With US pop icon Taylor Swift embarking on a huge tour later this year in support of her recently released sixth album ‘Reputation’, here are 17 geeky facts about the singer-songwriter.
1. Her lucky number is 13
Unlike the majority of western civilization, Taylor is not triskaidekaphobic – ie, she’s not afraid of the number 13. In fact, she loves it so much so that it influences big-deal stuff she does. Born on December 13, she turned 13 on Friday 13. Her first album went gold in 13 weeks. She paints a ‘13’ on her hand before every show she does, noting: “It’s really weird.” In 2009 she commented that every time she’d won an award she was sat in the 13th row, seat, section, or in “Row M, which is the 13th letter.” Oh, and she says her first Number One single had a 13-second intro. “Basically,” she’s said, “whenever a 13 comes up in my life, it’s a good thing.”
2. She used to live on a Christmas tree farm
Swift spent her early years living on a Christmas tree farm run by her dad, whose main job was as a financial advisor, in Pennsylvania, she revealed in an interview with Esquire.
3. She used to want to act on Broadway
Before heading into the world of music, Swift used to travel to New York for vocal and acting lessons – and dreamt of auditioning for Broadway. “When I was growing up in Pennsylvania, auditioning for Broadway was my dream,” she told Taste of Country in 2012. “I went to several auditions in New York. I was always going there for vocal and acting lessons … and for auditions, where you stand in line in a long hallway with a lot of people. I’ve always been freakishly tall, like a giant. After a few years of auditioning in New York and not getting anything, I started writing songs. But I never lost my love for theatre.”
4. To help her break into country music, her family relocated to Tennessee
Swift was born on December 13 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania, but at the age of fourteen, Swift and her family moved to a lakeside house in Hendersonville, Tennessee, to help her break into the country music scene. Her dad even transferred to the Nashville office of Merrill Lynch. Swift told the Telegraph in an interview that she felt she needed to pursue country music in Nashville after watching a Faith Hill documentary.
5. She was inspired by Shania Twain’s songs
Swift was largely inspired to pursue country music by listening to Shania Twain. She told the Guardian in a 2012 interview that Twain’s music made her “want to just run around the block four times and daydream about everything”.
6. Her early attempts to break into country music were unsuccessful
Aged 11, Swift went to Nashville with her mum and submitted Dolly Parton and Dixie Chicks covers to record labels – but was rejected from them all. “Everyone in that town wanted to do what I wanted to do. So, I kept thinking to myself, I need to figure out a way to be different,” she told American Songwriter.
7. Her first song was called ‘Lucky You’
Swift wrote her first song ‘Lucky You’ , when she was aged 12, with computer repairman and local musician Ronnie Cremer, who taught her to play guitar.
8. She briefly modelled for Abercrombie & Fitch
Through working with New York based music manager, Dan Dymtrow, Swift modelled for Abercrombie and Fitch’s “Rising Stars” campaign in 2003.
9. She made her acting debut in CSI
Swift made her acting debut in a 2009 episode of CSI, playing rebellious teenager Haley Jones.
10. Swift played herself in Hannah Montana: The Movie
As well as her part in CSI, Swift also had a cameo appearance in the 2010 film Hannah Montana: The Movie. The singer also co-wrote two songs to the film’s soundtrack. Swift has acted in other films, too, including the 2010 movie Valentine’s Day, and the 2014 film The Giver.
11. She wrote every song on ‘Speak Now’
Swift wrote and co-produced every song on her third album ‘Speak Now’, which debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. It is her only album in which she is given the sole songwriting credits.
12. Swift describes ‘1989’ as her first pop album
Swift described her fifth album ‘1989’, in which she sheds her country roots, as her “first documented official pop album”. Seven singles were released from the record, including ‘Shake it Off’ and ‘Bad Blood’.
13. She’s won 10 Grammy Awards
Swift has so far won a whopping 10 Grammy Awards, including twice bagging the prize for Album of the Year – making her the first woman to do so.
14. Swift has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide
Swift has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide – making her one of the best-selling artists of all time – and 130 million single downloads.
15. She cites Paul McCartney and Emmylou Harris as career role models
“They’ve taken chances, but they’ve also been the same artist for their entire careers,” she told USA Today.
16. She’s a big supporter of LGBT+ rights
Throughout her career, Swift has spoken out in support of LGBT+ rights. Following the murder of 15-year old gay student Larry King in 2008, Swift took part in a video speaking out against hate crime.
17. She frequently collaborates with Jack Antonoff
Swift first collaborated with Jack Antonoff in 2013 on the song ‘Sweeter Than Fiction’ for the One Chance soundtrack, and he was given songwriting credit for two tracks on her album ‘1989’. Antonoff is credited with co-writing and co-producing six songs on Swift’s latest album ‘Reputation’.