Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Recognized for her songwriting, musical versatility, artistic reinventions, and influence on the music industry, she is a prominent cultural figure of the 21st century.
Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in West Reading, Pennsylvania. Her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, is a former stockbroker for Merrill Lynch and her mother, Andrea Gardner Swift (née Finlay), is a former homemaker who previously worked as a mutual fund marketing executive. She has a younger brother, actor Austin Swift, and their maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, was an opera singer. Named after singer-songwriter James Taylor, Swift has Scottish, German and Italian heritage. She spent her early years on a Christmas tree farm that her father had purchased from one of his clients. She identifies as a Christian. She attended preschool and kindergarten at Alvernia Montessori School, run by the Bernadine Franciscan sisters, before transferring to the Wyndcroft School. The family moved to a rented house in the suburban town of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, where Swift attended Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School. She spent summers in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, until she was 14 years old, performing in a local coffee shop.
When Swift was around 12 years old, computer repairman and local musician Ronnie Cremer taught her to play guitar. "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer was the first song Swift learned to play. Cremer 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 met with major record labels. After performing original songs at an RCA Records showcase, Swift, then 13 years old, was given an artist development deal and began making frequent trips to Nashville with her mother. To help Swift break into the country music scene, her father transferred to Merrill Lynch's Nashville office when she was 14 years old, and the family relocated to Hendersonville, Tennessee. Swift initially attended Hendersonville High School before transferring to Aaron Academy after two years, which better accommodated her touring schedule through homeschooling. She graduated one year early.
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. She was 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 with producer Nathan Chapman, with whom she felt she had the right "chemistry". Swift 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. Country Weekly critic Chris Neal deemed Swift better than previous aspiring teenage country singers because of her "honesty, intelligence and idealism". The album peaked at number five on the U.S. Billboard 200, on which it spent 157 weeks—the longest stay on the chart by any release in the U.S. in the 2000s decade. Swift became the first female country music artist to write or co-write every track on a U.S. platinum-certified debut album.
Swift began professional songwriting at age 14 and signed with Big Machine Records in 2005 to become a country singer. Under Big Machine, she released six studio albums, four of them to country radio, starting with her self-titled album in 2006. Her next, Fearless (2008), explored country pop, and its singles "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me" catapulted her to prominence. Speak Now (2010) incorporated rock influences, while Red (2012) experimented with electronic elements and featured Swift's first Billboard Hot 100 number-one song, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". She departed from her country image with 1989 (2014), a synth-pop album supported by the chart-topping songs "Shake It Off", "Blank Space", and "Bad Blood". Media scrutiny inspired the hip-hop-flavored Reputation (2017) and its number-one single "Look What You Made Me Do".
Big Machine Records was still in its infancy during the June 2006 release of the lead single, "Tim McGraw", which Swift and her mother helped promote by packaging and sending copies of the CD single to country radio stations. As there was not enough furniture at the label yet, they would sit on the floor to do so. She spent much of 2006 promoting Taylor Swift with a radio tour, television appearances; she opened for Rascal Flatts on select dates during their 2006 tour, as a replacement for Eric Church. Borchetta said that although record industry peers initially disapproved of his signing a 15-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, with "Our Song" and "Should've Said No" reaching number one. With "Our Song", Swift became the youngest person to single-handedly write and sing a number-one song on the chart. "Teardrops on My Guitar" reached number thirteen on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Swift also released two EPs, The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection in October 2007 and Beautiful Eyes in July 2008. She promoted her debut album extensively as the opening act for other country musicians' tours in 2006 and 2007, including those by George Strait, Brad Paisley, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
She is also a supporter of the arts. A benefactor of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Swift has donated $75,000 to Nashville's Hendersonville High School to help refurbish the school auditorium, $4 million to fund the building of a new education center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, $60,000 to the music departments of six U.S. colleges, and $100,000 to the Nashville Symphony. Also a promoter of children's literacy, she has donated money and books to various schools around the country to improve education. In 2007, Swift partnered with the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police to launch a campaign to protect children from online predators. She has donated items to several charities for auction, including the UNICEF Tap Project and MusiCares. As recipient of the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year in 2011, Swift donated $25,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Tennessee. In 2012, Swift participated in the Stand Up to Cancer telethon, performing the charity single "Ronan", which she wrote in memory of a four-year-old boy who died of neuroblastoma. She has also donated $100,000 to the V Foundation for Cancer Research and $50,000 to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Swift has encouraged young people to volunteer in their local communities as part of Global Youth Service Day.
Swift won multiple accolades for Taylor Swift. She was one of the recipients of the Nashville Songwriters Association's Songwriter/Artist of the Year in 2007, becoming the youngest person to be honored with the title. She also won the Country Music Association's Horizon Award for Best New Artist, the Academy of Country Music Awards' Top New Female Vocalist, and the American Music Awards' Favorite Country Female Artist honor. She was also nominated for Best New Artist at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. In 2008, she opened for Rascal Flatts again, and dated singer Joe Jonas briefly.
Swift is well known for her philanthropic efforts. She was ranked at number one on DoSomething's "Gone Good" list, and has received the "Star of Compassion" accolade from the Tennessee Disaster Services, The Big Help Award from the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for her "dedication to helping others" as well as "inspiring others through action". In 2008, she donated $100,000 to the Red Cross to help the victims of the Iowa flood. In 2009, she sang at BBC's Children in Need concert and raised £13,000 for the cause. Swift has performed at charity relief events, including Sydney's Sound Relief concert. 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 food banks after Hurricane Harvey struck Houston in 2017 and at every stop of the Eras Tour in 2023; she also directly employed local businesses throughout the tour and gave $55 million in bonus payments to her entire crew. In 2020, Swift donated $1 million for Tennessee tornado relief.
Swift's second studio album, Fearless, was released on November 11, 2008, in North America, and in March 2009, in other markets. Critics lauded Swift's honest and vulnerable songwriting in contrast to other teenage singers. Five singles were released in 2008–2009: "Love Story", "White Horse", "You Belong with Me", "Fifteen", and "Fearless". The first single peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one in Australia. It was the first country song to top Billboard's Pop Songs chart. "You Belong with Me" was the album's highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number two, and was the first country song to top Billboard's all-genre Radio Songs chart. All five singles were Hot Country Songs top-10 entries, with "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me" topping the chart. Fearless became her first number-one album on the Billboard 200 and 2009's top-selling album in the U.S. The Fearless Tour, Swift's first headlining concert tour, grossed over $63 million. Journey to Fearless, a documentary miniseries, aired on television and was later released on DVD and Blu-ray. Swift also performed as a supporting act for Keith Urban's Escape Together World Tour in 2009.
In 2009, the music video for "You Belong with Me" was named Best Female Video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Her acceptance speech was interrupted by rapper Kanye West, an incident that became the subject of controversy, widespread media attention and Internet memes. That year she won five American Music Awards, including Artist of the Year and Favorite Country Album. Billboard named her 2009's Artist of the Year. She won Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for "Love Story" at the 2009 CMT Music Awards, where she made a parody video of the song with rapper T-Pain called "Thug Story". At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, Fearless was named Album of the Year and Best Country Album, and "White Horse" won Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Swift was the youngest artist to win Album of the Year. At the 2009 Country Music Association Awards, Swift won Album of the Year for Fearless and was named Entertainer of the Year, the youngest person to win the honor.
Swift featured on John Mayer's single "Half of My Heart" and Boys Like Girls' "Two Is Better Than One", the latter of which she co-wrote. She co-wrote and recorded "Best Days of Your Life" with Kellie Pickler, and wrote two songs for the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack—"You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home" and "Crazier". She contributed two songs to the Valentine's Day soundtrack, including the single "Today Was a Fairytale", which was her first number-one on the Canadian Hot 100 and peaked at number two on the U.S. Hot 100. While shooting her film debut Valentine's Day in October 2009, Swift dated co-star Taylor Lautner. In 2009, she made her television debut as a rebellious teenager in an CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode. She hosted and performed as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live; she was the first host ever to write their own opening monologue.
Swift has endorsed many brands and businesses. In 2009, she launched a l.e.i. sundress range at Walmart, and designed American Greetings cards and Jakks Pacific dolls. Also that year, she became a spokesperson for the National Hockey League's Nashville Predators and Sony Cyber-shot digital cameras. Swift launched two Elizabeth Arden fragrances—"Wonderstruck" and "Wonderstruck Enchanted", followed by "Taylor" and its "Made of Starlight" variation in 2013, and "Incredible Things" in 2014. She signed a multi-year deal with AT&T in 2016 and bank corporation Capital One in 2019. Swift released a sustainable clothing line with Stella McCartney in 2019. In light of her philanthropic support for independent record stores during the COVID-19 pandemic, Record Store Day named Swift their first-ever global ambassador.
In August 2010, Swift released "Mine", the lead single from her third studio album, Speak Now. It entered the Hot 100 at number three. Swift wrote the album alone and co-produced every track. It was released on October 25, 2010, opening atop the Billboard 200 with over one million copies sold. It became the fastest-selling digital album by a female artist, with 278,000 downloads in a week. Critics appreciated Swift's grown-up perspectives; Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone wrote, "in a mere four years, the 20-year-old Nashville firecracker has put her name on three dozen or so of the smartest songs released by anyone in pop, rock or country." "Back to December", "Mean", "The Story of Us", "Sparks Fly", and "Ours" became subsequent singles, with the latter two reaching number one on the Hot Country Songs and the first two peaking in the top ten in Canada. She dated actor Jake Gyllenhaal in 2010.
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. She was one of the "Silence Breakers" honored as Time Person of the Year in 2017 for speaking up about sexual assault. In 2014, she was named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 list in the music category and again in 2017 in its "All-Star Alumni" category. Swift became the youngest woman to be included on Forbes' list of the 100 most powerful women in 2015, ranked at number 64. Swift received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from New York University and served as its commencement speaker on May 18, 2022.
At the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in 2012, Swift won Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance for "Mean", which she performed during the ceremony. 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 named Speak Now amongst its "50 Best Female Albums of All Time" (2012), 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."
In The New Yorker in 2011, Swift said she identifies as a songwriter first: "I write songs, and my voice is just a way to get those lyrics across". Her personal experiences were a common inspiration for her early songs, which helped her navigate life. Her "diaristic" technique began with identifying an emotion, followed by a corresponding melody. On her first three studio albums, love, heartbreak, and insecurities, from an adolescent perspective, were dominant themes. She delved into the tumult of toxic relationships on Red, and embraced nostalgia and post-romance positivity on 1989. Reputation was inspired by the downsides of Swift's fame, and Lover detailed her realization of the "full spectrum of love". Other themes in Swift's music include family dynamics, friendship, alienation, self-awareness, and tackling vitriol, especially sexism.
Swift emphasizes visuals as a key creative component of her music making process. She has collaborated with different directors to produce her music videos, and over time she has become more involved with writing and directing. She developed the concept and treatment for "Mean" in 2011 and co-directed the music video for "Mine" with Roman White the year before. In an interview, White said 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."
The Speak Now World Tour ran from February 2011 to March 2012 and grossed over $123 million, followed up by the live album, Speak Now World Tour: Live. She contributed two original songs to The Hunger Games soundtrack album: "Safe & Sound", co-written and recorded with the Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett, and "Eyes Open". "Safe & Sound" won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Swift featured on B.o.B's single "Both of Us", released in May 2012. She dated Conor Kennedy that year.
In August 2012, Swift released "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", the lead single from her fourth studio album, Red. It became her first number one in the U.S. and New Zealand, and became the fastest-selling single in digital history. Other singles from the album were "Begin Again", "I Knew You Were Trouble", "22", "Everything Has Changed", "The Last Time", and "Red". "I Knew You Were Trouble" reached the top five on charts in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. "Begin Again", "22", and "Red" reached the top 20 in the U.S. On Red, released on October 22, 2012, Swift worked with Chapman and Rose, as well as the new producers Max Martin and Shellback. It incorporated many pop and rock styles such as heartland rock, dubstep and dance-pop. Randall Roberts of Los Angeles Times said Swift "strives for something much more grand and accomplished" with Red. It opened at number one on the Billboard 200 with 1.21 million sales, making Swift the first female to have two million-selling first-weeks. Red was Swift's first number-one album in the U.K. It earned several accolades, including four nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards (2014). Swift received American Music Awards for Best Female Country Artist in 2012, Artist of the Year in 2013, and the Nashville Songwriters Association's Songwriter/Artist Award for the fifth and sixth consecutive years. The Red Tour ran from March 2013 to June 2014 and grossed over $150 million, becoming the highest-grossing country tour ever. Swift was honored with the Pinnacle Award, making her the second recipient of the accolade after Garth Brooks. During this time, she briefly dated English singer Harry Styles.
Journalists have written about Swift's polite and "open" personality, calling her a "media darling" and "a reporter's dream". Awarding her for her humanitarian endeavors in 2012, former First Lady Michelle Obama described Swift 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, labeled by the media in her early career as "America's Sweetheart" for her likability and girl-next-door image, has earned a reputation for her enthusiasm at award shows. YouGov surveys ranked her as the world's most admired female musician from 2019 to 2021.
In 2013, New York magazine's Jody Rosen dubbed Swift the "world's biggest pop star", and opined that the trajectory of her stardom has defied established patterns. Rosen added that Swift "falls between genres, eras, demographics, paradigms, trends", leaving all the other artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber "all vying for second place". According to CNN, Swift began the 2010s decade as a country star and ended it as an "all-time musical titan". She was the most googled woman in 2019 and musician in 2022.
In 2013, Swift recorded "Sweeter than Fiction", a song she wrote and produced with Jack Antonoff for the One Chance soundtrack. The song received a Best Original Song nomination at the 71st Golden Globe Awards. She provided guest vocals for Tim McGraw's song "Highway Don't Care", also featuring Keith Urban. Swift performed "As Tears Go By" with the Rolling Stones in Chicago, Illinois, as part of the band's 50 & Counting tour, and joined Florida Georgia Line at their set at the 2013 Country Radio Seminar to sing "Cruise". Swift voiced Audrey in the animated film The Lorax (2012), made a cameo in the sitcom New Girl (2013), and had a supporting role in the dystopian film The Giver (2014).
Though Swift is reluctant to publicly discuss her personal life, believing it to be "a career weakness", it is a topic of widespread media attention and tabloid speculation, with all her moves "closely monitored and analyzed." Clash described Swift as a lightning rod for criticism. The New York Times asserted in 2013 that her "dating history has begun to stir what feels like the beginning of a backlash" and questioned whether she was in the midst of a "quarter-life crisis". Critics have highlighted that Swift's life and career have been subject to intense misogyny and slut-shaming, and she is an easy target of "fragile male egos", hence her antennae for sexism are crucial for the industry. Swift has also been a victim of numerous house break-ins and stalkers, some of whom were armed.
Music journalist Jody Rosen commented that by originating her musical career in Nashville, Swift made a "bait-and-switch maneuver ... planting roots in loamy country soil, then pivoting to pop". She abandoned her country music identity in 2014 with the release of her synth-pop fifth studio album, 1989. Swift described it as her first "documented, official pop album". Her subsequent albums Reputation (2017) and Lover (2019) have an upbeat pop production; the former incorporates hip hop, trap, and EDM elements. Midnights (2022), on the other hand, is distinguished by a more experimental, "subdued and amorphous pop sound". Although reviews of Swift's pop albums were generally positive, some critics lamented that the pop music production indicated Swift's pursuit of mainstream success, eroding her authenticity as a songwriter nurtured by her country music background—a criticism that has been retrospectively described as rockist. Musicologist Nate Sloan remarked that Swift's pop music transition was rather motivated by her need to expand her artistry. Swift eschewed mainstream pop in favor of alternative, folk and indie rock styles with her 2020 studio albums Folklore and Evermore. Clash said her career "has always been one of transcendence and covert boundary-pushing", reaching a point at which "Taylor Swift is just Taylor Swift", not defined by any genre.
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 Inc. announced that it would pay artists during the free trial period, and Swift agreed to let 1989 on the streaming service. She then returned her entire catalog plus 1989 to Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Play and other digital streaming platforms in June 2017. Swift was named Billboard's Woman of the Year in 2014, becoming the first artist to win the award twice. At the 2014 American Music Awards, Swift received the inaugural Dick Clark Award for Excellence. On her 25th birthday in 2014, the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live opened an exhibit in her honor in Los Angeles that ran until October 4, 2015, and broke museum attendance records. In 2015, Swift won the Brit Award for International Female Solo Artist. The video for "Bad Blood" won Video of the Year and Best Collaboration at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. At the 58th Grammy Awards (2016), 1989 won Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album, making Swift the first woman and fifth act overall to win Album of the Year twice.
In March 2014, Swift began living in New York City. She hired Tree Paine as her publicist, and worked on her fifth studio album, 1989, with producers Jack Antonoff, Max Martin, Shellback, Imogen Heap, Ryan Tedder, and Ali Payami. She promoted the album extensively, including inviting fans, commonly known as Swifties, to secret album-listening sessions. 1989 was released on October 27, 2014, and opened atop the Billboard 200 with 1.28 million copies sold. Its singles "Shake It Off", "Blank Space" and "Bad Blood" reached number one in Australia, Canada and the U.S., the first two making Swift the first woman to replace herself at the Hot 100 top spot; other singles include "Style", "Wildest Dreams", "Out of the Woods" and "New Romantics". The 1989 World Tour (2015) was the highest-grossing tour of the year with $250 million in total revenue.
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. She worked with American Express for the "Blank Space" music video (which Kahn directed), and served as an executive producer for the interactive app AMEX Unstaged: Taylor Swift Experience, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Interactive Program in 2015. Swift produced the music video for "Bad Blood" and won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video in 2016.
Swift has won 12 Grammy Awards (including three for Album of the Year—tying for the most by an artist), an Emmy Award, 40 American Music Awards (the most won by an artist), 29 Billboard Music Awards (the most won by a woman), 101 Guinness World Records, 23 MTV Video Music Awards (including four Video of the Year wins—the most by an act), 12 Country Music Association Awards (including the Pinnacle Award), eight Academy of Country Music Awards, and two Brit Awards. As a songwriter, she has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the National Music Publishers' Association and was the youngest person on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time in 2015. At the 64th BMI Awards in 2016, Swift was the first woman to be honored with an award named after its recipient.
Swift dated Scottish DJ Calvin Harris from March 2015 to June 2016. They co-wrote the song "This Is What You Came For", featuring vocals from Barbadian singer Rihanna; Swift was initially credited under the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg. After briefly dating English actor Tom Hiddleston, Swift entered a six-year relationship with English actor Joe Alwyn in September 2016. She wrote the song "Better Man" for country band Little Big Town, which earned her the Song of the Year award at the 51st CMA Awards. Swift and English singer Zayn Malik released the joint single "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" for Fifty Shades Darker: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2017). The song reached number two in the U.S. In August 2017, Swift successfully countersued David Mueller, a former radio jockey for KYGO-FM, who sued her for damages from his loss of employment; four years earlier, Swift informed Mueller's bosses that he had sexually assaulted her by groping her at an event.
After a one-year hiatus from public spotlight, Swift cleared her social media accounts and released "Look What You Made Me Do" as the lead single from her sixth album, Reputation. The single was Swift's first U.K. number-one single. It topped charts in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the U.S. Reputation, released on November 10, 2017, incorporated heavy electropop, along with hip hop, R&B, and EDM sounds. Reviews praised Swift's mature artistry, but some denounced the themes of fame and gossip. The album opened atop the Billboard 200 with 1.21 million sales, making Swift the first act to have four albums sell one million copies in a week in the U.S. The album topped the charts in the UK, Australia, and Canada, and sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide as of 2018. It spawned three more singles: "...Ready for It?", "End Game" (featuring Ed Sheeran and rapper Future) and "Delicate". Reputation was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019. At the American Music Awards of 2018, Swift won four awards, including Artist of the Year and Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. Swift had garnered collected 23 AMAs in her career, becoming the most awarded female musician in the show, surpassing Whitney Houston. In April 2018, Swift featured on country duo Sugarland's "Babe". She embarked on her Reputation Stadium Tour in 2018. It broke many records, such as the highest-grossing North American concert tour in history with $345.7 million revenue worldwide. It was followed up with an accompanying concert film on Netflix.
After signing a new contract with Republic Records in 2018, Swift released the pop album Lover (2019) and autobiographical documentary Miss Americana (2020). She embraced indie folk and alternative rock on her 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore, explored chill-out styles on Midnights (2022), and re-recorded four of her first six albums as "Taylor's Versions" following a dispute with Big Machine. The albums and their number-one songs "Cardigan", "Willow", "All Too Well (10 Minute Version)", and "Anti-Hero" broke various records. In 2023, Swift embarked on the Eras Tour, her most expansive concert tour. She has also directed music videos and films such as All Too Well: The Short Film (2021).
Swift donated to fellow singer-songwriter Kesha to help with her legal battles against Dr. Luke and to actress Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation organization. After the COVID-19 pandemic began, Swift donated to the World Health Organization and Feeding America, supported independent record stores, and offered a signed guitar for auction to raise money for the National Health Service. Swift performed "Soon You'll Get Better" on the One World: Together At Home television special, a benefit concert curated by Lady Gaga for Global Citizen to raise funds for the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. In 2018 and 2021, Swift donated to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. In addition to charitable causes, she has made donations to her fans several times for their medical or academic expenses.
Reputation was Swift's last album under Big Machine. In November 2018, she signed a new deal with the Universal Music Group; her subsequent releases were promoted by Republic Records. Swift said the contract included a provision for her to maintain ownership of her masters. In addition, in the event that Universal sold any part of its stake in Spotify, it agreed to distribute a non-recoupable portion of the proceeds among its artists. Vox called it a huge commitment from Universal, which was "far from assured" until Swift intervened.
Swift's net worth is $740 million, per an estimate by Forbes in June 2023, making her the richest female musician in U.S. history with music as the only main source of income. Additionally, her publication rights over her first six albums were valued at $200 million in 2022. Forbes named her the annual top-earning female musician four times (2016, 2019, 2021, and 2022). She was the highest-paid celebrity of 2016 with $170 million—a feat recognized by the Guinness World Records as the highest annual earnings ever for a female musician, which she herself surpassed with $185 million in 2019. Overall, Swift was the highest paid female artist of the 2010s, earning $825 million. She has also developed a real estate portfolio worth $150 million as of 2023, with houses in Nashville, New York City, Los Angeles, and Rhode Island.
Swift released her seventh studio album, Lover, on August 23, 2019. Besides Jack Antonoff, Swift worked with new producers Louis Bell, Frank Dukes, and Joel Little. Lover made Swift the first female artist to have a sixth consecutive album sell more than 500,000 copies in one week in the U.S. Critics commended the album's free-spirited mood and emotional intimacy. The lead single, "Me!", peaked at number two on the Hot 100. Other singles from Lover were the U.S. top 10 singles "You Need to Calm Down" and "Lover", top 40 single "The Man", and "Cruel Summer", which became a resurgent success in 2023 and charted in the top 10. Lover was the world's best-selling album by a solo artist of 2019, selling 3.2 million copies, and along with its singles earned nominations at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2020. 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 directed.
A supporter of the March for Our Lives movement and gun control reform in the U.S., Swift is a vocal critic of white supremacy, racism, and police brutality. In 2020, she urged her fans to check their voter registration ahead of elections, which resulted in 65,000 people registering to vote within one day of her post, and endorsed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the U.S. presidential election. Following the George Floyd protests, she donated to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Black Lives Matter movement, called for the removal of Confederate monuments in Tennessee, and advocated for Juneteenth to become a national holiday.
While promoting Lover, Swift became embroiled in a public dispute with talent manager Scooter Braun and Big Machine over the purchase of the masters of her back catalog. Swift said she had been trying to buy the masters, but Big Machine would only allow her to do so if she exchanged one new album for each older one under new contract, which she refused to sign. Swift began re-recording her back catalog in November 2020. Besides music, she played Bombalurina in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats (2019), for which she co-wrote and recorded the Golden Globe-nominated original song "Beautiful Ghosts". Critics panned the film but praised Swift's performance. The documentary Miss Americana, which chronicled parts of Swift's life and career, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released on Netflix that January. Swift signed a global publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group in February 2020 after her 16-year-old contract with Sony/ATV expired.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Swift released two surprise albums: Folklore on July 24, and Evermore on December 11, 2020. Both explore indie folk and alternative rock with a more muted production compared to her previous upbeat pop songs. Swift wrote and recorded the albums with producers Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner from the National. Alwyn co-wrote and co-produced select songs under the pseudonym William Bowery. The albums garnered widespread critical acclaim. The Guardian and Vox opined that Folklore and Evermore emphasized Swift's work ethic and increased her artistic credibility. Three singles supported each of the albums, catering the U.S. mainstream radio, country radio, and triple A radio. The singles, in that order, were "Cardigan", "Betty", and "Exile" from Folklore, and "Willow", "No Body, No Crime", and "Coney Island" from Evermore. Swift became the first artist to debut a U.S. number-one album and a number-one song at the same time with Folklore's "Cardigan" and Evermore's "Willow". Folklore was 2020's best-selling album in the U.S. with 1.2 million copies. It won Album of the Year at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, making Swift the first woman to win the award thrice. At the 2020 American Music Awards, she won three awards, including Artist of the Year for a record third consecutive time. She was 2020's highest-paid musician in the U.S., and the world's highest-paid solo musician.
Following the masters dispute, Swift released three re-recorded albums—Fearless (Taylor's Version) and Red (Taylor's Version) in 2021 and Speak Now (Taylor's Version) in 2023. All three peaked atop the Billboard 200, becoming the first ever re-recorded albums to do so. Fearless (Taylor's Version) was preceded by "Love Story (Taylor's Version)", the re-recording of Swift's 2008 single, which made her the second artist after Dolly Parton to have both the original and re-recorded versions of a song reach number one on the Hot Country Songs chart. Red (Taylor's Version) was supported by "All Too Well (10 Minute Version)", which became the longest song in history to top the Hot 100. The song was accompanied by a short film, which won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video and Swift's record third MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. Her fourth re-recorded album, 1989 (Taylor's Version), will be released on October 27, 2023. The album was preceded by two re-recorded songs, "Wildest Dreams (Taylor's Version)" and "This Love (Taylor's Version)".
Swift divides her writing into three types: "quill lyrics", referring to songs rooted in antiquated poeticism; "fountain pen lyrics", based on modern and vivid storylines; and "glitter gel pen lyrics", which are lively and frivolous. Critics note the fifth track of every Swift album as the most "emotionally vulnerable" song of the album. Awarding her with the Songwriter Icon Award in 2021, the National Music Publishers' Association remarked that "no one is more influential when it comes to writing music today" than Swift. The Week deemed her the foremost female songwriter of modern times, and the Nashville Songwriters Association International named her Songwriter-Artist of the Decade in 2022. Swift has also published two original poems: "Why She Disappeared" and "If You're Anything Like Me".
Swift identifies as a pro-choice feminist, and is one of the founding signatories of the Time's Up movement against sexual harassment. She criticized the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade (1973) and end federal abortion rights in 2022. Swift advocates for LGBT rights, and has called for the passing of the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The New York Times wrote her 2011 music video for "Mean" had a positive impact on the LGBTQ+ community. Swift performed during WorldPride NYC 2019 at the Stonewall Inn, a gay rights monument. She has donated to the LGBT organizations Tennessee Equality Project and GLAAD.
Amidst the re-recording projects, Swift's tenth studio album, Midnights, was released on October 21, 2022. It experiments with chill-out music and received critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone critics dubbing it an instant classic. It was Swift's fifth album to open atop the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of over one million copies and broke various sales and streaming records, including the most U.S. first-week vinyl sales and the most single-day streams and most single-week streams on Spotify. Its tracks, led by the single "Anti-Hero", monopolized the entire top 10 of the Hot 100, making Swift the first artist to do so. Two other singles, "Lavender Haze" and "Karma", both peaked at number two on the Hot 100. To support Midnights and all of her albums to date, Swift embarked on the Eras Tour in March 2023. Media outlets extensively covered the tour's cultural and economic impact, and its U.S. leg broke the record for the most tickets sold in a day. Ticketmaster received public and political criticisms for mishandling ticket sales and alleged monopoly in the concert industry. A concert film of the tour is set for release to North American theaters on October 13, 2023. Swift won nine awards at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year ("Anti-Hero") for the fourth time, an all-time record.
From available data, Swift has amassed over 50 million album sales and 150 million single sales as of 2019, and 114 million units globally, including 78 billion streams as of 2021. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) ranked her as the Global Recording Artist of the Year for a record three times (2014, 2019 and 2022). Swift has the most number-one albums in the United Kingdom and Ireland for a female artist this millennium, earned the highest income for an artist on Chinese digital music platforms—RMB 159,000,000, and is the first artist to replace themselves at the top spot as well as occupy the entire top five of the Australian albums chart. Her Reputation Stadium Tour (2018) is the highest-grossing North American tour ever, and she was the world's highest-grossing female touring act of the 2010s. Beginning with Fearless, all of her studio albums opened with over a million global units. On Spotify, Swift is the most streamed female act, the only artist to have received more than 200 million streams in one day (228 million streams on October 21, 2022), and the only female act to reach 100 million monthly listeners. The most entries and the most simultaneous entries for an artist on the Billboard Global 200, with 122 and 31 songs, respectively, are among her feats.
In a 2008 review of Swift's early performances, Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker called her a "preternaturally skilled" entertainer with a vibrant stage presence: "[Swift] returned the crowd's energy with the professionalism she has shown since the age of fourteen." Reviewing the 2018 Reputation Stadium Tour, Stereogum's Chris DeVille wrote that Swift's onstage persona emulates those of "classic rock deities". In 2023, Adrian Horton of The Guardian noted her "seemingly endless stamina" on the Eras Tour, and i critic Ilana Kaplan called her showmanship "unparalleled".