Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American country pop singer-songwriter, musician and actress.In 2006, she released her debut single "Tim McGraw", then her self-titled debut album, which was subsequently certified multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In November 2008, Swift released her second album, Fearless, and the recording earned Swift four Grammy Awards, including the Album of the Year, at the 52nd Grammy Awards. Fearless and Taylor Swift finished 2008 at number-three and number-six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. Fearless topped the Billboard 200 for 11 non-consecutive weeks. Swift was named Artist of the Year by Billboard Magazine in 2009. Swift released her third album Speak Now on October 25, 2010 which sold 1,047,000 copies in its first week.
Swift's lyrics are highly autobiographical; she has said that "If you listen to my albums, it’s like reading my diary." For example, the song "Forever & Always" was inspired by her relationship with Joe Jonas, while the song "Hey Stephen" was written about a boy whom she toured with in the past. "Fifteen" was written about her freshman year of high school. It has been said that her lyrics "can be tinged with acid: the quiet loner girl getting one over on the cheerleaders, or a caustic payback for the boy who dumped her." She has also indicated that she tries to write so her fans can relate to the lyrics, saying "My goal is to never write songs that my fans can't relate to." She parodied her confrontational style of songwriting during her appearance on Saturday Night Live; during her opening monologue, she performed an original song that featured lines such as "You might think I'd bring up Joe, that guy who broke up with me on the phone/ Hey, Joe, I'm doing real well, tonight I'm hosting 'SNL'" referring to her highly publicized relationship with Joe Jonas.
The intensely personal nature of the songs has drawn her attention in the music industry. Swift once said, "I thought people might find them hard to relate to, but it turned out that the more personal my songs were, the more closely people could relate to them." Due to the autobiographical nature of her songs, some fans have researched the songs' origins. Swift once said, "Every single one of the guys that I’ve written songs about has been tracked down on MySpace by my fans."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".