Taylor Swift 14 --> 27 Sept 18, 2017 12:09:30 GMT -5
Post by neoswiftie on Sept 18, 2017 12:09:30 GMT -5
Taylor Swift was just 14 when she inked a music publishing deal with Sony/ATV, making her the youngest signing in the company’s history.
A decade later she is fully established as one of the most successful songwriters and recording artists on the planet with a catalog of songs that stretches from her country music roots to out-and-out pop.
When Sony/ATV first signed her she was still at high school, but even at this early age it was abundantly clear she was an exceptional songwriting talent. This began to find an outlet in songwriting sessions with seasoned Nashville writers such as Brett James and Troy Verges, and she was then paired with Liz Rose, beginning a working relationship that would produce a number of Swift’s hit singles.
The partnership was first evident on Swift’s debut single, “Tim McGraw”, which was released in 2006 after the teenager was spotted at Nashville’s esteemed Bluebird Café by Big Machine Records. “Tim McGraw” peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, was a Hot Country Songs Top 10 hit and featured on Swift’s self-titled first album, alongside four other Hot 100 Top 40 hits. These included another two songs written with Rose and a pair Swift composed alone, “Our Song” and “Should’ve Said No”.
The album itself topped the Billboard country chart and peaked at No. 5 on the main Billboard 200 countdown, while her second album Fearless two years later became her first ever Billboard 200 No. 1 and a Top 10 hit around the world. Rose again contributed to the songwriting, including co-penning the big hit “You Belong To Me”, but seven of the 13 cuts were created by Swift on her own, including “Love Story”, which peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100 and became her first substantial hit in the U.K, rising as high as No. 2.
The album also delivered Swift her first ever Grammy victories with eight nominations at the 2010 event turning into four honors, including Fearless winning Album of the Year and Best Country Album. “White Horse”, penned with Liz Rose, was named both Best Country Song and Best Female Vocal Performance.
Her standing as a songwriter was also recognized with a clutch of other awards: she received the Hal David Starlight Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame and given the Nashville Songwriters Association International Award for Songwriter/Artist of the Year for a third successive year in 2010, only to win it again in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Third album Speak Now marked a new first for Swift as all 14 songs were written by her alone, including the Hot 100 Top 10 hits “Mine” and “Back To December”. Highlighting the strength and depth of her songwriting, every cut on the album registered as an individual Hot 100 entry – 11 of them concurrently.
The album itself became only the 16th in US chart history to sell more than 1 million copies week one and by the end of 2010 had shifted nearly 3 million units in the market after just 10 weeks on sale. It was also a hit around the world, making Swift Nashville’s biggest global export.
Like its predecessor, Speak Now delivered her another set of honors, including the song “Mean” awarded Best Country Song at the 54th annual Grammy Awards.
Ahead of her next studio album, Swift collaborated with the Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett on the song “Safe & Sound” on The Hunger Games movie soundtrack album as well as penning “Eyes Open” alone for the set. As a consequence, “Safe & Sound” picked up a Golden Globe nomination and it won Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
Fourth LP Red, which came out in 2012, saw Swift embracing a series of new songwriting partnerships, although nine of the 16 songs were hers alone. Liz Rose was on board again for “All Too Well”, although most notable was the presence of Swedish pop masterminds Max Martin and Shellback who penned with her three of the album’s biggest hit singles: “I Knew You Were Trouble, “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and “22”.
“We Are Never Getting Back Together” delivered Swift a first No. 1 single on the Hot 100, while was a hit around the world, including peaking at No. 2 in Japan, No. 3 in Australia and No. 1 in the U.K.
Brits Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody (of Snow Patrol) each co-wrote and performed on a song apiece on the album with Sheeran collaborating on “Everything Has Changed” and Lightbody on “The Last Time”.
The album became her second in a row to sell more than 1 million units during its first week at retail in the U.S. and was the year’s second top seller both in the States and globally, despite having only been on sale for a couple of months.
In total it managed to sell 5.2 million copies by the end of 2012 worldwide, according to IFPI, and was Swift’s first No. 1 album in the U.K..
She united again with Max Martin and Shellback for the 2014 album 1989, which was led off by the trio’s “Shake It Off”, which at the end of that August became only the 22nd song to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, while sold 544,000 digital downloads week one. According to Nielsen SoundScan, this was the fourth highest debut week for a digital single in history.
Initially spending two weeks at No. 1, “Shake It Off” returned to No. 1 after an eight-week gap that November in the same week 1989 debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. The single completed four weeks in total at No. 1 in the U.S., eventually topping 4 million sales there, while was also a No. 1 in Canada and Australia and hit No. 2 in the U.K. It received three Grammy nominations, including for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Meanwhile, the arrival of 1989 at the top of the Billboard 200 came with sales numbers that would have been astonishing at any time let alone in an era of falling CD and download sales. In its first week it sold nearly 1.3 million units in the States, the highest sale by any album since 2002 and Swift’s third successive album to sell more than 1 million copies week one. By the end of 2014 it had sold nearly 3.78 million copies in the U.S., making it the year’s top-selling album, while surpassed 4 million sales the following January and 5 million in July 2015, making it the fastest album to reach this sales level in a decade until the release of Adele’s 25.
1989 was Swift’s second U.K. No. 1 album and was the biggest-selling album globally of 2014, according to IFPI, selling 6 million copies that year and 8.6 million by the following February.
Two further singles from the album reached No. 1 on the Hot 100, making 1989 the first album since Adele’s 21 in 2011 to produce more than two chart-toppers. “Blank Space” replaced “Shake It Off” at No. 1 in November 2014 as Swift became the first ever female artist to succeed herself at the top of the Hot 100. It went on to stay there for seven weeks, while topping 4 million U.S. download sales. “Bad Blood” followed the Top 10 hit “Style” and reached No. 1 in June 2015.
Besides Max Martin and Shellback, writing collaborators on the album included Ryan Tedder and Jack Antonoff (“Out Of The Woods”, “I Wish You Would”, “You Are In Love”) who had previously been nominated with Swift for a Golden Globe for their song “Sweeter Than Fiction”.
Ryan Adams then covered the album in its entirety with his version of 1989 reaching No. 7 on the Billboard 200 chart in September 2015. Swift’s version the following February was named Grammy Album of the Year, making her the first female artist to win the accolade twice, while it also won Best Pop Vocal Album as “Bad Blood” claimed Best Music Video.
In May 2016 she was not only named Songwriter of the Year by BMI, but became only the second songwriter in the society’s 76-year history to receive an honor named after her – the Taylor Swift Award. It followed Michael Jackson being similarly recognized in 1990 and was yet further acknowledgement of the incredible success she has had.
“This Is What You Came For”, co-penned by Swift with Calvin Harris and featuring Rihanna, became one of 2016’s biggest global hits. It reached No. 3 in the States and was the seventh most-played song on U.S. radio of the year with 2.9 billion audience impressions, while topped the Australian and Canadian charts and made the top five in territories including the U.K., Germany and France.
As a recording artist, she returned to the Top 10 at the end of the year with “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”, which she co-wrote with Jack Antonoff and Sam Dew and recorded with Zayn Malik. Featured on the soundtrack of the 2017 movie Fifty Shades Darker, it made the top three in the U.S. as well as becoming a major hit around the world. At the same time she returned to the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts as the writer of Little Big Town’s single “Better Man”.
In August 2017 she returned with the single “Look What You Made Me Do” ahead of the planned release in November of her sixth studio album Reputation. Written with Jack Antonoff, the song set a number of streaming records and became her first ever No. 1 single in the U.K. as well as her fifth to top the Billboard Hot 100.