A Singer-Songwriter Who Taught Us to be Fearless

Taylor Swift

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Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania.

She spent her early years growin up on a Christmas tree farm in Cumru Township, Pennsylvania, later moving to nearby Wyomissing. Swift became interested in music at a young age; at 9, she began performing in musical theater before realizing that her heart was in country music.

At age 11, Swift's mother brought her to Nashville with an album of Swift's karaoke covers of popular country musicians like Dolly Parton, but her efforts were thwarted, in part due to her age. Swift wrote her first song, "Lucky You," at age 12, and at age 14, performed more of her original songs for RCA Records. She received her first record deal at age 16 with Big Machine Records. Her eponymous debut album was received positively by critics and achieved commercial success, and in 2007, Swift became the youngest artist ever to earn the Nashville Songwriter's Association's Artist of the Year award.

Since her start as a fledgling country star in 2006, Taylor Swift's illustrious career has made her into something of a pop legend. She released two country-pop albums, "Fearless" (2008) and "Speak Now" (2010). 2012's "Red" solidified her transition from country to pop and dabbled in various genres, including dance-pop and even dubstep.

Her most recent album, "1989," was hailed as a one of the decade's greatest commercial successes, with a tour grossing over $250 million. In the past year, Swift has cowritten such songs as Calvin Harris' "This Is What You Came For" and Little Big Town's "Better Man," and her most recent project is cowriting and singing "I Don't Want to Live Forever," with Zayn Malik of One Direction fame.

The song will be featured in the upcoming movie, "Fifty Shades Darker."

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