Saturday, November 13, 2010

86: The Self-Empowered Woman: Taylor Swift

Dear Followers,

As I reviewed the last dozen or so posts, I noticed that there was (possibly) an overdose of women who were either foreign or older. So today's Self-Empowered Woman is 20 year-old American recording sensation Taylor Swift.

When she was only ten years old (2. An Early Sense of Direction), a computer repairman showed her how to play three chords on a guitar, and that inspired her to learn as much as she could about music. Soon after, she wrote her first song, "Lucky You."

At age eleven, she persuaded her parents to take her to Nashville because she wanted to get a record deal. She bravely showed a demo tape of her singing to recording companies (11. Risk Addiction), but even though she visited all of the label companies in town, she was rejected by every single one (13. More Than Meets the Eye).

At the age of twelve, she began playing the twelve-string guitar; writing songs and playing the guitar helped Swift cope with the pain of being bullied at school (5. Life is Not a Popularity Contest). Soon she was performing at Pennsylvania fairs and festivals.

When she was 14, her family moved to a Nashville suburb to help her chances of getting a recording deal. That year, she became the youngest staff songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Tree Publishing House. For her junior and senior years of high school she was home schooled. She received her diploma in 2008.

Not surprisingly, Swift has used her personal life as the basis for many of her wildly popular songs. Her romantic disappointments with Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, and John Mayer have become public knowledge (15. Forget About Prince Charming).

One can only imagine how much those other labels regret overlooking her early talent. Here are a few of her musical accomplishments:

  • Her 2008 album "Fearless" was the bestselling country album in digital history.

  • Swift was the first artist ever in the history of Nelsen SoundScan to have two different albums in the Top 10 year-end album chart.

  • She is the youngest artist in history to win the ACM Album of the Year Award.

  • She was also the youngest ever to win the Country Music Association Award for Entertainer of the Year (only six other women have won this honor).

  • Swift has sold more than 28 million digital tracks, as well as received three Gold Mobile Ringtones for the 14 million ringtones sold. She has sold more than 13 million albums worldwide.
  • She was the first country music artist to ever win a MTV Video Music Award.
  • Last year, Swift became the first female artist with the most Top 40 singles of the decade, surpassing Beyonce.
  • She made her acting debut in the movie Valentine's Day, and her song "Today Was a Fairytale" was on the movie's soundtrack.
  • Swift was on People magazine's "100 Most Beautiful People" list in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
  • According to Forbes, she is this year's twelfth most-powerful celebrity with earnings of $45 million.

Imagine what she'll have accomplished by the time she's 40! A big thank you to everyone for all the amazing birthday wishes.

Looking forward to your comments...


  1. Thanks for rounding out the blog and writing about someone so young, talented and successful. It's good that this blog features women from all over the world, all walks of life and of all ages. Good job.

    Taylor Swift is truly a wonderful role model for young girls- and old ones as well.

  2. Marilyn,
    Read this Blog, very good, but don't understand about the numbers in brackets. I couldn't access them, is ther some way that I'm unaware of.

    I'm in the process of having a blog set up for me, any do's or dont's you would recommend as an experienced blogger??

    Samantha Elphick