|Taylor Swift may be only a teenager, but she already has the nerves and
determination of a steely veteran.
Her first hit single, "Tim McGraw,"
came off her self-titled debut album last month, and she's just been
chosen as the opening act for a George Strait tour beginning in January. Other kids her age are sitting in the audience at country shows;
Swift was on stage recently as the opening act for Rascal Flatts,
singing for more than 10,000 people in Moline, Illinois. Intimidated? Not by any measure," she says. "I'm intimidated by the fear of being
average." Average, she's not.
She grew up on a farm in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, a suburb of
Reading, and was inspired to sing by her maternal grandmother, an opera
singer. At 11 she performed the national anthem at a Philadelphia 76ers NBA
game, and then began showing up at record company offices telling anyone
who would listen, "I'm Taylor, I'm 11 and I want a record deal."
She began writing songs a year later. Now she's got her first record
deal at 16, drawing comparisons with LeeAnn Rimes and Tanya Tucker, who
both broke through at 13. However, neither Rimes nor Tucker were known for their songwriting.
Swift wrote or co-wrote every song on her 11-track CD.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Taylor Swift's self-titled
debut CD reached the #1 position atop Billboard's Country Albums
chart this week, outpacing such superstars as Carrie Underwood, Toby
Keith, Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts.
With more than 34,000 CDs sold this week, Taylor is outdistancing
the current releases by such mainstream acts as Avril Lavigne, Gwen
Stefani, Maroon 5, Rihanna, Velvet Revolver, Daughtry, and R. Kelly.
Taylor is the only country artist currently ranked in the Top 15 on
Billboard's all-genre Top 200 Chart.
This marks the first #1 selling album for Taylor's record label, Big
Taylor's continual sales escalation is extraordinary, given that her
CD was released 39 weeks ago. This week Taylor Swift sold 34,586
copies, while the current CDs from Daughtry (released 35 weeks ago)
and Gwen Stefani (out for 33 weeks) sold 25,029 and 14,407 units
this week, respectively. Velvet Revolver's current album, released
just 3 weeks ago, trailed Taylor by 12,815 units, and she outsold
the new release from Lifehouse, out only 5 weeks, by more than
Taylor has surpassed the 20 million mark for music streams on
MySpace, where she is currently ranked at #15 for the most MySpace
visits for all genres of music. MySpace's current top-ranking
Country artist, and the first bona-fide country star of the MySpace
generation, seventeen year-old Taylor is country music's 3rd
best-selling artist this year, behind only Carrie Underwood and Tim
Taylor Swift debuted on the Billboard sales chart at #3 in October
of last year, and has been one of Country's Top 10 sellers for 30