Taylor has come a long way in four years
When Taylor Swift first came to public notice she was a 17-year-old newcomer who loved singing to her own guitar. She was far more enthusiastic than accomplished, but had an undeniable spark.
Four years later, the spark is more like pyrotechnics, and Swift has become a multi-awards winner, with the biggest selling albums for the past year.
For her consummate career, she was named Billboard magazine's Woman of the Year last week. The 21-year-old singer-songwriter is the youngest artist to receive the honor. It comes on the heels of several 2011 Billboard Music Awards, among them Top Country Album for the five-time platinum selling Speak Now, her third album that was released last October.
"Taylor has shown the power of good songwriting with music that has transcended genres," Bill Werde, Billboard's editorial director, said. "And at the young age of 21, Taylor has already made a major impact on music and has been an incredible role model for aspiring artists and young women everywhere."
Swift is used to breaking chart records and winning honors since her career started. Her self-titled debut album, which was released in 2006, holds the honor of longest-running album on the Billboard 200 since 2000.
She followed that up in 2008 with Fearless, a critically acclaimed album that established her as a skilled songwriter with several hits, including Love Story, You Belong With Me and White Horse.
Not surprisingly, the 6-time platinum Fearless is the most awarded album in country music history in the US and her overall worldwide sales now exceed 20 million albums and 40 million songs downloads. Swift has spent the past year on the Speak Now World Tour in support of her third album, and now she's getting ready to go further.
According to a recent interview with The New Yorker magazine, Swift has so far written about 10 songs for a 2012 album. She said the new album is about feelings of growing up and becoming an adult.
"They're sad, if I'm being honest," Swift told The New Yorker. "They're about my heartbreaks and my moving on. But more importantly, they are about achieving contentment. You're not always going to be ridiculously happy as you grow up."