It is impossible for us to start this article without asking it once more: Is she “the music industry”?
Whether you are a fan of her music or not, she is someone that has been regarded as one of the best artists to this date, and for over a decade, she has given us more than “simple” music. She has created masterpieces that resonate with us now and will continue to do for a very long time.
“Hey! I don’t know about you,” but we have to confess our fascination for what we DO consider the music industry, which is how people know hew nowadays more than using words like “queen” or “princess.”
If “you guys” think about it, it is hard to deny how much she has earned this and if you aren’t sure about our remarks and just think we are a bit biased since we are Swifties, it will just take a couple of minutes for us to convince you she has earned her spot and that Taylor is more than a lucky girl in the music industry.
Childhood & Early Years: Before Music & Its Inception
Where should we start? You will notice sooner than later that writing and talking about Taylor’s life is a long journey, and it can be a bit hard to summarize it as we usually do to make it simple for you.
However, we will be more than happy to help as always, and even if it takes us more time than usual, we are up for the challenge of talking about her life, starting with her very early years and origins.
Taylor Alison Swift, who is known as Taylor Swift only today, was born on December 13, 1989, in West Reading, Pennsylvania.
Her parents, Scott Kingsley Swift, a former stockbroker, and mother Andrea Gardner Swift, a former homemaker who worked as a mutual fund marketing executive, named her after James Taylor, a musician.
With a Scottish and German heritage and some antecedents having worked in the music industry, you would expect her to follow the same road later.
She grew up on a Christmas tree farm with her parents, and for preschool and kindergarten, she attended Montessori schools. She then moved to The Wyndcroft School in the first grade.
Taylor started musical theatre when she was nine years old, which was the later inception of her music career. When going to high school, her family moved to a rented place in the town of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, which is why she attended the junior/senior high school in the location.
After starting her musical theatre hobby, she was able to perform in four Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions and got the opportunity to travel to New York City, where she took acting and vocal lessons.
Once she was kind of “done” with musical theatre, her interest switched to country music, and she was a huge Shania Twain fan.
As a teen and tween, she performed at festivals and local events, and by this time, she was convinced that she had to visit and move to Nashville to pursue her country music career, so she went with her mom and submitted Taylor’s demo of Dolly Parton covers and The Chicks covers.
Taylor was not considered original enough by record labels, and she left Nashville without signing a contract.
Swift learned to play guitar at 12 and began writing “Lucky You.” She, who was 14 years old, moved with her family to Nashville in order to have a better chance at music.
She began working with Dan Dymtrow, her music manager, in 2003 and was able to get a modeling job for the “Rising Stars” campaign by Abercrombie & Fitch.
He also got one of Swift’s original songs on a compilation CD released by Maybelline. Swift signed an artist development contract after performing original songs at RCA Records’ showcase.
Although her journey to become a country music artist was very tough since everyone in Nashville wanted to go through the same road, she demonstrated to have more to offer. The opportunity came in 2004 when her career beginnings and debut album came in.
Starting Her Career – Debut & Albums
When she was settled in Nashville, the future singer worked with many experienced Music Row songwriters such as Troy Verges and Brett Beavers while also getting the chance to form a relationship with Liz Rose. The latter has always complimented her songwriting skills at the time and continues to do.
During this time, Swift became the youngest artist to be signed by Sony/ATV Tree but left it when she was 14 since she wanted to go for an album and bet for more than writing songs for others and having just a few featured.
Well, fate was on her side when at an industry showcase held at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe 2005, she caught the eye of Scott Borchetta. He was a DreamWorks Records executive and was about to start an independent record label, Big Machine Records.
Swift met Borchetta for the first time in 2004, and during 2005, she became one of the first singers for his independent record label, and she was soon working on her debut album.
Swift’s first song and single, “Tim McGraw,” was released one year after she signed with Big Machine Records.
During her stay, she convinced Big Machine to hire Nathan Chapman as her demo producer because she felt they had the right “chemistry” to work with and get the debut album to be a success.
“Tim McGraw” preceded her debut studio album, which is her self-titled and with which she reached the fifth spot on the U.S. Country Music Chart.
Billboard 200 ranked Taylor Swift at number five, while the U.S. Country Music Chart ranked her at number one. Two number-one hits were produced by the album, “Our Song” (#2) and “Should’ve Said No (#1).
Swift’s debut album was released on October 24, 2006. and got amazing critics besides the previous rankings, including one from The New York Times that described it as a “small masterpiece of pop-minded country. Both wide-eyed, but also cynical.”
“Fearless,” Swift’s second album, reached number one in the U.S. Billboard, U.S. Country, and New Zealand music charts. It was certified platinum in four countries and six times in the USA.
The album also produced two number one hits, “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me,” which turned out to be two of her long-lasting masterpieces to this date.
From 2008 to 2010, which is “Fearless ear,” she also incurred in acting.
She appeared on television and film as herself, including on “Saturday Night Live” (Dateline NBC) and in fictional roles in movies such as “Valentine’s Day,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie.”
From 2010 to 2012, we have “Speak Now,” the third studio album that entered the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at number three and is known for an incredible milestone: She wrote every track of the album alone and co-produced every single song.
The album was more than a success, with over a million copies sold during its first week and earning her a Grammy in 2012 for Best Country Song and another for Best Country Solo Performance following the track “Mean.”
By this time, Swift became a star in country music, and more awards were won by the artist thanks to her nominations for other songs, singles, and soundtracks.
Finally, moving to 2012 and covering until 2014, she released her single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” which was part of her fourth album studio named “Red,” which became her first number one in the U.S.
With “Red,” reached the top in many song sales charts, and over 5 of the tracks were ranked over the 20 first positions.
It is known for being one of Swift’s best albums and has a huge critic from her fans to the media and organizations for not giving her some awards she deserved during the nominations in 2012 and 2013.
Leaving Country & Finding Fame in Pop
Many believed Taylor wasn’t able to write more than country music, which she dominated during the years she dedicated to this genre and even continues to do so.
However, she showed people otherwise when she released her fifth studio album in which she severed ties with the old familiar voice we knew and country sound completely, and went all-in with her album “1989” which sold over 1.3 copies in the U.S. during its first week, and debuted at the top on Billboard 200.
Singles “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” and “Bad Blood” are remembered by fans (and no fans) as one of the best pop-culture music nowadays.
Besides her change of sound, this time from 2014 to 2017 is a bit polemic in Swift’s life when she was part of stressing the importance of paying artists what they deserved and even retired her music from Spotify and Apple Music until the later (first) decided to offer royalties to artists during the three-month trial offered to users.
With her influence, records broke, and continuous involvement in soundtracks, including “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” with singer Zayn Malik for the film “Fifty Shades Darker,” she earned many awards.
And going back to 2014, when she released “1989”, she was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year.
From 2017 to the present, Swift has released four studio albums: “Reputation” (2017), “Lover” (2019), and “Folklore” and “Evermore” (2020 both).
After “Reputation” was released, this was the last album under the Big Machine Records, which would bring a masters dispute to this date that people are very aware of: She couldn’t buy them and instead, were sold to someone else, leaving her without the rights of her own music.
This led to a new phase of her career: Re-recordings, which already include the album “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and her single “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” was released just a few weeks ago to the moment of writing this article and update.
She announced the release of her second re-recording, “Red (Taylor’s Version),” which will be released on November 19, 2021.
Net Worth & Fame: How Much Is in Her Bank Account?
With such a long story in music, and we even skipped a few singles and participation, you couldn’t expect less than millions from the “New Romantics” singer.
Although details of her early-year earnings are not disclosed, considering her age and agreements with her former record label, we have numbers that can impress you more and usually start in 2016.
Between June 2016-2017, Taylor made about $50 million in net profits for her music and deals.
But coming with an overall, Swift has earned over $150 million from album sales, touring, merchandise, and endorsements in several years, to the point of making over $170 million between 2015 and 2016.
Her earnings during this time were largely due to her 1989 world tour that sold all tickets within hours for every show.
However, the earnings during these years continue to fall short since she made $185 million between 2018 and 2019 thanks to her grossing $266 million stadium tour, “Reputation.”
As for June 2019 and the same more for 2020, she earned $64 million.
Although most of her net worth comes from her music alone, Taylor has been a partner with hundreds of companies over the course of her career for endorsements or partnerships.
AT&T and CoverGirl are just a few companies she has partnered with, and we can include Verizon Wireless, Diet Coke, AirAsia, Target, and even Sony Electronics.
To continue with her net worth during recent years and give you a clearer idea of how much she is earning, we have to focus on her masters’ controversy with her former record label: Big Machine.
Between 2006 and 2017, Taylor recorded six albums for Big Machine Records, which means the company organized her 1989 World Tour and Reputation Tour, and revenue also fell into its hands.
However, what happened during the time she decided to go a different way? Well, the public learned from Taylor that her relationship with Big Machine Records and its founder Scott Borchetta was very strained when her contract with Big Machine came up for renewal in 2018.
Taylor was primarily interested in gaining control of her six first albums, which is a mention we did before.
As a result, Borchetta offered Taylor a deal where she would be able to control her albums one by one and then release new albums over the years. What’s the problem with this, and why didn’t she take it? Because Taylor would later admit that she knew Borchetta wanted to sell his company, which wouldn’t guarantee the contract, and she didn’t want to work in the same conditions.
She decided to leave Big Machine and her back catalog and sign a long-term contract with Republic Records, an imprint under Universal Music.
Two important terms were included during this contract: She retains her master recordings and receives a big share of the profits from music sales.
In addition, Taylor will also receive a substantial cut if Universal sells its Spotify stake of $1 billion.
The masters’ controversy was never solved after Scooter Braum ended up buying the rights of Taylor’s albums, which led to a dispute and the current re-recordings of her albums.
With this information in mind, we can mention she is earning a great percentage of her music and products sales.
In fact, her salary is set at about $160 million per year, and according to Forbes and its latest update in April 2021, she had a net worth of $550 million.
Following this number, Forbes ranked her #58 in America’s Self-Made Women 2021, #82 in Power Women 2020, #25 in Celebrity 100 from 2020.
Another part of her fortune is set in real estate since she has quite the impressive catalog for this.
She owns about $90 million in real estate around the United States, including a condo in downtown Nashville that is worth about $3 million today and has a large estate in the suburbs of Nashville worth $2.5 million.
A Rhode Island home is worth $6.6 million, and in New York City, she invested in several apartments worth $50 million when putting them together.
Penthouses, duplex, and condo properties are also included in her real estate portfolio, all of which are worth over $10 million.
Social Impact & Generosity: Taylor’s Contributions
Besides being an 11 times Grammy winner and having many more under her sleeve, including Artist of the Decade at the American Music Awards, she is known for her continuous contributions to charities and to bring changes to society.
She was even recognized for her efforts by the Do Something Awards and earned The Big Help Award for her dedication to others.
Most of her philanthropic actions are recorded from 2011 to this date.
During this year, she donated $70k to her hometown library. In February 2015, she gave $50k of her song earnings to NYC schools. This same year, the proceeds of her music video for “Wildest Dreams” went to the animal foundation.
For 2016, she was part of the artists that supported Kesha with her record music dispute by donating $250k.
Other major contributions and donations include helping the Joyful Heart Foundation for survivors of sexual assault and helped Hurricane Harvey survivors by donating to the Houston Food Bank.
She has donated during Sexual Assault Awareness Month and given tour tickets to several individuals.
Donations to fans to battle cancer, help autism, and even a $1 million donation to Nashville tornado relief efforts were made by the artist.
During the coronavirus crisis, she continuously donated to health institutions and helped fans to get through the crisis in certain situations.
Ohio food bank, GoFundMe pages, and we could continue to go on with all the contributions in her career without discrimination or preferences.
Besides giving money away, she has always been an advocate for women’s and artists’ rights and spread words about self-love and helping others.
Top 5 Taylor Swift’s Song Quotes
- “You call me up again just to break me like a promise. So casually cruel in the name of being honest…”
- “You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter. You are the best thing that’s ever been mine.”
- “You said it was a great love, one for the ages. But if the story’s over, why am I still writing pages?”
- “They told me all of my cages were mental. So I got wasted like all my potential.”
- “The road not taken looks real good now.”
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