The People’s Taylor Swift

The Peoples Taylor Swift

Taylor Alison Swift began her music career as an American country-pop artist at 14. She became a global pop sensation, known for her meaningful lyrics and memorable melodies. Her impact through her storytelling, accomplishments, and entrepreneurship is nothing to look down on. She has changed the music industry and trend culture itself. Today, she is known everywhere as an icon through her singing, producing, directing, and being a businesswoman.

   Taylor Swift, born on December 13, 1989, spent most of her early years on a Christmas tree farm in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. According to Sophie Dodd on, Her dad, Scott Kingsley Swift, said, “She was always singing music when she was 3, 5, 6, 7, years old… It’s Taylor doing what she likes to do.”                                 

  At 9, her family moved to Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, away from the farm. According to Tracy Rasmussen, in, Taylor at 14 stated, “Before it was like 2 weeks out of every month we’d come down here to go to meetings… We really made the commitment to move here and see what happens.” She spent her years in education at West Reading Elementary Center and Wyomissing Area Junior and Senior High School. Taylor would stay near the Jersey shore in her parent’s vacation home in the summers.

   Her mother, Andrea Gardner Swift, put her in horseback riding when she was much younger, and then she later competed in horseback riding shows. This was her first hobby. This would affect her for the rest of her life, She has a huge passion for horses. Even now, she loves to use horses as symbols in her music. In several of her music videos, we can see horses as well. Horses have played a significant role in her life; they are shown to be truly supportive companions and have been a factor in carving the path for her artistic journey.

   At 9, she enrolled in musical theater. She played in Berks Youth Theater Academy’s of “Grease,” “Annie,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and “The Sound of Music.” In “Bye Bye Birdie,” Taylor played Kim MacAfee at 11. A reporter on, Cody Derespina claimed, “The year was 2001. I was 14 at the time, and Swift did not like me in the least (nor I her), but the character she played in a Berks Youth Theater version of ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ was in love with the character I played.” This is just an example of her being set apart from her peers, but it never stopped her from finding her passion.

   Afterward, she was recognized and traveled to NYC for vocal and acting lessons regularly. She auditioned for a few years in NYC. She had no luck finding success and then became interested in country music. After much pursuit and several attempts, Taylor sang at a local talent competition, where she sang an interpretation of LeAnn Rimes “Big Deal.” She won and her performance was recognized, where she gained the opportunity to be the opening act for Charlie Daniels at Strausstown PA, Amphitheater. This talent of hers made her feel isolated from everyone around her age.

   At 12, Taylor Swift was trying to learn how to play the guitar. Her first teacher nearly gave up on her. Ronnie Cremer, a computer technician, taught Taylor how to play the guitar. He described her as a “good student,” but he had an issue with her parents. At first, he thought it was a joke. He told the New York Times “The first couple months, I thought it was a joke. I thought, here’s a bunch of rich people… But in all honesty, I thought she was a pretty good student.” 

   He said her parents had a “weird dynamic,” in which he claimed to the New York Times. “[Scott] used to tell me… ‘I got a wife that doesn’t love me. I’m trying to help my daughter out and do all the right things, and my wife could care less.’ So, it was a weird dynamic,” Afterward he claimed, “If you didn’t drop what you were doing to work on whatever Taylor wanted, she(Andrea Swift) would lose her mind.” 

She was held to such a high standard that Ronnie Cremer stated that she was forced to eat salads, and her brother, Austin Swift, was allowed to eat junk food. Ronnie went on record to say to the New York Times, “Her brother Austin, who was a little chubby at the time — he’s not that now –- he wanted Taco Bell” and “Taylor said, ‘I want Taco Bell, too.’ And her mother went out and got Taco Bell, but only gave it to Austin because she said, ‘Nobody wants to see a fat pop star.’ She said that to Taylor. So, Taylor had to eat a salad.” Eventually, he wanted to make a website about the upcoming artist. Her mother, Andrea, had a difference of opinion and refused. She made it difficult for him, which ultimately made him stop teaching Taylor guitar. This computer repairman inspired her to make her first song, “Lucky You.”

   Before, she had won a National Poetry Competition with her poem, “Monster in My Closet.” At this point, she had her heart set on songwriting. At 14, she moved to Nashville. She signed a deal with RCA (Record Corporation of America) Records. She left soon after, when she was 15. She wanted to release her own works, but the label wanted her to record other songwriters’ works. At about 16 years old, Taylor got noticed at The Bluebird Café for her singing by Scott Borchetta, a record executive previously for DreamWorks who was forming his own, Big Machine Records. One of the first signings to Big Machine Records was Taylor Swift. 

   Taylor Swift was her debut album and received positive reviews among music critics. The New York Times described it as “A small masterpiece of pop-minded country, both wide-eyed and cynical, held together by Ms. Swift’s firm, pleading voice.” The single “Our Song” sold 39,000 copies in the first week, making her the youngest songwriter and singer of a #1 country song. Her second studio album, Fearless, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. The singles, White Horse, You Belong with Me, Fifteen, and Fearless off of the album all reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album ended up being the top-selling album in 2009. Taylor Swift went on tour with this album called The Fearless Tour, in which she has 118 shows.

   She then released Speak Now, in which she wrote all the songs by herself. She originally wanted to name the album “Enchanted,”  but the CEO, Scott Borchetta, felt against the title because he felt like the title didn’t show the adult themes within the album. She performed 110 shows on the Speak Now World Tour in Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia. The tour ran from February 9, 2011, to March 12, 2012. The show was inspired by Broadway musical theater and put much thought into the choreographed routines, pyrotechnics, numerous costume changes, and elaborate set pieces.

   The fourth album Taylor made, Red, had 7 of the songs co-written with four artists. Max Martin came on because Taylor could not get the song she desired. They made the songs 22, I Knew You Were Trouble, and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Another collaborator was Jeff Bhasker who made We Are Young. Taylor Swift and Butch Walker made “Everything Has Changed,” which is a duet with Ed Sheeran. Treacherous was produced by Dan Wilson. His work with his band, Semisonic, inspired Taylor. 

   Taylor left Big Machine, which she had been a part of for 13 years. She had made 6 albums while under the record label: Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, And Reputation. The record label gained ownership of the masters for these albums; They gave Taylor a cash exchange in advance. After Taylor left, though, the record label still had control over the albums.

   Taylor tried to purchase the albums back from the masters, but to Taylor, the conditions that Big Machine Records was offering were unfavorable conditions for buying her own album. She acknowledged that the label would sell them to someone else, but she did not think of Scooter Braun. And she then went on to describe him as an “Incessant and manipulative bully.”

   To counter this and to have control over her albums again, she is now rerecording her first 6 albums: Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, And Reputation.

   Taylor Swift has come a long way, and her Eras tour recently gained over 1 billion dollars. And she became TIME’s Person of the Year. She was the first woman and only person to ever appear twice on a Person of the Year cover since the franchise began in 1927.

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