Taylor Swift’s 21 Most Memorable Moments
Happy Birthday, Taylor Swift! The superstar, who has achieved nothing short of world domination since making her recording debut while still in her teens, turns 21 on Monday, December 13. To mark the auspicious occasion, The Boot takes a closer look at 21 of Taylor's most memorable moments on stage and off.
1. A Star Is Born
December 13, 1989
Scott and Andrea Swift celebrate the birth of daughter Taylor Alison Swift. Taylor is raised on the couple's Christmas tree farm near Reading, Pa., joined by younger brother, Austin, two years later. A natural performer from a very early age, Taylor learns her first three chords on the guitar from a repairman who visits her family's home to fix their computer. At 11, she hand-delivers her first demo CD to Nashville record labels.
2. Child Prodigy
August 31, 2005
Fifteen-year-old Taylor, who inked her first music publishing deal at 14, debuts her MySpace page, signing with upstart Nashville label Big Machine Records less than one month later. Her self-titled debut album was released in fall of 2006 and spent a whopping eight consecutive weeks on top of the country albums charts.
3. Bright Horizons
November 7, 2007
While still in high school, Taylor wins the prestigious CMA Horizon Award, exclaiming, "This is definitely the highlight of my senior year!"
4. Cover Girl
March 11, 2008
Taylor appears on the cover of Blender magazine. Two months later, she lands on the covers of Rolling Stone and Seventeen and is among those featured in People's '100 Most Beautiful' and Maxim's 'Hot 100.'
5. Teen Power Couple
August 10, 2008
Taylor takes the stage during the Jonas Brothers' Madison Square Garden concert, to perform 'Should've Said No.' She's spotted with Joe Jonas several times throughout the next few months, fueling rumors of a romance between the two young stars.
6. Phone Break
November 11, 2008
Taylor confirms her break-up with Joe Jonas while on the 'Ellen DeGeneres Show,' telling Ellen, "I'm not even going to remember the boy who broke up with me over the phone in 25 seconds when I was eighteen."
7. Sophomore Success
November 23, 2008
Taylor's second album, 'Fearless' is released. It goes on to be the best-selling country disc of the year, on the strength of such mega-crossover hits as 'White Horse,' 'Love Story' and 'You Belong With Me.'
8. Fade to Black
March 5, 2009
Taylor goes "goth," wearing a black wig for her TV acting debut -- and getting stabbed in the heart with scissors -- on the CBS hit 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.'
9. On the Bill
Apr 23, 2009
It's officially Taylor Swift Day in Evansville, Ind., as the 19-year-old receives the key to the city and kicks off her first headlining tour at Roberts Municipal Stadium.
10. Hip-Hop 'Love'
June 8, 2009
From goth girl to gansta -- Taylor records the hilarious 'Thug Story' with rapper T-Pain. The parody of Taylor's 'Love Story' is used to open the 2009 CMT Music Awards telecast.
11. Space Cadet
June 13, 2009
At the same time she's quickly becoming a global superstar, Taylor is launched into outer space! Astronaut Timothy Kopra takes one of Taylor's albums with him on Expedition 20 to the International Space Station.
12. Taylor Squared
July 30, 2009
Taylor Swift and actor Taylor Lautner are first spotted together on a Hollywood set, filming scenes for the big-screen romantic comedy 'Valentine's Day.' The two play high school sweethearts in the flick, which marks Taylor's first turn at big-screen comedy in an adorably hilarious role.
13. Over the Moon
September 13, 2009
Three days after her second album, 'Fearless,' is certified quadruple-platinum, Taylor's 'You Belong With Me' nabs the "Moonman" for Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. Taylor's acceptance speech is interrupted as rapper Kanye West storms the stage and grabs the mic, telling a shocked audience (and a speechless Taylor) that Beyoncé should have won the honor instead.
14. Live From New York!
November 7, 2009
Taylor is guest host and musical guest on 'Saturday Night Live.' She takes on Kanye West and Joe Jonas in her humorous opening monologue, which she wrote herself.
15. CMA's MVP
November 11, 2009
Taylor nabs four CMA awards, including Entertainer of the Year. She's the youngest person (and first female act in a decade) to take the honor.
16. Home Sweet Home of Her Own
December 24, 2009
Taylor makes a transition into adulthood, moving out of her parents' house and purchasing a 4,062-square-foot penthouse apartment in Nashville. The price tag (according to RealEstalker): a cool $1.9 million.
17. Grammy Sweep
January 31, 2010
Taylor wins four Grammy awards, as 'Fearless' is named Album of the Year and Best Country Album, 'White Horse' earns Best Country Female Vocal honors and Best Country Song.Taylor's live duet with Stevie Nicks during the show, however, is widely criticized -- then quickly defended by the head of Taylor's record label, Scott Borchetta, along with -- of course -- millions of fans.
18. Mine All 'Mine'
August 4, 2010
'Mine,' the first single from Taylor's highly-anticipated third album, is rush-released to radio after the song is leaked on the Internet. It debuts at No. 1 on the digital song charts and sells more than a million downloads before the full album is even out.
19. 'Innocent' Revenge
September 4, 2010
Kanye West apologizes to Taylor via Twitter for the incident at the MTV VMAs in 2009. Eight days later, Taylor performs live on the VMAs, debuting 'Innocent,' a song she wrote in response to the debacle.
20. New Love
October 23, 2010
Taylor joins actor Jake Gyllenhaal at the broadcast of 'Saturday Night Live,' the first indication of a budding romance between the pair. The two have since been spotted together in Los Angeles, Nashville and again in New York.
October 25, 2010
Taylor's third album is released. The disc, which she originally titles 'Enchanted,' is rechristened 'Speak Now' and sells over one million copies in its first week. Eleven tracks from the album appear on Billboard's Hot 100 all at once, giving Taylor the all-time record for most simultaneous songs by a female artist on the chart.
And in the tradition of birthdays, here's "one to grow on" as Taylor looks ahead to her 22nd year ... On February 9, 2011, she'll kick off her international Speak Now tour with her first-ever concert in Singapore.