Taylor Swift, whose extraordinary childhood gift for creating catchy country hits took her to a galaxy populated by the world's brightest pop stars, was born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, on this day in history, December 13, 1989.
“Sister Tay may be the last true rock star on the planet,” enthused Rolling Stone magazine last October, reflecting the passion of her fans around the world by publishing a lengthy treatise ranking all 229 of her songs, from worst to first.
“All Too Well,” from Swift's 2012 album “Red,” topped Rolling Stone's list.
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When Swift released her 10th studio album, “Midnights,” in October 2022, it instantly set a Spotify record with 186 million streams on its first day.
Amid an endless stream of accolades, the “Shake It Off” singer became embroiled in a high-profile international controversy last fall with Ticketmaster.
Nosebleed seats for their fall 2022 tour were selling on the platform for $2,000 and at much higher prices on secondary markets.
Many fans were left without diva ducats.
“It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets,” Swift said in response to the Instagram fiasco.
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“But it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through multiple bear attacks to get them.”
The pop music prodigy burst onto the American music scene in 2006 with his debut country hit, “Tim McGraw.”
“Sister Tay might be the last true rock star on the planet.” – Rolling Stone
The tender teen ballad is about the young love revealed in the voice behind soulful hits from the late '90s and early '00s like “Just to See You Smile.”
“The country-pop crossover sensation wrote 'Tim McGraw' in his high school freshman math class,” Billboard said of the 2021 breakout hit.
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“She was dating a senior about to go to college and wanted to capture everything about her that reminded him of Swift in a song. Her favorite country artist immediately came to mind.”
Swift quickly turned the song into a gig as an opening act for McGraw and his wife Faith Hill, a country music power couple.
“And that, ladies and gentlemen, was how a legend began,” proclaimed a UK fan of Swift's video for the song, released when she was just 16.
Swift combined her artistic talent with the blonde American beauty next door.
Her celebrity soon took her far beyond her youthful idols.
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“Swift was a songwriter before she was a star, and she’ll be a songwriter long after she graduates from that racket,” Rolling Stone proclaimed in October.
“It is in her music that she left her mark on history – as a performer, recorder, guitar hero and creator of pop, with songs that can leave you breathless or with an ugly scar.
The family moved to Nashville so the rising star could pursue his music career.
Swift's father, Scott, is a financial consultant. Her mother, Andrea, worked in financial services before raising two children.
The youngest brother, Austin, is an actor.
“Swift spent her early years on a Christmas tree farm with her parents,” according to fan site Swift Museum and other sources.
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“At age 9, Swift began taking singing and acting lessons in New York City and later decided to shift her focus to country music, inspired by Shania Twain and Faith Hill,” the fan site states.
The family soon moved to Nashville so the rising star could pursue his music career.
Swift conquered Music City.
The biggest country stars of the day — Hill, McGraw, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts — took the stage together at the Country Music Awards in 2013 to honor Swfit with the ceremony's Pinnacle Award.
“I just think she’s one of the greatest artists to come along in recent times.” -Tim McGraw
The award recognized “his groundbreaking place in music history,” McGraw said.
Swift was just 23 years old at the time.
Swift took pop music by storm the following year with the release of her fifth studio album, “1989,” named after the year she was born.
“It would be her most successful and longest-lasting album on the charts,” says The Swift Museum.
“It sold 1.28 million copies in the US during its first week of release, debuting at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. Three of its singles – 'Shake It Off', 'Blank Space' and 'Bad Blood' featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar – reached number one in Australia, Canada and the USA”
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Swift's 2015 tour to support the album generated $250 million in revenue, making it the highest-grossing artist tour of the year.
Swift enjoyed universal industry and critical acclaim in addition to her commercial success.
She has won 40 American Music Awards and 12 Grammy Awards, along with a long list of other national and international musical honors.
“When I first heard 'Tim McGraw' by Taylor Swift, I mean, I thought it was a good song. I was a little apprehensive about it when I first heard it,” McGraw himself admitted to Apple Music in a 2021 interview.
Its melody changed as Swift's songs took global music by storm.
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“I think she has a unique way of connecting with her audience and her songwriting ability and intuition are incredible,” he added.
“And I just think she’s one of the greatest artists to come along in a long time.”
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