Swift's third studio album, Speak Now (2010), spawned the two-time Grammy Award-winning single "Mean". Her cross-genre fourth studio album, Red (2012), earned Swift her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". The singer fully transitioned to pop music on her next studio album, 1989 (2014), which made her the first solo female artist to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year twice. The album included three Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, "Shake It Off", "Blank Space", and "Bad Blood". Preceded by her fifth U.S. number-one single "Look What You Made Me Do", Swift's hip hop-influenced sixth studio album, Reputation (2017), made her the first artist to have four albums each sell over one million copies in their opening week in the U.S. Its follow-up, Lover (2019), was the world's best-selling studio album of 2019. Swift's indie folk and alternative rock eighth studio album, Folklore (2020), and its lead single, "Cardigan", made her the first act to debut atop both the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 simultaneously.
At age nine, Swift became interested in musical theater and performed in four Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions. She also traveled regularly to New York City for vocal and acting lessons. Swift later shifted her focus toward country music, inspired by Shania Twain's songs, which made her "want to just run around the block four times and daydream about everything." She spent weekends performing at local festivals and events. After watching a documentary about Faith Hill, Swift felt sure she needed to move to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career in music. She traveled with her mother at age eleven to visit Nashville record labels and submitted demo tapes of Dolly Parton and The Chicks karaoke covers. She was rejected, however, because "everyone in that town wanted to do what I wanted to do. So, I kept thinking to myself, I need to figure out a way to be different."
When Swift was around 12 years old, computer repairman and local musician Ronnie Cremer taught her to play guitar. He helped with her first efforts as a songwriter, leading her to write "Lucky You". In 2003, Swift and her parents started working with New York-based talent manager Dan Dymtrow. With his help, Swift modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch as part of their "Rising Stars" campaign, had an original song included on a Maybelline compilation CD, and attended meetings with major record labels. After performing original songs at an RCA Records showcase, Swift was given an artist development deal and began making frequent trips to Nashville with her mother.
To help Swift break into country music, her father transferred to Merrill Lynch's Nashville office when she was 14 years old, and the family relocated to a lakefront house in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Swift attended Hendersonville High School but transferred to the Aaron Academy after two years, which could better accommodate her touring schedule through homeschooling; she graduated a year early.
2004–2008: Career beginnings and Taylor Swift
In Nashville, Swift worked with experienced Music Row songwriters such as Troy Verges, Brett Beavers, Brett James, Mac McAnally, and the Warren Brothers, and formed a lasting working relationship with Liz Rose. They began meeting for two-hour writing sessions every Tuesday afternoon after school. Rose thought the sessions were "some of the easiest I've ever done. Basically, I was just her or. She'd write about what happened in school that day. She had such a clear vision of what she was trying to say. And she'd come in with the most incredible hooks." Swift became the youngest artist signed by the Sony/ATV Tree publishing house but left the Sony-owned RCA Records at the age of 14. She later said: "I genuinely felt that I was running out of time. I wanted to capture these years of my life on an album while they still represented what I was going through."
At an industry showcase at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe in 2005, Swift caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, a DreamWorks Records executive who was preparing to form an independent record label, Big Machine Records. She had first met Borchetta in 2004. Swift became one of Big Machine's first signings, and her father purchased a three-percent stake in the company for an estimated $120,000. She began working on her eponymous debut album shortly after. Swift persuaded Big Machine to hire her demo producer Nathan Chapman, with whom she felt she had the right "chemistry". She wrote three of the album's songs alone, and co-wrote the remaining eight with Rose, Robert Ellis Orrall, Brian Maher, and Angelo Petraglia.Taylor Swift was released on October 24, 2006.Jon Caramanica of 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."Taylor Swift peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the United States, spending 157 weeks there—the longest stay on the chart by any release in the U.S. that decade. As of August 2016, the album had sold over 7.75 million copies worldwide.
Big Machine Records was still in its infancy during the June 2006 release of the lead single, "Tim McGraw". Swift and her mother helped "stuff the CD singles into envelopes to send to radio." She spent much of 2006 promoting Taylor Swift with a radio tour, television appearances, and opening for Rascal Flatts on select dates during their 2006 tour after they fired their previous opening act, Eric Church, for playing longer than his allotted time. Church jokingly told Swift she should give him her first gold record as thanks for getting fired. She sent him her first gold record with a note that said, "Thanks for playing too long and too loud on the Flatts tour. I sincerely appreciate it. Taylor."
Borchetta said that although record industry peers initially disapproved of his signing a 16-year-old singer-songwriter, Swift tapped into a previously unknown market—teenage girls who listen to country music. Following "Tim McGraw", four more singles were released throughout 2007 and 2008: "Teardrops on My Guitar", "Our Song", "Picture to Burn" and "Should've Said No". All appeared on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in the United States, with "Our Song", and "Should've Said No" reaching number one. With "Our Song", Swift became the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number-one song on the chart. "Teardrops on My Guitar" reached number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart in the United States. Swift also released the holiday album Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection in October 2007 and the EP Beautiful Eyes in July 2008. She promoted her debut album extensively as the opening act for other artists on their tours.
Swift's second studio album, Fearless, was released on November 11, 2008. The lead single, "Love Story", was released in September 2008. It peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one in Australia. Four more singles were released throughout 2008 and 2009: "White Horse", "You Belong with Me", "Fifteen" and "Fearless". "You Belong with Me" was the album's highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number two. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was the top-selling album of 2009 in the United States. Swift's first concert tour, the Fearless Tour, promoted the album and grossed over $63 million.Journey to Fearless, a three-part documentary miniseries, was aired on television and later released on DVD and Blu-ray. Swift also performed as a supporting act for Keith Urban's Escape Together World Tour.
Swift made her TV acting debut in a 2009 episode of CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, playing a rebellious teenager. The New York Times noted the character allowed Swift to be "a little bit naughty, and credibly so". Later that year, Swift both hosted and performed as the musical guest on an episode of Saturday Night Live and was the first host to write their own opening monologue.Entertainment Weekly described her as "this season's best Saturday Night Live host so far", noting she "was always up for the challenge, seemed to be having fun, and helped the rest of the cast nail the punchlines".
2010–2014: Speak Now and Red
In August 2010, Swift released "Mine", the lead single from her third studio album, Speak Now. It entered the U.S. charts at number three, making Swift the second female artist in the history of the Hot 100 (after Mariah Carey) to debut multiple tracks in the top five in one year; the other was "Today Was a Fairytale" at number two. Swift wrote the album alone and co-produced every track.Speak Now, released on October 25, 2010, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was the 16th album in chart history to achieve opening week sales of one million copies. It became the fastest-selling digital album by a female artist, with 278,000 downloads in a week, earning Swift an entry in the 2010 Guinness World Records. Three of the album's singles, "Mine", "Back to December", and "Mean", peaked in the top ten in Canada, while in the U.S., the earlier two along with the title track peaked in the top 10 of the Hot 100 chart. Later in 2010, she briefly dated actor Jake Gyllenhaal.
"Mean" won Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. Swift performed it during the ceremony. Claire Suddath of Time felt she "delivered her comeback on-key and with a vengeance"; Jayme Deerwester of USA Today wrote that the criticism in 2010 seemed to have "made her a better songwriter and live performer". Swift won other awards for Speak Now, including Songwriter/Artist of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association (2010 and 2011), Woman of the Year by Billboard (2011), and Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music (2011 and 2012) and the Country Music Association in 2011. At the American Music Awards of 2011, Swift won Artist of the Year and Favorite Country Album.Rolling Stone placed Speak Now at number 45 in its 2012 list of the "50 Best Female Albums of All Time", writing: "She might get played on the country station, but she's one of the few genuine rock stars we've got these days, with a flawless ear for what makes a song click."
Red was released on October 22, 2012, incorporating new genres for Swift, such as heartland rock, dubstep and dance-pop. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 1.21 million copies. This marked the highest opening sales in a decade in the United States, and made Swift the first female to have two million-selling album openings, a record recognized by the Guinness World Records.The Red Tour ran from March 2013 to June 2014 and grossed over $150 million; it broke the ticket sales record in China with all 18,000 tickets sold in 60 seconds.Red earned several accolades, including four nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. Its single "I Knew You Were Trouble" won Best Female Video at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Swift was named Best Female Country Artist at the 2012 American Music Awards and Artist of the Year at the 2013 ceremony. She received the Nashville Songwriters Association's Songwriter/Artist Award for the fifth and sixth consecutive years in 2012 and 2013. Swift was also honored by the Association with a special Pinnacle Award, making her the second recipient of the accolade after Garth Brooks. During this time, she had a short-term relationship with British singer Harry Styles.
In March 2014, Swift relocated to New York City. Around this time, she was working on her fifth studio album, 1989, with co-writers Antonoff, Max Martin, Shellback, Imogen Heap, Ryan Tedder, and Ali Payami. She promoted the album through various campaigns, including inviting fans to secret album-listening sessions. Cred as her "first documented, official pop album", it marked a departure from her country albums. The album was released on October 27, 2014.
Prior to 1989's release, Swift stressed the importance of albums to artists and fans. In November 2014, she removed her entire catalog from Spotify, arguing that the streaming company's ad-supported, free service undermined the premium service, which provides higher royalties for songwriters. In a June 2015 open letter, Swift criticized Apple Music for not offering royalties to artists during the streaming service's free three-month trial period and stated that she would pull 1989 from the catalog. The following day, Apple announced that it would pay artists during the free trial period, and Swift agreed to stream 1989 on the streaming service. Swift's intellectual property rights management and holding company, TAS Rights Management, filed for 73 trademarks related to Swift and the 1989 era memes. She re-added her entire catalog plus 1989 to Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Play and other digital streaming platforms in June 2017.
In August 2017, Swift successfully sued David Mueller, a former morning show personality for Denver's KYGO-FM. Four years earlier, Swift had informed Mueller's bosses that he had sexually assaulted her by groping her at an event. After being fired, Mueller accused Swift of lying and sued her for damages from his loss of employment. Shortly after, Swift counter-sued for sexual assault for a dollar. The jury rejected Mueller's claims and ruled in favor of Swift. Swift thereafter cleared her social media accounts and then released "Look What You Made Me Do" as the lead single from her sixth album, Reputation. The song topped the charts in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S.
Swift released Reputation in November 2017. The album incorporates a heavier, darker electropop sound, with hip hop and EDM influences, new genres for Swift. It debuted atop the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 1.21 million copies. With this achievement, Swift became the first act to have four albums sell one million copies within one week in the U.S. The album topped the charts in the UK, Australia, and Canada. First-week worldwide sales amounted to two million copies. The album has sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide as of 2018. It spawned six other singles, including the U.S. top-five entry "...Ready for It?", and three top-20 singles—"End Game", featuring Ed Sheeran and rapper Future, "Gorgeous", and "Delicate". Other singles include "New Year's Day", which was exclusively released to U.S. country radio, and "Getaway Car", which served as the final single in Australia.
In April 2018, Swift featured on Sugarland's "Babe" from their album Bigger.[b] In support of Reputation, she embarked on her Reputation Stadium Tour, which ran from May to November 2018. In the U.S., the tour grossed $266.1 million in box office and sold over two million tickets, breaking Swift's own record for the highest-grossing U.S. tour by a woman, which was previously held by her 1989 World Tour in 2015 ($181.5 million). It also broke the record for the highest-grossing North American concert tour in history. Worldwide, the tour grossed $345.7 million, making it the second highest-grossing concert tour of the year. At the American Music Awards of 2018, Swift won Tour of the Year, Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, and Favorite Pop/Rock Album for Reputation. With a total of 23 awards, she became the most awarded female winner in AMA history, a record previously held by Whitney Houston.
Reputation was Swift's last album under her 12-year contract with Big Machine Records. In November 2018, she signed a new multi-album deal with Big Machine's distributor Universal Music Group; in the U.S., her subsequent releases were promoted under the Republic Records imprint. Swift said the contract included a provision for her to maintain ownership of her master recordings. In addition, in the event that Universal sells any part of its stake in Spotify, Spotify agreed to distribute a non-recoupable portion of the proceeds among their artists. In late November, Big Machine Records released a Reputation Stadium Tour playlist for streaming services. The playlist includes every song performed on B-stages during the Reputation Stadium Tour. On December 31, Swift released her Reputation Stadium Tour's accompanying concert film on Netflix.
2019–present: Lover and Folklore
In April 2019, Swift released "Me!", featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco as the lead single from her seventh studio album, Lover. The song debuted at number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 three days after its release and jumped to number two the following week—the biggest single-week jump in chart history.Lover's second single, "You Need to Calm Down", followed in June and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The title track, the album's third single, became the third consecutive Hot 100 top-10 single from the album. At the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, "Me!" won Best Visual Effects, and "You Need to Calm Down" won Video of the Year and Video for Good. Swift was the first female and second artist overall to win Video of the Year for a video that they co-directed.Lover was released on August 23. It debuted atop the Billboard 200 with a first-week tally of 867,000 units, including 679,000 copies sold, making Swift the first female artist to have six albums sell more than 500,000 copies each in a single week. All of the album's 18 songs entered the Billboard Hot 100, setting a record for the most simultaneous chart entries for a female artist.Lover was the best-selling physical album of 2019 in the U.S. It was the year's best-selling studio album worldwide, with 3.2 million copies sold. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) honored Swift as the global best-selling artist of 2019, becoming the first woman to win the honor twice, having previously won in 2014.
In June 2019, talent manager Scooter Braun acquired Big Machine Records, Swift's former record label, and the masters for her first six studio albums. Swift disdained the transaction, stating she had been trying to buy the masters for years, and described Braun as an "incessant, manipulative bully". In August, Swift announced plans to rerecord the albums in November 2020. In November, Swift said that Braun and Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta had blocked her from performing her older songs at the 2019 American Music Awards and from using older material for her Netflix documentary Miss Americana. After a series of disputes, Big Machine issued a statement saying it had "agreed to grant all licenses of their artists' performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms" for the American Music Awards, though it did not mention Swift by name. Swift won six American Music Awards that year, including Artist of the Decade for the 2010s. In April 2020, Big Machine released Live from Clear Channel Stripped 2008, a live album of a 2008 radio show performance. Swift said she did not authorize the release.
On July 24, Swift released her eighth studio album, Folklore. Written and recorded while Swift was in isolation due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the album included musical collaborations with Bon Iver, Aaron Dessner, and Jack Antonoff.Folklore received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised Swift's indie-folk transition, storytelling, and lyricism. The album sold two million copies globally in its first week, 1.3 million of which were sold on its first day alone. Swift also broke the record for first-day album streams by a female artist on Spotify with over 80.6 million streams. "Cardigan" was released as the lead single and debuted at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100. "Exile" was released as the second single on August 3, 2020. "Betty" was released as the third single on August 17, 2020.
One of Swift's earliest musical memories is listening to her maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, sing in church. As a child, she enjoyed Disney film soundtracks: "My parents noticed that, once I had run out of words, I would just make up my own". Swift has said she owes her confidence to her mother, who helped her prepare for class presentations as a child. She also attributes her "fascination with writing and storytelling" to her mother. Swift was drawn to the storytelling aspect of country music, and was introduced to the genre listening to "the great female country artists of the '90s"—Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and the Dixie Chicks." Twain, both as a songwriter and performer, was her biggest musical influence. Hill was Swift's childhood role model: "Everything she said, did, wore, I tried to copy it". She admired the Dixie Chicks' defiant attitude and their ability to play their own instruments. The band's "Cowboy Take Me Away" was the first song Swift learned to play on the guitar. Swift also explored the music of older country stars, including Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette. She believes Parton is "an amazing example to every female songwriter out there".Alt-country artists like Ryan Adams,Patty Griffin and Lori McKenna have also inspired Swift.
Swift lists Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones,Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams,Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, and Carly Simon as her career role models. Discussing McCartney and Harris, Swift has said, "They've taken chances, but they've also been the same artist for their entire careers". McCartney, both as a Beatle and a solo artist, makes Swift feel "as if I've been let into his heart and his mind [...] He's out there continuing to make his fans so happy. Any musician could only dream of a legacy like that." She likes Springsteen for being "so musically relevant after such a long period of time". She aspires to be like Harris as she grows older because of prioritizing music over fame. Swift says of Kristofferson that he "shines in songwriting", and admires Simon for being "an emotional" but "a strong person".
Swift's music consists primarily of elements of pop,synth-pop,country,country pop and rock. Her later works draw from genres such as indie folk,alternative rock,R&B,EDM,hip hop and trap. Swift described herself as a country artist until the release of 1989 (2014), which she characterized as her first "sonically cohesive pop album".Rolling Stone wrote, "[Swift] might get played on the country station, but she's one of the few genuine rock stars we've got these days." According to The New York Times, "There isn't much in Ms. Swift's music to indicate country—a few banjo strums, a pair of cowboy boots worn onstage, a bedazzled guitar—but there's something in her winsome, vulnerable delivery that's unique to Nashville."The Guardian wrote that Swift "cranks melodies out with the pitiless efficiency of a Scandinavian pop factory."
Swift's singing voice was described by Sophie Schillaci of The Hollywood Reporter as "sweet, but soft". The Los Angeles Times identified Swift's "defining" vocal gesture in studio recordings as "the line that slides down like a contented sigh or up like a raised eyebrow, giving her beloved girl-time hits their air of easy intimacy".Rolling Stone, in a Speak Now review, wrote: "Swift's voice is unaffected enough to mask how masterful she has become as a singer; she lowers her voice for the payoff lines in the classic mode of a shy girl trying to talk tough." In another review of Speak Now, The Village Voice wrote that her phrasing was previously "bland and muddled, but that's changed. She can still sound strained and thin, and often strays into a pitch that drives some people crazy; but she's learned how to make words sound like what they mean."NPR Music described her singing as personal and conversational thanks to her "exceptional gift for inflection", but also suffers from a "wobbly pitch and tight, nasal delivery".The Hollywood Reporter wrote that her live vocals are "fine", but they do not match those of her peers. Swift has been praised for refusing to correct her pitch with Auto-Tune.
In an interview with The New Yorker, Swift characterized herself primarily as a songwriter: "I write songs, and my voice is just a way to get those lyrics across." A writer for The Tennessean conceded in 2010 that Swift is "not the best technical singer", but described her as the "best communicator that we've got". Swift's vocal presence is something that concerns her and she has "put a lot of work" into improving it. It was reported in 2010 that she continues to take vocal lessons. She has said that she only feels nervous performing "if I'm not sure what the audience thinks of me, like at award shows".
Swift uses her life experiences as an inspiration in her work. She often addresses the "anonymous crushes of her high school years" and celebrities in her early songs. Swift frequently criticizes ex-boyfriends, an aspect of her songwriting downplayed by The Village Voice: "Being told What Songs Mean is like having a really pushy professor. And it imperils a true appreciation of Swift's talent, which is not confessional, but dramatic." However, New York believes the media scrutiny over her decision to "mine her personal life for music ... is sexist, inasmuch as it's not asked of her male peers". Swift said that not all of her songs are factual, and they are sometimes based on observations or fictional narratives. Aside from clues provided in her liner notes, Swift tries not to talk about song subjects specifically "because these are real people. You try to give insight as to where you were coming from as a writer without completely throwing somebody under the bus."
Swift during her Speak Now World Tour in Pittsburgh, 2011
For a female to write about her feelings, and then be portrayed as some clingy, insane, desperate girlfriend in need of making you marry her and have kids with her, I think that's taking something that potentially should be celebrated—a woman writing about her feelings in a confessional way—that's taking it and turning it and twisting it into something that is frankly a little sexist.
— Swift in response to criticism of her songwriting
The Guardian has praised Swift for writing about teenage years "with a kind of wistful, sepia-toned nostalgia" over the course of her first two albums.New York has remarked that many singer-songwriters have made great records as teens, but "none made great records so explicitly about their teens". The magazine has also compared her work to Brian Wilson. In Fearless, Swift featured fairy tale imagery and explored the disconnect "between fairy tales and the reality of love". Her later albums address more adult relationships. In addition to romance and love, Swift's songs have discussed parent-child relationships, friendships, alienation, fame, and career ambitions. Swift frequently includes "a tossed-off phrase to suggest large and serious things that won't fit in the song, things that enhance or subvert the surface narrative".
Rolling Stone describes Swift as "a songwriting savant with an intuitive gift for verse-chorus-bridge architecture". According to The Village Voice, she often uses third-verse point of view reversals. In terms of imagery, repetition is evident in Swift's songwriting. In The Guardian's words, "she spends so much time kissin' in the rain that it seems a miracle she hasn't developed trenchfoot".Slant Magazine adds, "to Swift's cr, she explores new lyrical motifs over the course of [her fourth] album". Although reviews of Swift's work are "almost uniformly positive", The New Yorker has said she is generally portrayed "more as a skilled technician than as a Dylanesque visionary".
Swift has collaborated with many different directors to produce her music videos, and over time she has become more involved with writing and directing. She has her own production house, Taylor Swift Productions, Inc., which is cred with producing music videos for singles such as "Me!", and is known for hiding elaborate clues and easter eggs in most of her work. In 2010, Swift co-directed the music video for "Mine" with Roman White. In 2011, she continued to collaborate with White on the music videos for "Mean" and "Ours". Swift developed the concept and treatment for "Mean". In an interview, White elaborated that Swift "was keenly involved in writing the treatment, casting and wardrobe. And she stayed for both the 15-hour shooting days, even when she wasn't in the scenes." Swift wrote the concept for the "Ours" music video and then brought in White to direct, describing her vision of both videos as being "storylines".
From 2014 to 2018, Swift collaborated with director Joseph Kahn on eight music videos—four each from her albums 1989 and Reputation. Kahn has praised Swift's involvement in the craft. In 2016, Swift worked with American Express for her "Blank Space" music video (which Kahn directed), and released the interactive app AMEX Unstaged: Taylor Swift Experience. Swift received starring and executive producer cr, and in 2015 won a Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Interactive Program category for the app. She received producing cr in her music video for "Bad Blood".
In 2018, Swift developed the concept, wrote the treatment for, and starred in the music video for the Sugarland song "Babe". In 2019, she co-directed the music videos for "Me!" with Dave Meyers, "You Need to Calm Down" with Drew Kirsch and "Lover" with Kirsch. She also co-executive produced the second of them with Todrick Hall. The music video for Swift's 2020 single "The Man" marked her official solo directorial debut. Later that year, she wrote, directed, and styled the music video for "Cardigan" on her own during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Swift's personal life is the subject of widespread media attention. In 2013, Abercrombie & Fitch marketed a slogan T-shirt with a "slut-shaming" remark directed toward her.The New York Times asserted in 2013 that her "dating history has begun to stir what feels like the beginning of a backlash". They questioned whether Swift was in the midst of a "quarter-life crisis". Swift has said she is unwilling to discuss her personal life in public; she believes that talking about it can be "a career weakness". In 2015, singer Ray Stevens released his album Here We Go Again which included the single "Taylor Swift Is Stalkin' Me". In 2020, Swift revealed she struggled with an eating disorder in the past.
Swift at the 2010 Time 100 Gala in Manhattan, where she was honored.
Rolling Stone remarked upon her polite manner: "If this is Swift's game face, it must be tattooed on because it never drops", and noted her "ease with glad-handing".The Hollywood Reporter described Swift as "the Best People Person since Bill Clinton". While presenting Swift with an award for her humanitarian endeavors in 2012, Michelle Obama described her as an artist who "has rocketed to the top of the music industry but still keeps her feet on the ground, someone who has shattered every expectation of what a 22-year-old can accomplish". Swift considers Obama to be a role model. According to The New York Times and marketing executive Matt B. Britton, Swift's business savvy has helped her "excel as an authentic personality who establishes direct connections with her audience", "touch as many people as possible", and "generate a kind of advocacy and excitement that no level of advertising could".
Swift is one of the most-followed people on social media; as of September 2020, she has over 140 million followers on Instagram, 87 million followers on Twitter and 39 million subscribers on YouTube. She is known for her frequent and friendly online interactions with her fans. She has visited fans in hospitals and delivered holiday gifts to them by mail and in person, an event dubbed "Swiftmas", and considers it her "responsibility" to be conscious of her influence on young fans. She has called her relationship with her fans "the longest and best" she has ever had. Often labelled by the media as "America's Sweetheart", a sobriquet based on her down-to-earth personality and girl-next-door image, Swift insists she does not "live by all these rigid, weird rules that make me feel all fenced in. I just like the way that I feel like, and that makes me feel very free". She is known for avoiding the use of profanity and refuses to take part in overly-sexualized photoshoots, although Bloomberg L.P. views her as a sex symbol. She has been recognized as a fashion icon;Vogue named her an Icon of American Style in 2011. In 2014, she topped People's annual best-dressed list. In 2015, she was named Woman of the Year at the Elle Style Awards and ranked first on Maxim's Hot 100 list.
With her early success as a country singer-songwriter, Swift played an important role in shaping the modern country music scene. Billboard wrote that country music became more favorably viewed since Swift's debut in 2006 thanks to her unconventional approach to the genre: she utilized online platforms to promote her music to younger generations, paving the way for a handful of future country crossover artists.Billboard also reported that following Swift's rise to fame, labels have become more interested in signing young country singers and artists who write their own music.
Her transition in image from a country singer-songwriter to a pop star has impacted the music industry in various ways. According to the BBC, Swift became a pioneer in experimenting with different musical styles that transcend boundaries.Forbes described Swift as one of the few pop singers of her time that could sell out stadium tours.Rolling Stone noted that Swift's narrative songwriting, which centers around her personal life and offers a sense of authenticity, "helped opened up a space" for many female artists to "seem so effortlessly themselves" in their music in an era of tabloids.
Swift has sold over 50 million pure albums, including 37.3 million in the U.S., and 150 million singles worldwide. Her first five studio albums have each sold over four million copies in the U.S. She is the first artist to have four studio albums sell one million copies in their first week in the U.S. and the third best-selling digital singles artist in the U.S. thus far, with a total of 120 million equivalent units certified by the RIAA. She was the best-selling U.S. singles artist of the 2010s, having sold nearly 76 million tracks, and the highest-paid female musician of the 2010s, placing second on Forbes's list of Top-Earning Musicians of the Decade with earnings of $825 million. In 2020, she became the first female artist to have both an album (Fearless) and a song ("Shake It Off") certified Diamond by the RIAA. Swift was the top female touring artist of the 2010s, her Reputation Stadium Tour (2018) became the highest-grossing U.S. tour of all time, and is the longest running woman at the number-one spot of Billboard 200, accumulating a total of 47 weeks atop the chart.
Swift has appeared in various power listings. Time included her on its annual list of the 100 most influential people in 2010, 2015, and 2019. From 2011 to 2020, she appeared in the top three on the Forbes Top-Earning Women in Music list with earnings of $45 million, $57 million, $55 million, $64 million, $80 million, $170 million, $44 million and $80 million, topping the list in 2016 and 2019. She also topped the magazine's list of the 100 highest-paid celebrities in 2016 with $170 million—a feat that was entered into the Guinness World Records—and again in 2019 with $185 million; she ranked among the top ten in 2011, 2013 and 2015. In 2015, Swift became the youngest woman to be included on Forbes' list of the 100 most powerful women, ranked at number 64. She was one of the finalists for Time Person of the Year in 2014 and was awarded the honor in 2017 as one of the "Silence Breakers" who spoke up about sexual assault. In June 2019, Forbes estimated Swift's net worth at $360 million. Swift was the most googled female music artist of 2019.
Swift's philanthropic efforts have been recognized by the Do Something Awards and the Tennessee Disaster Services. She has received The Big Help Award for her "dedication to helping others" and "inspiring others through action" and the Ripple of Hope Award for her "dedication to advocacy at such a young age". In 2008, she donated $100,000 to the Red Cross to help the victims of the Iowa flood. Swift has performed at charity relief events including Sydney's Sound Relief concert. She also recorded a song for the Hope for Haiti Now album. In response to the May 2010 Tennessee floods, Swift donated $500,000 during a telethon hosted by WSMV. In 2011, Swift used a dress rehearsal of her Speak Now tour as a benefit concert for victims of recent tornadoes in the U.S., raising more than $750,000. In 2016, she donated $1 million to Louisiana flood relief efforts and $100,000 to the Dolly Parton Fire Fund. Swift donated to the Houston Food Bank after Hurricane Harvey struck the city in 2017. In 2020, she donated $1 million for Tennessee tornado relief.
While promoting her fourth album, Red, Swift offered exclusive album promotions through Target,Papa John's Pizza, and Walgreens. She became a spokesmodel for Diet Coke, and Keds sneakers, released her third Elizabeth Arden fragrance, named Taylor by Taylor Swift, and continued her partnerships with Sony Electronics and American Greetings. Swift released her fourth fragrance, Taylor by Taylor Swift: Made of Starlight, and partnered with the companies AirAsia and Qantas during the Red Tour. The companies acted as the official airlines for the Australian and Asian legs; Cornetto sponsored the Asian leg of the tour. While promoting 1989, Swift had tie-ins with Subway, Keds, Target, Xfinity, and Diet Coke. In 2014, Swift released her fifth fragrance, Incredible Things, in 2014. In 2016, she worked with Apple Music to release a series of three commercials.
Swift signed a multi-year deal with AT&T in 2016. She later headlined DirecTV's Super Saturday Night event on the eve of the 2017 Super Bowl. While promoting Reputation, Swift released a series of behind-the-scenes videos showing the album recording process through DirecTV. In 2018, Swift released two commercials for AT&T. The same year, Swift partnered with UPS as an official delivery partner for Reputation and Fujifilm on a special-ion autographed Instax camera, which includes a selfie-mode and double exposure. The cameras showed massive growth in sales after partnership with Swift. In 2019, Swift signed a multi-year partnership with Capital One.
^da Silva, Michelle (November 13, 2017). "Taylor Swift has changed for the worse on Reputation". Now. Retrieved July 27, 2020. But whereas those songs had a more upbeat and commercial feel, the 15 tracks on Reputation feel like a final and complete rejection of her pop-country roots, incorporating dubstep, R&B and harder-edged styles of EDM into the mix.