printable photos, complete album lyrics, downloadable graphics, and unseen links. Her themes and lyrical techniques were widely praised by the media.
She received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Country Album, making it her second succeeding nomination in the category, following her 2010 triumph for Fearless. Six singles were released from the album, all of which have been acknowledged with either a platinum or multi-platinum certification from the RIAA.
Swift endorsed the album with the Speak Now World Tour grossing over $123 million. What a swift success, right?
Speak Now was included in Rolling Stone’s by ranking in at forty-five in the list of “50 Best Female Albums of All Time” in 2012. This gave Taylor at just the age of 22 at the time of publication, the peculiarity of being the youngest artist with all genres to be involved on the list. One of the most popular songs in the album of Taylor, “Mean” won Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance at the 54th Annual Grammy Award wherein she performed the song throughout the ceremony.
The criticisms of Taylor actually made her a better songwriter and live performer given the outputs that she was showcasing. Taylor also expectedly won various other awards for Speak Now, including Songwriter/Artist of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association years 2010 and 2011, Woman of the Year by Billboard on 2011, and Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music for two consecutive years as well.
Lastly, at the American Music Awards of 2011, Swift brought home the bacon as the Artist of the Year and Favorite Country Album. Truly, once Taylor has set her goals, she makes sure she exceeds beyond expectations.
In order to promote her album, Taylor also continued in her world tours and embarked on the Speak Now World Tour. As it was announced on November 23, 2010 by Billboard, she went across the globe and stole the hearts of her audiences across Asia, Europe, and more.
In the succeeding month, Taylor also wrote two original songs to The Hunger Games soundtrack album with a song entitled, “Safe & Sound.” Her other song was co-written and recorded with The Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett, “Eyes Open”, which was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.
As time went by, Taylor lived in the moment and started showing her growth in her career through experimenting on her image and music styles. With her iconic red lipstick on, Taylor sent waves of excitement to her fans when she announced her fourth studio album, Red. The album was released on October 22, 2012, by Big Machine Records.
According to Taylor, the album title was inspired by the semi-toxic relationships that she experienced while she was creating and imagining the vibes of this album for the past two years.
Taylor described the emotions she felt as colors of varying depths. There were times that she felt blue and down because of the issues thrown at her but most of her experiences were considered as “red emotions” due to their strong and tumultuous nature. Red’s scope is the signature themes of Taylor, which are love and heartbreak.
What surprised the public though, was the more mature perspective of Taylor as she sent it through her lyrics. She also started discovering other themes such as her prominence and the pressure of being in the limelight.
The album creatively featured collaborations with producers and guest artists such as Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol and Ed Sheeran. Swift’s experimentation with new musical genres was a fresh image for her as her fans enjoyed her new techniques.
Red was brightly welcomed by critics and gave way to Taylor’s Grammy Award nominations for Best Country Album and Album of the Year. Taylor also copped her third consecutive chart topper in the US as her album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. For the first week, the album hit 1.21 million sales and was the third biggest debut in history for a female artist and turned out to be the fastest-selling album in over a decade.
Taylor’s success was overpowering since Red is just the 18th album in United States history to sell one million copies in a single week. Her legacy was also felt as a huge global victory given that Red was the first chart-topper in the UK. It also topped the album charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand while charting in the top ten in every other major market such as China.
Since it was in popular demand, Taylor’s tradition of world tours welcomed the birth of The Red Tour in support of the album on June 12, 2014. The tour definitely highlighted her fame, as it became the highest-grossing tour of all time by a country artist, grossing over $150 million.
Not long after, Taylor still indulged in extending her talents with different platforms. In 2013, she co-wrote “Sweeter Than Fiction” with Jack Antonoff for One Chance movie soundtrack, which got acknowledged as the Best Original Song nomination at the 71st Golden Globe Awards. She delivered guest vocals for a McGraw song titled “Highway Don’t Care”, presenting guitar work by Urban.
Swift also performed “As Tears Go By” with The Rolling Stones in Chicago as a piece of their 50 & Counting tour. Taylor didn’t seem to mind her busy schedule as she also joined Florida Georgia Line on stage during their set at the 2013 Country Radio Seminar to sing, “Cruise”.
Aside from her music ventures, Swift voiced Audrey, a tree lover, in the animated film The Lorax in 2012. She also shared her humor as she made a cameo in the sitcom New Girl in 2013. Taylor also awed the audience with her supporting role in the film adaptation of The Giver in 2014 as the daughter of the main character. It’s as if she can do anything as long as she persists.
Taylor being Taylor, issues still continued on buzzing around her personal life as she dated the famous British singer, Harry Styles of One Direction. Their relationship unfortunately didn’t last as well but the memories of their relationship were a big public interest. More about their short-lived romance you’ll find in the Romantic Relationships section of this biography.
“I have this really high priority on happiness and finding something to be happy about.” – Taylor Swift
As a representation of her moving on and reaching out to higher goals, Taylor relocated to New York City on March 2014. With the majestic city lights and endless lines of skyscrapers, comes along with the rebranding of Taylor’s image. She started working on her fifth studio album, 1989. The album title came from her idea that from the year she was born, which is 1989, was the time she started living and never stopping as she gives out her all to her fans. The album was released on October 27, 2014 to positive reviews.
With writers Antonoff, Martin, Shellback, Imogen Heap, Ryan Tedder and Ali Payami, she was able to recreate her style and come up with more diverse song themes. The album was credited as her “first documented, official pop album.” It symbolizes a departure from her previous country albums and restarting anew.
In distinction with Taylor’s previous works, 1989 was produced with drum programming, pulsating bass, synthesizers and guitars. The general vibe of Taylor has been positively accepted as contemporary and was rated as one of the best albums of 2014 by numerous publications such as Billboard, Time and Rolling Stone.
Taylor promoted her album through different campaigns creatively. She hyped the audiences by posting pictures online of her fans being invited to secret album listening sessions, called the “1989 Secret Sessions.” Moreover, she also posted lyrics in Polaroid graphics on her Instagram page. What a way to excite the fans, right?
The 1989 album successfully sold 1.28 million copies in the US during the first week of release and debuted atop the Billboard 200. This event made Taylor the first artist to have three albums sell more than one million copies in their introductory release week, for which she earned a Guinness World Record. 1989 had sold over 8.6 million copies worldwide as of February 2015.
The lead single of the album, “Shake It Off”, was released in August 2014 and debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for “Blank Space” momentarily became the fastest video to reach one billion views on Vevo. “Blank Space” and the music video for “Bad Blood” earned four honors at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, with the latter winning for Video of the Year and Best Collaboration. Taylor’s headlining tour, the 1989 World Tour, running from May to December 2015, grossed over $250 million, and was declared as one of the highest-grossing tours of all time.
While Taylor’s admirers are waiting for her next album, Taylor focused on collaborating with other singers and honing her talents. In 2015, Swift entertained the audience by performing “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Shake It Off” with Paul McCartney at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special after-party, and merged with Kenny Chesney to sing “Big Star” on the opening night of his Big Revival Tour in Nashville. In March 2015, Swift was on the spotlight again for dating Scottish DJ and record producer Calvin Harris.
By June 2015, the couple was ranked as the highest-paid celebrity couple for over the past year by Forbes with joint earnings of over $146 million. Before Swift and Harris announced the end of their relationship in June 2016, the two co-wrote his song “This Is What You Came For,” for which she was initially credited under the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg.
In August 2016, Taylor spoke about her mother’s cancer diagnosis, and heartened others to get a medical checkup as well. In October, she captured Little Big Town’s “Better Man” for their seventh album, The Breake. Two months after, Taylor and Zayn Malik released a hit single together called “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”, for the soundtrack of the film Fifty Shades Darker released on 2017 which successfully reached number one in Sweden. Now, the fans are still yearning for her next accomplishments as she excites them with her every move.
Taylor has definitely snatched a spot in being one of the most successful singers in the industry. With her five studio albums released, her fans and the public can only wait and scream for more.
Style of Music
Taylor’s music contains the elements of pop, pop rock and country. She self- identified herself as a country artist up until the release of 1989 in 2014. Taylor fondly described 1989 as a “sonically cohesive pop album.” As the critics have observed, Taylor’s voice is specifically a charmer as she vulnerably delivers her heartfelt lyrics. Her unique vocals are easy to be remembered whether she’s singing to slow emotional songs or energetic pop music.
More importantly, Taylor’s voice has the power to convince the public that all the words that she mutters are filled with sincerity and meaning. There are times when she can sound as if her voice is too thin or strained but she still manages to stay in a pitch, which makes the audience crave for more. Taylor has also been praised for refusing to correct her pitch with Auto-Tune given the various criticisms with her voice.
Taylor mainly characterizes herself as a songwriter and usually just uses her voice as a way to get her lyrics across. She has also been admired for trying to improve herself and her craft. It was reported in 2010 that she continuously took vocal lessons. When she was asked why, she stated that she still feels nervous while performing and wanted to give her best to the audience no matter how far she has already gotten.
This may be the most significant part of Taylor’s distinct personality as an artist, her songwriting skills. As we all know, Taylor uses her life experiences, such as relationships, friendships, and issues that she has faced as her source of inspiration with her lyrics. This may be the key to the reason why she can be very relatable to her listeners. In her songs, Taylor usually addresses the parts in her life wherein she talks about her crushes in her high school years, her ex-boyfriends and the memories of her past.
Many people have taken it against her since she has always been labeled as the “crazy ex-girlfriend.” However, as the critics have observed, this statement is actually very sexist since music is altogether a platform of confessions and personal experiences. Many male artists are also driving their career through this technique but weren’t criticized even a bit. Moreover, Taylor herself said that not all of her content is purely from her experiences but mere observations. She also stated that she tries not to specifically drop names since the persons in her songs are real-life people who have feelings and privacy.
Given her statements, Taylor’s songs were still largely criticized as the public fol- lowed her romantic relationships mapped through her lyrics. As a songwriter, Taylor takes notes of the insights that she produces without completely overstepping other people’s lives. She also said in one of her speeches that the importance of a woman writing should be celebrated instead of being bashed since writing should be looked upon as an outlet of feelings.
Peeking over the content within her musical choices, in her Fearless album, Taylor featured the image of fairy tales love stories and discovered the inconsistencies of connection between the magic of fairy tales and the reality of love and life. As she went further, she started addressing more mature and adult relationships in the albums of Speak Now, Red and 1989. She dived deeper into experimental themes such as lost friendships and independence of women. She also made sure she touched the emotional parts of loneliness, fame and career ambitions.
“At some point, you grow out of being attracted to that flame that burns you over and over and over again.” – Taylor Swift
As an essential part of Taylor’s songwriting and inspiration, her romantic relation- ships were a great deal to the public, given her citing and giving out clues of what her relationships turned out to be. It has become a guessing game for the people on which relationship she is referring to and when she would finally settle for her perfect match.
Joe Jonas (July 2008- October 2008)
From high school crushes, Taylor got her first real relationship with a celebrity who is no other than Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers. Their relationship seemed to be going strong as they appeared together as budding stars who were spotted dating.
Unfortunately, Taylor expressed her deep disappointment when she told the media that Joe had ended their relationship with a 27-second phone call. Due to her heartbreak, some of her songs such as “Last Kiss” and “Forever and Always” were created.
Lucas Till (March 2009-April 2009)
Being the shortest relationship of Taylor, she got linked with her co-star in her “You Belong With Me” music video. When Lucas was asked on why they broke up, he answered that it didn’t work out because he just liked her as a friend. Only lasting for a month, there wasn’t a lot of drama that was involved between them, which is probably why Taylor has never written a song about him.
Taylor Lautner (August 2009-December 2009)
We all thought that Taylor plus Taylor was already a perfect pair. The era of Taylor squared was a talked-about relationship given that the two were famous celebrities who have charmed the public. They have met in the set of the movie Valentine’s Day wherein they portrayed as a couple as well. Sadly, in the hit song of Taylor, “Back to December,” Taylor hints the night they broke up as she apologizes to Lautner for giving up on him and wanted him back if she could. She referenced him with the lyrics of “tan skin” and “sweet smile.”
John Mayer (December 2009-February 2010)
According to Taylor’s references in her music, her relationship with the famous singer and heartbreaker, John Mayer, was one of the most painful breakups she has ever experienced at such a young age of 19. She got to write several songs about him such as “Dear John,” “All Too Well,” and more. In her lyrics, she questioned the singer if he thought she was too young to be messed with. Truly, that was too much for a hopeful happy ending.
Jake Gyllenhaal (October 2010- January 2011)
Taylor’s relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal was one of the most serious relationship she had up to date. Their four-month fling was reportedly fancied as they even went out on dates with a private jet to fly around. However, Jake was an actor who tended to be busy that is why in her song, “The Last Time,” Taylor gave out clues on how she wanted to be on the top of his list with his priorities. Her other songs, “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and “The Moment I Knew” are also rumored to be about Jake. The movie star apparently broke up with her over a text and the rest was history.
Connor Kennedy (July 2012- September 2012)
The adorable couple, Taylor and Connor Kennedy, was also a short-lived relationship, which ended because apparently, the two weren’t on the same page. Connor, the grandson of Robert Kennedy, was only 18 at that time and was leaving for college. Taylor poured a little too much feelings for him but it wasn’t reciprocated well. Reportedly, she even bought a house near Connor’s to be with him. After their relationship ended, the song “Begin Again” blossomed from the heartbreak.
Harry Styles (December 2012- January 2013)
One of the most talked-about love affair of Taylor Swift was obviously with Harry Styles of One Direction. They were the couple that even the public assumed that they would never go out of style. A lot of critics and people from the social media scrutinized Taylor but the two didn’t really mind. Both singers’ fan bases were very supportive of their relationship. However, Taylor only had to tweet, “till you put me down” for the fans to realize that they were over already. The couple suggested that the cause of their breakup was due to the intense media attention and scrutiny.
Taylor wrote several songs about their relationship. “I Knew You Were Trouble” in her album “Red” as well as her album “1989” was highly-expected and proven that it was inspired by Harry Styles. The songs, “Style” and “Out Of The Woods” were widely assumed as her lyrical references to their December romance and snowmobile accident. After her breakup with the 1D star, Taylor took a long break from dating as the fans patiently waited for her comeback.
Calvin Harris (March 2015- June 2016)
Being Taylor’s longest and very mature relationship, a lot of her fans were very affirming and supportive with her choice. On March 6th, 2015, Ellie Goulding who’s a good friend of Taylor introduced him to Calvin Harris at the ELLE UK Style Awards and started dating a week after. On April 2nd, they were confirmed to be together as they were photographed holding hands at a HAIM concert.
The couple was private about their relationship, but thrilled the public through their romantic posts on Instagram. Be it on holidays with friends, or attending music awards together, the two were cheered on as their relationship went stronger for more than a year.
Unfortunately, the whole fandom of Taylor was saddened when the two broke up as Calvin addressed it on Twitter with a simple tweet. He stated that amidst the breakup, there was still a huge amount of love and respect, which remained for them. The public almost believed it was a peaceful break up until the issues came up with Tom Hiddleston and music rights.
Tom Hiddleston (June 2016- September 2016)
The latest romantic relationship of Taylor was blasted with criticisms as she was reportedly spotted making out with Tim Hiddleston in Rhode Island, just two weeks after her breakup with Calvin Harris. The two flaunted their relationship all over the media with their fancy trips in England, Rome, Australia, Nashville and LA. They were also photographed with a lot of public display of affection amidst the rumor that their relationship was only a public stunt. Unfortunately, after three months of dating, news broke that they already called it quits. They were apparently having different views on some issues as their relationship eventually fizzled out.
While Taylor had already gone through a lot of failures in her love affairs, the fans and the media are still willingly waiting for her next step and which songs would come out next. It just seems that her happy ending story is still waiting to be unfolded.
“I’ve wanted one thing for me whole life and I’m not going to be that girl who wants one thing her whole life then gets it and complains.” – Taylor Swift
With the array portrayals of Taylor and recognitions in various platforms in media, it has been expected that she will face a lot of issues and challenges with her personal life and career. Be it on her music or relationships, she has already gone through a rocky road of criticisms because of her choices. Let’s list down some of her biggest battles and how she has managed to get away with them.
Previous to 1989’s release, Taylor stressed the significance of albums to artists and fans. In November 2014, she detached her entire catalog from Spotify, disagreeing that the streaming company’s ad-supported, free service destabilized the premium service, which delivers higher royalties for songwriters.
In June 2015, Taylor condemned Apple Music in an open letter for not giving contribution royalties to artists during the streaming service’s free three-month trial period and specified that she would pull 1989 from the catalog.
The following day, Apple declared that it would pay artists throughout the free trial period, and Taylor approved to stream 1989 on the streaming service. Taylor’s intellectual property rights management and holding company, TAS Rights Management, filed for 73 trademarks linked to the singer and the 1989 era memes.
“Bad Blood” with Katy Perry
From being one of Taylor’s acquaintances, Katy Perry with her remarks as well as Taylor’s have become one of the biggest friends-to-foes issue of all time. Their remarkable and never-ending comeback of shady comments have put a mark in their careers which made the public awaiting of what they will do next. So, what really happened between the former friends?
As to what the social media has witnessed, the relationship between the two used to be mad love. Between 2009 and 2011, they were wholesome friends who sent sweet tweets with each other on a regular basis. They were attending each other’s birthday parties and even planning to produce songs together. However, as time went by, problems arose.
We all know that Taylor Swift had a brief romance with musician John Meyer. Suddenly though, Katy and John started dating in 2012 after her relationship with her husband disintegrated. Given the relationship issues, Taylor and Katy still re- mained silent. The situation, which only urged the biggest issue, was when their tour dancers had a switch problem.
Looking back, three of Katy Perry’s ‘California Dreams’ World Tour dancers got a place in Taylor’s “Red Tour” on 2012. The dancers were interviewed and mentioned that they were originally with Katy Perry for two and a half years already that’s why they opted to choose her over Taylor since they didn’t do much dancing and related with Katy deeper. Shortly after their choice to switch tours, Taylor stopped following the dancers on Twitter and were removed from her tour.
The rumors of Taylor and Katy’s feud resurfaced when Taylor was interviewed and spilled that her song “Bad Blood” was about her conflict with a well-known music artist and described their relationship as straight-up enemies. She cleared that it wasn’t about a guy, but business issues. She also added to the rumor by stating that there were issues of sabotage in her tour. Not long after, they also shared series of tweets wherein they were reportedly shading each other. Since then, the two are still in a fog of controversies but the public only wishes for them to be friends once and for all.
Kanye West Feud
Who could ever forget the moment Kanye West interrupted Taylor from her VMA acceptance speech on 2009 and grabber her mic? As Taylor was accepting her award for Best Female video, “You Belong With Me,” Kanye stopped her and said that he was happy for her but Beyoncé had the best videos of all time. The root of the Kanye and Taylor’s intriguing issue was rooted on it and a lot was said about the incident over the years. There were apologies that were said but apparently some fights can never be solved until the end.
At the 2015 Grammy Awards, the two have officially been reunited and even had conversations and pictures taken together. Taylor and Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian, was photographed hugging and smiling at each other. By August 2015, Taylor and Kanye have been reconciled as Taylor presented his award and cheered for him. After the event, Kanye sent a large set of flowers as a congratulatory gift for her. Everyone admired the two for being a sport on that event.
Unfortunately by February 2016, things got messed up when Kanye quoted Taylor Swift offensively with the lyrics of his song, “Famous,” claiming that he made her famous. Taylor reacted badly and stated that she was hurt. Kanye cleared his name by saying that Taylor was very much aware of the song and even approved it in a 2-hour long call of them.
When 2016 Grammys came, Taylor made a powerful speech about people taking credit for one’s success and used it to dig at Kanye’s actions. The Internet had a meltdown when by June 2016, Kim Kardashian spoke up about the incident to defend his husband, Kanye. She posted a series of clips when Taylor was talking with Kanye over the phone and was seemingly approving in social media, Taylor was greatly bashed and was viral wherein the people are calling her out for being a “snake.” Taylor then released a statement and stood on her ground saying that she didn’t want to be a part of that narrative since 2009, referring to the interruption of Kanye in her VMA speech.
As much as Taylor stayed off the grid when it comes to politics, she still had some involvement and says about her beliefs. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Taylor became a part of promoting the Every Woman Counts campaign. It is aimed at engaging women in the political process, and was one of many country celebri- ties to set a record for a PSA for the Vote (For Your) Country campaign. Taylor stated that she didn’t think it was her job to try to influence on who they should vote. Instead, she wanted to promote the women to be active and aware of the political situations around them.
In another instance, after President Obama’s inauguration, she told Rolling Stone that she supported the president and she was very happy with her political decision. In a 2012 interview, Swift commented that in spite of keeping herself as educated and informed as possible, she does not discourse about politics, doubting that it might influence other people on their voting decisions.
Taylor is also known as a feminist. She always fronted her group of friends, which are composed of strong and independent women. Some of her celebrity friends include Gigi Hadid, Blake Lively, Karlie Kloss and more. In her music video of “Bad Blood” she showcased women empowerment through the heavy production of her friends imitating superheroes and winning against the metaphor of bad blood or negativity around them.
In another note, she has also frequently spoken out against LGBT discrimination and racism. She has proclaimed that it was her mantra not to judge others based on whom they love, what the skin or their color is, or their religion. Taylor’s dealing with homophobia and bullying has also been evident in her “Mean” music video as she portrays the characters’ development by fighting stereotyping and winning against all odds and doubters.
“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” ― Taylor Swift
Taylor has also been prominent in the field of charity and advocacies especially with feminism and women rights. Her philanthropic efforts have been accepted and praised by various award-giving bodies such as the Do Something Awards and the Tennessee Disaster Services. She has also received The Big Help Award for her commitment to helping others and inspiring others through action. She also got awarded with Ripple of Hope Award because of her “dedication to advocacy at such a young age.
In 2008, Taylor donated $100,000 to the Red Cross to aid the victims of the Iowa flood of 2008. The singer has also willingly performed in charity reliefs like Sydney’s Sound Relief concert. She also contributed and recorded a song for the Hope for Haiti Now album. In reply to the May 2010 Tennessee floods, Taylor donated $500,000 during a telethon hosted by WSMV. She aims to inspire other people to help in the said situations as well. In 2011, Swift utilized a dress rehearsal of her Speak Now tour as a benefit concert for victims of recent tornadoes in the United States, raising more than $750,000.
In 2012, Taylor maintained her support to the Architecture for Humanity’s Restore the Shore MTV telethon in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in order to help the people who were affected. In 2016, she also made out her way to give donations to the Louisiana flood relief and Dolly Parton Fire Fund. Through these efforts, Taylor didn’t only use her popularity for her career but for other’s sake as well in times of need.
Moreover, Taylor is a supporter of the arts and donated $75,000 to Nashville’s Hendersonville High School in 2010 to help renovate the school auditorium. In 2012, she pledged $4 million to fund the constructing of a new education center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Also in 2012, Taylor partnered with textbook rental company Chegg to give away $60,000 to music departments of six US colleges.
Taylor also promotes and gives importance to children’s literacy. In 2009, she donated $250,000 to various schools around the country to improve education, performance and discipline. Her other accomplishments to promote literacy include donating 6,000 Scholastic books to Reading Public Library, Pennsylvania; 14,000 books to Nashville Public Library, Tennessee; 2,000 Scholastic books to the Reading Hospital Child Health Center’s early literacy program; and 25,000 books to New York City schools in 2015.
Taylor never stops in sharing her resources. In 2007, Taylor Swift launched a campaign to defend and protect children from online predators, in partnership with the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. In 2009, she also recorded a Sound Matters public service announcement (PSA) to invite listeners for them to be aware of the significance of listening responsibly to prevent hearing impairment.
Taylor is an advocate of varying sectors. She has also donated items for auction to numerous charities, including: the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the UNICEF Tap Project, MusiCares, and Feeding America. As the receiver of the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year in 2011, Swift donated $25,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Tennessee.
In 2012, Swift took part in the Stand Up to Cancer telethon, performing “Ronan,” a song she wrote in memory of a fouryear-old boy who died of neuroblastoma. The song was made accessible for digital download with all proceeds donated to cancer-related charities. In 2014, she pledged $100,000 to the V Foundation in terms of Cancer Research, and $50,000 to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The singer and songwriter personally made private visits to hospitals to meet with sick patients and to support them. She also makes way to privately involve herself in charity by serenading children dealing with sicknesses. Swift has cheered young people to volunteer in their local communities as part of Global Youth Service Day. Taylor doesn’t stop from these direct responses to issues. In one instance, she also donated $1989 to a struggling teen to pay her college tuition during the promotion of her 1989 album.
Being given such a talent and heart for her career, Taylor Swift is definitely a girl who can toughly face the challenges in her life without stopping for anyone’s approval. Starting as a very humble aspirer, she has managed to climb out of her comfort zone and prove her doubters wrong. She was able to produce several albums and garner various awards and recognitions in her music career.
She has highlighted utterly important issues in the music industry while significantly creating changes in her music style as well. She may be flooded with issues and criticisms; the singer-songwriter will seamlessly rise and keep on following her dreams.
Through Taylor’s life story that is still unfolding through our eyes especially in the media, one can learn that any success will always be attributed with efforts and never giving up. There will be times that one would fail but then eventually, one’s achievements will always outcast the failures.