Best Country Singer Who Turned Pop : Taylor Swift

(Last Updated On: April 9, 2021)
Taylor Swift is singing live in concert.

Taylor Swift have changed her singing genre to become a pop singer successfully with first ever pop album “1989“.

Born December 1989 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, the famous country singer Taylor Swift is the eldest child in the family with a younger brother named Austin.  Her parents, Scott Kingsley Swift and Andrea Finlay Swift works as a stockbroker and a homemaker respectively.  She has a maternal grandmother named Majorie Finlay, who is a well-known opera singer.

Later, country singer Taylor Swift started writing her 1st song entitled Lucky You.  Then, she pursued writing songs on a regular basis and concentrated on it to cover-up and heal her pain for not being able to qualify in pursuing her studies in school.  When she was 11, she travelled to Nashville as her 1st time in the hope that she can secure a record deal.

The country singer Taylor Swift performs on the stage of 2010 CMA Music Festival.

She distributed a demo tape featuring herself singing her karaoke songs, and furnished a copy to some popular labels in the city, but she was rejected.  Upon returning to Pennsylvania, she received a request to sing the national anthem at the Open tennis tournament.  Her rendition of this hymn received a profound applause.

Country singer Taylor Swift then started to write songs and play the guitar with 12-strings at the age of 12.  She started visiting Nashville regularly, and wrote popular songs with other local songwriters.  When she became 14, she and her family moved to a suburban area in Nashville.  After her performance at The Bluebird Café which is the popular venue of Nashville’s songwriters, she impressed Scott Borchetta.

Beautiful Taylor Swift arrives at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

This led to her signing-up with Scott’s newly-created record label named Big Machine Records.  When she reached the age of 14, she was the youngest songwriter among the staff ever employed by Sony/ATV publishing house.  Then, her debut single titled Tim McGraw was released in 2006, followed by the debut album which was self-titled.

Subsequently, this debut album received a multi-platinum certification from the RIAA, and got a nomination in Grammy Awards for being the Best New Artist.  Country singer Taylor Swift’s 2nd album named Fearless was released in November 2008 which got 4 Grammy Awards, and recognition of being the Album of the Year.

At the end of 2008, Taylor Swift with her album Fearless reached number 3 and number 6, garnering sales of 2.1 million and 1.5 million respectively.  Fearless reached the top spot in Billboard’s 200 for 11 weeks in which no album has ever stayed as number 1 since the year 2000.  Taylor Swift got the title, Artist of the Year from Billboard Magazine sometime in 2009.

Taylor Swift poses with her 4 awards at the 2010 Grammy Awards.

She released her 3rd album entitled Speak Now in October 2010 which gained sales of 1,047,000 record copies in just 1st week from its release.  In the year 2008, country singer Taylor Swift’s albums were able to sell a total of 4 million copies, which made her the best-selling musician of 2008 in the US.

Being the youngest ever holder of  the biggest prize on that night, Taylor Swift  is one among only  six females who have had the great opportunity to win the highest accolade, the other include Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain, Reba McIntire, Barbara Mandrell, dolly Parton amd Loretta Lynn.  A run down of Taylor Swift’s awards are as follows Video of the year for the song ‘Love Story” best female vocalist and her album fearless got the Album of the year. As the MTV Video Music Award or VMA’s was being aired, rapper/singer Kanye West stormed the stage and grabbed the microphone from Taylor while she was giving her acceptance speech. She had just been declared the winner for the Best Female Video award for the song ‘you belong to me’. West claimed that the song ‘Single Ladies’ by Beyonce which was nominated in the same category was among the best videos ever. This caused the audience to react negatively to this occurrence.

Scott Borchetta who is the Chief Executive Officer of Big Machine records which manages Taylor Swift spoke in support of the country star saying she deserved to win the award. He went on to discredit allegations that Taylor Swift’s performance with Steve Nicks at the Grammys was solid despite claims from certain quarters that it was off-key. “She is probable not the most technical singer, however she could be the most emotional singer and it seems as if people do not want much more than a singer who has only technical skills”. Borchetta said this to a reporter from the Tennessean. He further told the Associated Press “this isn’t American Idol. There is no competition for the person with the highest notes. It is all about genuine artistry, good writing and communication. This is not about perfectly technical performances”

The critics could be missing a great voice of this generation which is right there in front of their eyes. They could simply be jealous or are unable to comprehend this”, Borchetta added.  “Though it is obvious that the people she converses with have a certain bond. There is nobody who is perfect. It was probably not the best performance however it could well have been the greatest night.” In reference to the Album of the Year award for ‘Fearless’.

When all is said and done Taylor Swift’s voice while singing is very emotional and personal. If you take time to listen keenly to her albums, it is similar to reading an intriguing true life diary.  This is the manner in which singers who are successful like Taylor Swift can engage the souls of their fans despite the complications of the music industry.

When Did Taylor Swift Start Singing?

Taylor Swift is one of the most famous music artists known for her country music and pop genre. Being known to her greatness in the music industry, you might be wondering how she started, or even deeper than that: her childhood experiences.

At the age of nine, Taylor Swift was captivated with the musical theater, and she was able to perform in four of Berks Youth Theatre Academy presentations. Her supportive parents enrolled her in voice and acting lessons in New York. Sometime later, her attention was drawn to country music, and her inspiration was the songs of Shania Twain. During weekends, she would perform at local events and festivals. 

When she developed and appeared to have a huge interest in singing, her parents made her an account in MySpace in order to market Taylor on the Internet while it is still growing at that time.

At 11 years old, she was invited to sing the National Anthem in a basketball game of Philadelphia 76ers. During that year, a computer technician and also a local musician named Ronnie Cremer taught her several guitar chords while he was at the Swift’s household fixing their computer. From that moment, she did more of self-learning and practiced so much. When she was 12 years old, she finally learned effortlessly playing the guitar and writing her own songs.

During her elementary school years, she became the winner in a national poetry competition with her 3-page poem titled Monster In My Closet.  At the age of 10, she learned the techniques in playing the guitar with 3 chords through a computer repairman who guided her in strumming the guitar.  This sparked her interest in pursuing to learn playing the instrument by heart.

Style of Songwriting

Taylor Swift’s lyrics are overwhelmingly autobiographical.  She reveals that listening to her albums is like reading her personal diary.  A good example of this is her song entitled “Forever & Always” which is inspired by her love affair with a good-looking guy named Joe Jonas.  Another one is the song named “Hey Stephen” which tells about a certain young man who was her companion in a tour.

The song “Fifteen” deals about the story during her freshman high school.  The lyrics in this song seem to be tinged with sourness.  The song narrates about the story of a loner, quiet girl attempting to gain recognition as a cheerleader, but losing grip to triumph against other cheerleaders.

On the other hand, Taylor Swift did a caustic painful playback against the young man who left her just like that after the tour.  She has clearly indicated that she aims to write songs to allow her following to relate to her lyrics.  She has exhibited her seemingly argumentative style in songwriting at her appearance in Saturday Night.

During that event, she sang an original song featuring lines like “You think I would bring up Joe?”  Along with that, she also performed “That boy who broke love with me,” and “Hey, Joe, I’m doing well,” which refers to her love relationship with the popular Joe Jonas.

Because of the intense emotional nature of her songs, she was able to draw the attention of the public, and she became a favorite in the music industry.  Taylor Swift admits that she thought for once that people would find her songs to be complicated and difficult to understand, but she was amazed to find that it turned out to win the hearts of the listeners.

She realized that the more personal she made her songs, the more she’s able to relate to them.  In fact because of their autobiographical nature, there are fans who have researched on the origins of her songs.

Her Singing Career Adventures

Scott Swift had his job moved to Nashville when Taylor Swift became 14 years old. He did this so that Taylor would be able to follow her dream of becoming a country music artist. There, she was able to sign under an independent company named Big Machine Records as its pioneering music artists.

Year 2006: Taylor Swift’s first album was released when she was still 17 years old. It was filled with great teenage love songs that are catchy, not only from the tune but also from the lyrics. This turned out to become a huge hit for younger fans of country music. On all country music radios across the United States, her singles were played (Our Song, Tim McGraw, and Teardrops on my Guitar). This album was able to have its place in Billboards 200, particularly in the Top 10. It also reached the number one spot in Top Country Albums.

Year 2008: This time, a second album by Taylor Swift was released, which was entitled Fearless. From that, she remained to achieve more and more success with her fan base, and also the public listeners. Teenage girls anywhere loved Taylor Swift’s singles, ‘Fifteen’ and ‘You Belong With Me’, which contributed to her name being known throughout the world.

Year 2009: You Belong With Me’s video was awarded the Best Female Video in the MTV Video Music Awards. She was about to give an acceptance speech, but the rapper, Kanye West, interrupted her. This incident became a controversy and has spread the attention of the media.

Year 2010 – 2014: Taylor Swift released a song from her third album, Speak Now. The song’s title was ‘Mine’, which topped the US charts at the third slot. This made Taylor Swift the 2nd female music artist in Hot 100’s history to top many musical tracks in the top five slots in just a single year. After the album’s release, it became the swiftest-selling digital musical album by a female musical artist. It has an approximate of 278,000 number of downloads in just one week. From this, she obtained an entry in Guinness World Records of 2010. Her ‘Speak Now World Tour’ went on from February 2011 until March 2012, which earned about $123 million.

In August 2012, she released the lead single, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ from her 4th album, Red. This became her first album that reached the top 1 slot in the entire United States and New Zealand. It also achieved the top rank on the iTunes sales chart almost an hour after release. This became an entry in Guinness World Record as the Fastest-Selling Single in Digital History. Other singles were released such as:

  • Begin Again
  • 22
  • Everything Has Changed
  • The Last Time
  • Red
  • I Knew You Were Trouble

The album was then released on October 22 on the year 2012.

Year 2014 – 2017: Her fifth studio album, which was released on October 27 in the year 2014, had 1.28 million copies sold in the United States during the initial week of release. The album’s lead single song, ‘Shake It Off’, which was released in August, debuted on the top 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Two new singles, ‘Blank Space’ and ‘Bad Blood’ were released as well and also became the top 1 in the ranking.

Year 2017 – 2019: Taylor Swift released ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ as her 6th album’s lead single. The album’s name is Reputation. This was the last album she released from the 12-year contract under Big Machine Records. She had signed in a new multiple album deal with Universal Music Group in November 2018.

Year 2019 – Present: Taylor Swift released a lead single ‘Me!’ from the 7th album, Lover. It reached the 2nd ranking in the Billboard Hot 100. Its music video was record-breaking from its 65.2 million YouTube views in 24 hours.

On August 23, 2019, the album Lover was released and sold 679,000 copies, which made Taylor Swift the first female music artist in history to retail more than 500,000 copies of six albums in one week. All 18 songs of the album were able to be included in the Billboard Hot 100, which makes her grab the record of Most Simultaneous Chart Entries for a female music artist.

In June 2019, Taylor Swift’s former label, Big Machine, was bought by Scooter Braun, which includes her master recordings from the first six albums. She voiced out her frustration in Tumblr, that says she has been attempting to buy the master records for years, with the description of Braun as an ‘unceasing, scheming bully’. She then announced in August 2019 that she had planned to rerecord the albums in November 2020.

She claimed that Big Machine Records and Braun stopped her from singing her old tracks at the 2019 American Music Awards, where Swift would be receiving the award of Artist of the Decade and also using old pieces for Swift’s documentary in Netflix, Miss Americana. They denied the accusations and charged Swift that she owes them a lot of money. Still, Swift’s team released responses that show Big Machine’s executive declining to grant permissions for the documentary and mentioned that they owe Swift roughly $8 million in unsettled royalties. The issue was then resolved on November 18, and she was able to sing her songs on the awards night.

On February 18, 2020, Swift released ‘The Man‘, and its music video was then released on February 27, 2020. It garnered a lot of positive reviews and comments from her fans and other public listeners.

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