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Taylor Alison Swift discography

Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Her discography spans multiple genres, and her narrative songwriting, which is often inspired by her personal life, has received widespread media coverage and critical praise. Born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed a songwriting deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2004 and a recording deal with Big Machine Records in 2005, before releasing her eponymous debut studio album in 2006.

Swift at the 2019 American Music Awards
Born
Taylor Alison Swift

December 13, 1989 (age 32)
West Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Other names
Nils Sjöberg
Occupation
Singer-songwriter
 record producer
 actress
 director
 businesswoman
Years active
2004–present
Works
Albums
singles
songs
performances
videography
Partner(s)
Joe Alwyn (2016–present)
Relatives
Austin Swift (brother)
Marjorie Finlay (grandmother)
Awards
Full list
Musical career
Origin
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres
Pop
 country
 folk
 rock
 alternative
Instruments
Vocals
 guitar
 banjo
 piano
 ukulele
Labels
Republic
 Big Machine
Associated acts
Ed Sheeran
 Justin Vernon
 Haim
Website
taylorswift.com
Signature

Swift explored country pop on the albums Fearless (2008) and Speak Now (2010); the success of “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me” as singles on both country and pop radio established her as a leading crossover artist. She experimented with pop, rock, and electronic genres on her fourth studio album, Red (2012), supported by the singles “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble”. With her synth-pop fifth studio album 1989 (2014) and its chart-topping songs “Shake It Off”, “Blank Space”, and “Bad Blood”, Swift shed her country image and transitioned to pop completely. The subsequent media scrutiny on Swift’s personal life influenced her sixth album Reputation (2017), which delved into urban sounds, led by the single “Look What You Made Me Do”.

Parting ways with Big Machine to sign with Republic Records in 2018, Swift released her next studio album, Lover (2019). Inspired by escapism during the COVID-19 pandemic, Swift ventured into indie folk and alternative rock styles on her 2020 surprise studio albums, Folklore and Evermore, receiving acclaim for their nuanced storytelling. To gain ownership over the masters of her back catalog, she released the re-recordings Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) in 2021. Besides music, Swift has played supporting roles in films such as Valentine’s Day (2010) and Cats (2019), has released the autobiographical documentary Miss Americana (2020), and directed the musical films Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions (2020) and All Too Well: The Short Film (2021).

Having sold over 200 million records worldwide, Swift is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Eight of her songs have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and her concert tours are some of the highest-grossing in history. She has received 11 Grammy Awards (including three Album of the Year wins), an Emmy Award, 34 American Music Awards (the most for an artist), 25 Billboard Music Awards (the most for a woman) and 56 Guinness World Records, among other accolades. She featured on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time (2015) and Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Artists (2019) lists and rankings such as the Time 100 and Forbes Celebrity 100. Named Woman of the 2010s Decade by Billboard and Artist of the 2010s Decade by the American Music Awards, Swift has been recognized for her influential career and philanthropy, as well as advocacy of artists’ rights and women’s empowerment in the music industry.

Discography

Main articles: Taylor Swift albums discographyTaylor Swift singles discography, and List of songs by Taylor Swift

Studio albums

Re-recordings

Filmography

Main article: Taylor Swift videography

Artistry

Influences


Shania Twain (left) and Stevie Nicks (right) have influenced Swift.


One of Swift’s earliest musical memories is listening to her grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, sing in church.[4] As a child, she enjoyed Disney film soundtracks: “My parents noticed that, once I had run out of words, I would just make up my own.”[261] Swift has said she owes her confidence to her mother, who helped her prepare for class presentations as a child.[262] She also attributes her “fascination with writing and storytelling” to her mother.[263] Swift was drawn to the storytelling aspect of country music,[264] and was introduced to the genre listening to “the great female country artists” of the 1990s—Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and the Dixie Chicks.[265][266] Twain, both as a songwriter and performer, was her biggest musical influence.[267] Hill was Swift’s childhood role model: “Everything she said, did, wore, I tried to copy it.”[268] She admired the Dixie Chicks’ defiant attitude and their ability to play their own instruments.[269] “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer was the first song Swift learned to play on the guitar.[270] Swift also explored the music of older country stars such as Patsy ClineLoretta LynnTammy Wynette, and Dolly Parton,[21] the latter of whom she believes is “an amazing example to every female songwriter out there”,[271] and alt-country artists like Patty Griffin[272] and Lori McKenna.[11] She has also cited Keith Urban‘s musical style as an influence.[273]
Swift has also been influenced by various pop and rock artists. She lists Paul McCartneyBruce SpringsteenBryan Adams,[274] Emmylou HarrisKris Kristofferson, and Carly Simon as her career role models. Discussing McCartney and Harris, Swift has said, “They’ve taken chances, but they’ve also been the same artist for their entire careers”.[11][275] McCartney, both as a Beatle and a solo artist, makes Swift feel “as if I’ve been let into his heart and his mind […] He’s out there continuing to make his fans so happy. Any musician could only dream of a legacy like that.”[276] She likes Springsteen for being “so musically relevant after such a long period of time”.[277] She aspires to be like Harris as she grows older because she admired how Harris prioritized music over fame.[278] Swift says that Kristofferson “shines in songwriting”,[279] and she praised Simon for being “emotional” but “strong” at the same time.[280] Her synth-pop album 1989 was influenced by some of her favorite 1980s pop acts, including Peter GabrielAnnie LennoxPhil Collins and Madonna.[281][282] As a songwriter, Swift was influenced by Joni Mitchell, citing especially how Mitchell’s autobiographical lyrics convey the deepest emotions: “She wrote it about her deepest pains and most haunting demons … I think [Blue] is my favorite because it explores somebody’s soul so deeply.”[283]
Musical styles
“If there’s one thing that Swift has proven throughout her career, it’s that she refuses to be put in a box. Her ever-evolving sound took her from country darling to pop phenom to folk’s newest raconteur.”
The Recording Academy, 2021[284]
Swift’s discography spans country, pop, folk, and alternative genres.[285][286] Her first three studio albums, Taylor SwiftFearless and Speak Now are categorized as country;[287] her eclectic fourth studio album, Red, is dubbed both country and pop;[127] her next three albums 1989Reputation and Lover are labeled pop; and Folklore and Evermore are considered alternative.[287] Music critics have described her songs as synth-pop,[288] country pop,[289] rock,[288] electropop,[290] and indie, amongst others;[291] some songs, especially those on Reputation, incorporate elements of R&B, EDM, hip hop, and trap.[292][293] The music instruments Swift plays include the piano, banjoukulele and various types of guitar.[294][295] Swift described herself as a country artist until the release of 1989, which she characterized as her first “sonically cohesive pop album”.[296]Shania Twain (left) and Stevie Nicks (right) have influenced Swift.
One of Swift’s earliest musical memories is listening to her grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, sing in church.[4] As a child, she enjoyed Disney film soundtracks: “My parents noticed that, once I had run out of words, I would just make up my own.”[261] Swift has said she owes her confidence to her mother, who helped her prepare for class presentations as a child.[262] She also attributes her “fascination with writing and storytelling” to her mother.[263] Swift was drawn to the storytelling aspect of country music,[264] and was introduced to the genre listening to “the great female country artists” of the 1990s—Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and the Dixie Chicks.[265][266] Twain, both as a songwriter and performer, was her biggest musical influence.[267] Hill was Swift’s childhood role model: “Everything she said, did, wore, I tried to copy it.”[268] She admired the Dixie Chicks’ defiant attitude and their ability to play their own instruments.[269] “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer was the first song Swift learned to play on the guitar.[270] Swift also explored the music of older country stars such as Patsy ClineLoretta LynnTammy Wynette, and Dolly Parton,[21] the latter of whom she believes is “an amazing example to every female songwriter out there”,[271] and alt-country artists like Patty Griffin[272] and Lori McKenna.[11] She has also cited Keith Urban‘s musical style as an influence.[273]
Swift has also been influenced by various pop and rock artists. She lists Paul McCartneyBruce SpringsteenBryan Adams,[274] Emmylou HarrisKris Kristofferson, and Carly Simon as her career role models. Discussing McCartney and Harris, Swift has said, “They’ve taken chances, but they’ve also been the same artist for their entire careers”.[11][275] McCartney, both as a Beatle and a solo artist, makes Swift feel “as if I’ve been let into his heart and his mind […] He’s out there continuing to make his fans so happy. Any musician could only dream of a legacy like that.”[276] She likes Springsteen for being “so musically relevant after such a long period of time”.[277] She aspires to be like Harris as she grows older because she admired how Harris prioritized music over fame.[278] Swift says that Kristofferson “shines in songwriting”,[279] and she praised Simon for being “emotional” but “strong” at the same time.[280] Her synth-pop album 1989 was influenced by some of her favorite 1980s pop acts, including Peter GabrielAnnie LennoxPhil Collins and Madonna.[281][282] As a songwriter, Swift was influenced by Joni Mitchell, citing especially how Mitchell’s autobiographical lyrics convey the deepest emotions: “She wrote it about her deepest pains and most haunting demons … I think [Blue] is my favorite because it explores somebody’s soul so deeply.”[283]
Musical styles
“If there’s one thing that Swift has proven throughout her career, it’s that she refuses to be put in a box. Her ever-evolving sound took her from country darling to pop phenom to folk’s newest raconteur.”
The Recording Academy, 2021[284]
Swift’s discography spans country, pop, folk, and alternative genres.[285][286] Her first three studio albums, Taylor SwiftFearless and Speak Now are categorized as country;[287] her eclectic fourth studio album, Red, is dubbed both country and pop;[127] her next three albums 1989Reputation and Lover are labeled pop; and Folklore and Evermore are considered alternative.[287] Music critics have described her songs as synth-pop,[288] country pop,[289] rock,[288] electropop,[290] and indie, amongst others;[291] some songs, especially those on Reputation, incorporate elements of R&B, EDM, hip hop, and trap.[292][293] The music instruments Swift plays include the piano, banjoukulele and various types of guitar.[294][295] Swift described herself as a country artist until the release of 1989, which she character

Rolling Stone wrote, “[Swift] might get played on the country station, but she’s one of the few genuine rock stars we’ve got these days.”[297] According to The New York Times, “There isn’t much in Ms. Swift’s music to indicate country—a few banjo strums, a pair of cowboy boots worn onstage, a bedazzled guitar—but there’s something in her winsome, vulnerable delivery that’s unique to Nashville.”[298] The Guardian wrote that Swift “cranks melodies out with the pitiless efficiency of a Scandinavian pop factory.”[299] Consequence pinpointed her “capacity to continually reinvent while remaining herself”,[300] while Time dubbed Swift a “musical chameleon” for the constantly evolving sound of her discography.[301] 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.[302]

Voice
Swift possesses a mezzo-soprano vocal range.[303] Her singing voice is “sweet but soft” according to Sophie Schillaci of The Hollywood Reporter.[304] Pitchfork’s Sam Sodomsky called it “versatile and expressive”.[305] Music theory professor Alyssa Barna described the timbre of Swift’s upper register as “breathy and bright” and her lower register “full and dark”.[306] The Los Angeles Times identified Swift’s “defining” vocal gesture in studio recordings as “the line that slides down like a contented sigh or up like a raised eyebrow, giving her beloved girl-time hits their air of easy intimacy.”[307] In 2010, a writer from The Tennessean conceded that Swift was “not the best technical singer”, but described her as the “best communicator that we’ve got”.[308] According to Swift, her vocal ability often concerned her in her early career, and she worked hard to improve it.[309] She said she only feels nervous performing live “if I’m not sure what the audience thinks of me, like at award shows”.[310] The Hollywood Reporter wrote that her live vocals were “fine”, but did not match those of her peers.[304]

Though Swift’s singing ability received mixed reviews early in her career, she was praised for refusing to correct her pitch with Auto-Tune.[311] Rolling Stone found her voice “unaffected enough to mask how masterful she has become as a singer”,[312] while The Village Voice noted the improvement from her previously “bland and muddled” phrasing to her learning “how to make words sound like what they mean”.[313] In 2014, NPR Music described her singing as personal and conversational thanks to her “exceptional gift for inflection”, but also suffered from a “wobbly pitch and tight, nasal delivery”.[314] Beginning with Folklore, she received better reviews for her vocals; Variety critic Andrew Barker noted the “remarkable” control she developed over her vocals, never allowing a “flourish or a tricky run to compromise the clarity of a lyric”, while doing “wonders within her register” and “exploring its further reaches”.[315] Reviewing Fearless (Taylor’s Version), The New York Times critic Lindsay Zoladz described her voice as stronger, more controlled, and deeper over time, discarding the nasal tone of her early vocals.[316] Lucy Harbron of Clash opined that Swift’s vocals have evolved “into her own unique blend of country, pop and indie”.[317]

Songwriting
Swift has been referred to as one of the greatest songwriters of all time and the best of her generation by various publications and organizations.[318][319][320] She told The New Yorker in 2011 that she identifies as a songwriter first: “I write songs, and my voice is just a way to get those lyrics across.”[11] Swift’s personal experiences were a common inspiration for her early songs, which helped her navigate the complexities of life.[321][322] Her “diaristic” technique began with identifying an emotion, followed by a corresponding melody.[323][324] On her first three studio albums, recurring themes were love, heartbreak, and insecurities, from an adolescent perspective.[325][326] She delved into the tumult of toxic relationships on Red,[327] and embraced nostalgia and positivity after failed relationships on 1989.[328] Reputation was inspired by the downsides of Swift’s fame,[329] and Lover detailed her realization of the “full spectrum of love”.[330] Besides romance, other themes in Swift’s music include parent-child relationships, friendships,[331][332] alienation, and self-awareness.[263][333]

Music critics often praise her self-written discography,[334] especially her confessional narratives;[11][335] they compliment her writing for its vivid details and emotional engagement, which were rare among pop artists.[336][337] New York magazine argued that Swift was the first teenage artist who explicitly portrayed teenage experiences in her music.[338] Rolling Stone described Swift as “a songwriting savant with an intuitive gift for verse-chorus-bridge architecture”.[339] Although reviews of Swift are generally positive, The New Yorker stated she was generally portrayed “more as a skilled technician than as a Dylanesque visionary”.[11] Because of her confessional narratives, tabloid media often speculated and linked the subjects of the songs with ex-lovers of Swift, a practice which New York magazine considered “sexist, inasmuch as it’s not asked of her male peers”.[336][340] Aside from clues provided in album liner notes, Swift avoided talking about song subjects specifically.[341] In a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair, Swift stated that the criticism on her songwriting—critics interpreted her persona as a “clingy, insane, desperate girlfriend in need of making you marry her and have kids with her”—was “a little sexist”.[342]

“I love songwriting so much because there’s an element to it that is still really mysterious—like I think any songwriter will tell you, when you get an idea you’re not quite sure where it floated down from, but if you can grab onto that idea and turn it into something, a piece of music, that’s where craftsmanship comes in; that’s where you have the opportunity to learn and to nurture that craft.”

—Swift on the art of songwriting, Variety[343]
On her 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore, Swift was inspired by escapism and romanticism to explore fictional narratives.[344] Without referencing her personal life, she imposed her emotions onto imagined characters and story arcs, which liberated her from the mental stress caused by tabloid attention and suggested new paths for her artistry.[323] In a feature for Rolling Stone, Swift explained that she welcomed the new songwriting direction after she stopped worrying about commercial success: “I always thought, ‘That’ll never track on pop radio,’ but when I was making Folklore, I thought, ‘If you take away all the parameters, what do you make?”[344] With the release of Evermore, Spin found Swift exploring “exceedingly complex human emotions with precision and devastation”.[345] Consequence stated her 2020 albums “offered a chance for doubters to see Swift’s songwriting power on full display, but the truth is that her pen has always been her sword” and that her writing prowess took “different forms” as she transformed from “teenage wunderkind to a confident and careful adult.”[300]

Swift’s bridges have been underscored as one of the best aspects of her songs[346][300] and earned her the title “Queen of Bridges” from media outlets.[347][348] Awarding her with the Songwriter Icon Award in 2021, the National Music Publishers’ Association remarked thatno one is more influential when it comes to writing music today” than Swift.[349] The Week deemed her the foremost female songwriter of modern times.[350] Swift has also published two original poems: “Why She Disappeared” and “If You’re Anything Like Me”.[351]

Music videos
Main article: Taylor Swift videography
Swift has collaborated with many different directors to produce her music videos, and over time she has become more involved with writing and directing. She has her own production house, Taylor Swift Productions, Inc., which is credited with producing music videos for singles such as “Me!”.[352] Swift developed the concept and treatment for “Mean”[353] and co-directed the music video for “Mine” with Roman White.[354] 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.”[355]

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.[356] 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.[357] She produced the music video for “Bad Blood” and won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video in 2016.[358] While she continued to co-direct music videos with the Lover singles—”Me!” with Dave Meyers, “You Need to Calm Down” (also serving as a co-executive producer) and “Lover” with Drew Kirsch[359]—she ventured into sole direction with the videos for “The Man” (which won her the MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction), “Cardigan” and “Willow”.[360]

no one is more influential when it comes to writing music today” than Swift.[349] The Week deemed her the foremost female songwriter of modern times.[350] Swift has also published two original poems: “Why She Disappeared” and “If You’re Anything Like Me”.[351]

Music videos

Main article: Taylor Swift videography

Swift has collaborated with many different directors to produce her music videos, and over time she has become more involved with writing and directing. She has her own production house, Taylor Swift Productions, Inc., which is credited with producing music videos for singles such as “Me!”.[352] Swift developed the concept and treatment for “Mean”[353] and co-directed the music video for “Mine” with Roman White.[354] 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.”[355]

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.[356] 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.[357] She produced the music video for “Bad Blood” and won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video in 2016.[358] While she continued to co-direct music videos with the Lover singles—”Me!” with Dave Meyers, “You Need to Calm Down” (also serving as a co-executive producer) and “Lover” with Drew Kirsch[359]—she ventured into sole direction with the videos for “The Man” (which won her the MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction), “Cardigan” and “Willow”.[360]

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