Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American country-pop singer-songwriter. In 2006, she released her debut single "Tim McGraw", which peaked at number six on the Billboard country charts. Later in October 2006, she released her self-titled debut album, which produced five hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and was certified 3× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. The New York Times described Swift as "one of pop's finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults".
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Swift was the biggest selling artist of 2008 in America with combined sales of more than four million albums. Swift's Fearless and her self-titled album finished 2008 at number three and number six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. She was the first artist in the history of Nielsen SoundScan to have two different albums in the Top 10 on the year end album chart. Fearless has topped the Billboard 200 in nine different weeks. No album has spent more time at the top since 1999-2000.
It also the first album by a female artist in country music history to log eight weeks at #1 on The Billboard 200. In mid-January 2009, Swift became the first country artist to top the 2 million mark in paid downloads with three different songs. As of the week ending February 8, 2009, Swift's single "Love Story" became the country song with most paid downloads in history. In its 15th week since it has been added to pop radios, "Love Story" also became the first ever country crossover recording to hit #1 on the Nielsen BDS CHR/Top 40 chart, which appears in industry leading trade publications Radio & Records and Billboard, in the 16-year history of list, as well as #1 on the Mediabase Top 40 Chart.
Swift's best friend has been Abigail Anderson, whom she has known since their ninth-grade year. During a discussion of Shakespeare in an English class they learned what they had in common. "We were the ones in the back of the class saying negative things about Romeo and Juliet because we were so bitter toward that emotion at the time," said Anderson. "We just really connected ... and ever since then we have been inseparable." Swift is also close friends with Kellie Pickler, with whom she co-wrote Pickler's second single "Best Days of Your Life" from her album Kellie Pickler.
In July 2008, Swift graduated from the Aaron Academy, a Christian school in Hendersonville, Tennessee which offers a home-schooling program. Swift was named number fifty-seven on Maxim's sexiest women of 2008. As of 2008, she has been a cover girl for Seventeen, CosmoGirl, and Teen Vogue. Swift once dated singer Joe Jonas. She wrote the song "Forever & Always" about him, and the song appeared on her album, Fearless. It was the last song that she had recorded, and it was a last-minute addition to her album.
On September 21, 2007, Swift launched a campaign to protect children from online predators. She has teamed up with Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen to combat internet sex crimes. The year-long campaign, launched in partnership with the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, will distribute Internet safety information and materials to parents and students across the state.
Swift supports @15, a teen-led social change platform underwritten by Best Buy to give teens opportunities to direct the company's philanthropy through the newly-created @15 Fund. Swift's song, Fifteen, is featured in this campaign.