Music star Taylor Swift showed all the signs of her future career as a singer/songwriter when she was still a small girl growing up in Pennsylvania. Creative from the beginning, Swift was singing for local audiences by the time she was ten, and won a national poetry contest in the fourth grade for her poem "Monster in My Closet." By 12, the young artist was singing, writing songs, playing the 12-string guitar, and shopping demos around Nashville, hoping to score a record contract.
Within a few years, Swift's family relocated to the Nashville area so that the aspiring performer could pursue her career full-time. She was eventually offered a development deal with RCA, but rejected it when it didn't allow for her to record her own songs. Swift would be rewarded for her stalwartness, however, when she was signed by Big Machine Records a short time later. She was also hired in as the youngest staff songwriter ever to work for Sony/ATV Tree publishing.
Swift released a self-titled album in 2006, and it became an immediate hit, soon setting chart records that put her in league with established acts like the Dixie Chicks and Carrie Underwood. She released her sophomore album, Fearless, in 2008, which debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 list and became the top-selling album in the U.S. for 2009 and launched her first world tour to support the album. Shortly after, Swift made a move into acting, appearing in an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and pulling double duty as both the host and musical guest in an episode of Saturday Night Live. The following year, she appeared in the ensemble romcom Valentine's Day, opposite another young Taylor- Taylor Lautner, of the Twilight film series.
Despite trying to branch out into acting, Swift quickly returned to music, keeping very busy releasing three albums between 2010 and 2014 and going on a tour to support each one. Her 2014 release, 1989, marked her official break with country and was her first album to be exclusively pop.