In case you've been living under a rock somewhere and aren't aware, Taylor Swift has enjoyed an incomparable, meteoric rise to the pinnacle of stardom over the last fifteen or so years.
With a glistening catalogue of massive hits, certified jams that were seemingly created to be screamed in arenas with 50,000 of your newest friends and beloved ballads about love, heartbreak and growing up, Swift has become the undeniable voice of a generation.
From her debut, self-titled album in 2006 to the newest member of her musical family, Speak Now (Taylor's Version), Swift's journey to becoming an artistic powerhouse has been riddled with its fair share of controversy, scrutiny, trials and tribulations, but Swift and her dedicated legion of fans – lovingly dubbed Swifties – have never wavered.
In addition to wielding a pen made of pure gold, the decorated songwriter has also spent the last several years packing arenas and stadiums all over the world, selling millions of albums, breaking countless records and simply making history along the way.
When it comes to awards and accolades, Swift has too many to name, but for the sake of this list we'll tell you that she has an Emmy Award, 40 American Music Awards (the most for any artist), 29 Billboard Music Awards (the most for a woman), 14 MTV Video Music Awards including three Video of the Year wins (the most for an act), 12 CMA Awards including the Pinnacle Award, eight ACM Awards and two Brit Awards.
Simply put, Taylor Swift has changed the game when it comes to the world of music and beyond, and she's been blazing trails for women all over while she's been at it.
Whether you're new to the world of Taylor Swift, or if you've been around for a while, there is a never ending stream of questions and theories popping up about our little mastermind.
So, to help bring a little clarity, background and context to the genre-spanning global superstar, we've compiled answers to some of the most widely asked questions about Taylor Swift.
Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989, making her 33 years old. And, in case you were curious, there are a few fun facts about her birthday!
Partly because she was born on the 13th day of the month, the number 13 has always been the singer-songwriter's lucky number, even going so far as to draw a "13" on her hand for all of her live performances for the first several years of her career.
Additionally, her birth year – 1989 – was the title of her illustrious fifth studio album. The record signaled her official pivot from the country format to pop and features several of her biggest hits and earworms, including 'Blank Space', 'Shake It Off' and 'Style', to name a few.
Despite the thick southern drawl she doted for the first few years of her career, Taylor Swift was born in West Reading, Pennsylvania. She spent her early years on a Christmas tree farm and eventually moved to the suburban town of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.
Around age nine, Swift became interested in musical theater and regularly traveled to New York City for vocal and acting lessons. Shifting her focus toward country music, she spent weekends performing at local festivals and events before deciding that she needed to go to Nashville to pursue a career in music. After coming to town to visit record labels at age eleven, she landed an artist development deal from RCA Records at 13 and starting making more frequent trips to Music City.
By the time she was 14 and her career was starting to gain some legs, Swift and her family made the permanent move to Tennessee, setting down roots on the outskirts of Nashville in Hendersonville.
The easy answer to this question is... we don't really know and for good reason! While we don't know where exactly she calls home these days, we do know that she has quite the portfolio when it comes to realty.
According to Business Insider, Swift has acquired over $150 million in properties through trusts and limited liability companies. Across her known properties, she's had homes in Nashville, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, New York City, Rhode Island and London.
Arguably Taylor's most famous home purchase came in 2013 as she moved into the Rhode Island beachfront mansion formerly known as Holiday House, which is the subject of folklore's 'The Last Great American Dynasty'. In the song, she draws attention to the house's previous owner, Rebekah Harkness. A socialite married to Standard Oil heir William Hale "Bill" Harkness, she was a controversial figure and was a magnet for bad press, which our country-turned-pop superstar could relate to.
With multiple properties and a packed touring schedule, Swift more than likely splits whatever spare time she has between her homes in Nashville, Beverly Hills and New York City, with the occasional visit to Holiday House.
In addition to being a musical giant of immeasurable heights, Swift is 5' 11".
With the average American woman coming in somewhere around 5' 4", this puts Swift well above the normal range... similar to most other things in her career.
The short answer is no, Taylor Swift didn't go to college.
The longer answer is that she did receive an honorary doctorate degree in Fine Arts from New York University (NYU) in May of 2022. The decorated entertainer gave the commencement speech at the Class of 2022's graduation ceremony, noting ahead of time that it was her first time wearing a cap and gown.
Swift's renowned career took off when she was only 15, making it rather hard to find time to get to college... especially when you realize that, at the age she would've been in university, she was busy making one of modern day music's most decorated records: Red.
An honorary degree is traditionally given to someone who either didn’t go to that school or didn’t complete the level of education required to receive the degree. The university waives all the requirements needed to obtain a specific degree as a way to honor the accomplishments and contributions an individual has made in a particular field.
We should also note here that, in January of 2022, NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music launched a course dedicated to Swift’s business and writing practices, while also discussing how fandoms, gender and race come together in the music industry.
Taylor Swift's discography is simply massive. If you count all of her original songs, covers, holiday tunes, soundtrack inclusions and live recordings, she has somewhere around 237 songs to her credit.
It's important to mention that, while she is chipping away at rerecording her first six albums, we're counting the original and re-recorded version as one and the same.
On that same note, when it comes to albums, Swift has released ten original studio albums, 3 re-recorded studio records, 5 EPs and 4 live albums over the last 15-plus years. Over her career thus far, she has sold an estimated 114 million album units worldwide, which is no small feat by any stretch of the imagination.
As far as we know, Taylor Swift is not romantically involved with anyone at the moment. She recently ended her long-term relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn, which was followed by a rumor that she was dating 1975 frontman Matty Healy, though nothing was ever confirmed.
Relationships have long been a core part of Swift's public persona, and in her younger years, she often came under fire for her dating habits. The topic has long permeated her music and has become one of the central pillars of her songwriting.
Swift has dated several big names in the entertainment world over the last 15 years or so, including Taylor Lautner, Joe Jonas, Harry Styles, Calvin Harris, Tom Hiddleston, John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal.
In all, Taylor Swift has won 12 Grammy Awards and received a staggering 46 nominations. Among her 12 trophies are three Album of the Year wins (Fearless in 2010, 1989 in 2016 and folklore in 2021), which ties her for the most wins in the category.
Swift has also celebrated several country wins, including for Best Country Album (Fearless, 2010), Best Female Country Vocal Performance ('White Horse', 2010), Best Country Song ('White Horse', 2010; 'Mean', 2012) and Best Country Solo Performance ('Mean', 2012).
She also took home the Best Song Written for Visual Media ('Safe & Sound' feat. The Civil Wars) in 2013, Best Pop Vocal Album (1989) and Best Music Video ('Bad Blood' featuring Kendrick Lamar) in 2016, as well as Best Music Video, Short Form (All Too Well: The Short Film) in 2023.
As of June 2023, Taylor Swift has an estimated net worth of $740 million, which has grown exponentially in the last few years and makes her the second richest woman in the world behind Rihanna.
Among her main sources of income are record sales, concert tours, merchandise sales and high-level endorsements from the likes of Capital One, AT&T, Stella McCartney, American Express, Keds, Diet Coke, Walmart and Apple.
It's no doubt that touring is her biggest money maker, though. Her 1989 World Tour grossed more than $250 million in 2015 and she earned $315 million during her 2018 Reputation Stadium Tour, which became the second highest-grossing tour of the year and sold more than 2.6 million tickets.
Swift's current The Eras Tour has all of the potential to make her a billionaire, with Forbes estimating that it'll gross somewhere upwards of $620 million. Merchandise sales from this tour are also contributing quite a bit of change. With the average price per unit coming in at $80, Swift could add a cool $87 million to her growing fortune.
Swift has always prioritized giving back to the communities, though, including donating $100,000 to the Nashville Symphony, $1 million to the victims of Louisiana floods, $50,000 to NYC public schools, $500,000 to the Nashville flood relief in 2010 and most recently donating undisclosed sums of money to food banks across America as she traverses the country on The Eras Tour.
She's also raised $750,000 through a Speak Now Help Now benefit concert for tornado victims in 2011 and pledged $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame to fund the Taylor Swift Education Center.
Taylor Swift tickets have become a prized possession for Swifties these days, which has been reflected in the prices for her current career-spanning The Eras Tour.
The average price for a Taylor Swift concert ticket floats around $254 if you get them at face value. However, since buying tickets for The Eras Tour has practically become an extreme sport in the last year, re-sale prices have run rampant. The average re-sale ticket lands at about $1,605, which is astounding since the average re-sale ticket price in general this year is only a measly $250.
The Eras Tour has filled stadiums all across the U.S. with other 2 million Swifties since March of 2023. it doesn't look like Swift is marking the end of this era anytime soon either, as she's starting to announce dates for a second North American leg for late 2024.
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Featured photo by Laura Ord.