Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) • Instagram photos and videos
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Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift is one of country music’s top recording artists, having crossed over into pop and winning many awards.
Born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania, Taylor Swift’s family moved to nearby Wyomissing where she started crafting songs at age 5, and at age 16, released her debut album. Hits like “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” appealed to country and pop fans alike and helped fuel the multiplatinum success of her albums, with Fearless the 2009 top-seller. She has won many awards, including several Grammy Awards, and modeled for Cover Girl.
Swift received a lot of critical praise for her debut effort. She won the Horizon Award from the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music Award for Top New Female Vocalist in 2007. Swift next released Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection in 2007. Her renditions of “Silent Night” and “Santa Baby” were modest hits on the country charts.
During much of 2008, reports circulated that Swift was dating Joe Jonas from the popular musical group The Jonas Brothers. Neither Swift nor Jonas has ever acknowledged the relationship. “He’s an amazing guy, and anyone would be lucky to be dating him,” Swift said at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Whatever their relationship, it seemed to turn sour by the time Fearless was released. The song, “Forever & Always,” is reportedly about Jonas.
Swift was then romantically linked to actor Taylor Lautner, one of the stars of the successful Twilight saga. The pair reportedly met while filming Swift’s big screen debut Valentine’s Day, which hit theaters in February 2010. Unfortunately, the couple didn’t make it long enough to see the premiere as a couple, having broken up in late 2009. Swift then dated singer John Mayer for a brief period, which ended on bad terms when she wrote the tell-all song entitled “Dear John” about the womanizer.
From there, Swift was romantically linked to Glee star Cory Monteith and Jake Gyllenhaal in 2010, and Conor Kennedy—son of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.—in 2012. She found herself dating another celebrity at the tail-end of 2012, bringing in the new year with One Direction’s Harry Styles. More recently, Swift has been seeing Calvin Harris, a music producer, DJ and singer.
She was ranked No. 1 as Forbes magazine’s highest paid celebrity under 30 in 2012, beating out Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Lady Gaga with a salary of $57 million. She has also been tapped for four CMA nominations in 2009—”Female Vocalist,” “Music Video of the Year,” “Best Album” and “Entertainer of the Year”—as well as six American Music Award nominations.
The following year, Swift shared some of her fortune to help others. She funded the $4 million Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The facility has three classrooms, a learning lab and a space dedicated to exhibits for children. In an interview with CMT Hot 20 Countdown, she explained that “music education is really such an important part of my life. My life changed so completely when I discovered writing my own songs and playing guitar, and that can’t necessarily all be taught to you in school because there aren’t enough hours in the day.”
Also in 2013, Swift was honored with the CMA Pinnacle Award for her achievements as a country music performer and for her “positive impact” on country music, according to CMA website. She picked up this award, along with two other wins for her collaboration with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, at the CMA Awards ceremony held that November. Swift’s winning streak continued at the American Music Awards. For the third year in a row, she picked up the AMA Award for artist of the year. Swift also took home the top honors for country album of the year and favorite female artist in both the country and pop/rock categories.
With her next effort, Swift seemed to step further away from her country music roots. She released 1989, her most pop-sounding record to date, in October 2014. “Shake It Off” proved to be one of the catchiest tracks of the year, reaching the top of the pop charts. Swift continued to play with her public persona with the track “Bad Blood,” which features Kendrick Lamar. In the video for the song, which debuted at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, she appears as a tough, cutthroat character called “Catastrophe” in this noir action short. Swift recruited a number of top names to appear in the video, including Karlie Kloss, Cindy Crawford and Lena Dunham.