13 December 1989, Pennsylvania, USA. This country pop singer was only 16 when she released her debut album in 2006, but as with many previous teenage country artists (LeAnn Rimes, Tanya Tucker) her age belied her talent. Swift was raised in Pennsylvania in a musical family and began singing at an early age, performing at festivals and fairs throughout the state. By her early teens she was playing the guitar and writing her own material, and singing live whenever she got the chance. Her familys relocation to Tennessee in 2003 propelled the budding artist into the epicentre of country music, and it was while performing at a local restaurant that Swift was talent-spotted by former DreamWorks A&R man Scott Borchetta. She quickly signed a contract with Big Machine Records, a label launched by Borchetta and country star Toby Keith. Swifts self-titled debut album featured largely self-written material and received largely positive reviews from the country and mainstream music press. The album took off on the back of the single Tim McGraw, a catchy break-up song that received strong radio play and finally reached the country Top 10 at the start of 2007.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.