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Taylor Swift emerged on the music scene with the release of her debut track, “Tim McGraw,” on June 19, 2006. A lot has changed since then, including her musical genre of choice. (Goodbye, country! Hello, pop!) To celebrate her latest accomplishment — the release of her second re-recorded album, “Red (Taylor’s Version),” on Nov. 12, 2021, and the debut of the short film “All Too Well” starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, which Tay wrote and directed, on the same day — is taking a look back at her many career highs, the few lows, the milestones and the dramas.


Taylor Swift was far from an overnight success. The Pennsylvania native fell in love with country music as a tween, and when she was 11, Taylor and her mom went to Nashville to submit her singing demos to record labels. Rejections came pouring in, and Taylor decided she needed to write and perform her own songs. Three years later, at 14, she became the youngest songwriter ever signed by the Sony/ATV Tree publishing house. Then, in 2005, she was one of the first signings to country music label Big Machine Records


Taylor Swift was just 16 when she released her eponymous debut album in October 2006. Written almost single-handedly by Taylor during her freshman year in high school, the earnest album focused on young love and teen angst. “Taylor Swift” received rave reviews from critics, and the budding songstress quickly became the toast of the country music scene. In fact, with the album’s third single, “Our Song,” Taylor became the youngest artist in History to have written and performed a No.1 song on the Hot Country Songs chart.

It wasn’t long before the awards started flooding in. At the 2007 CMA Awards, Taylor Swift won the coveted Horizon Award, which honors the best new country artist of the year. “I can’t even believe that this is real,” she said during her endearing acceptance speech. “I want to thank God and my family for moving to Nashville so I could do this. The fans — you have changed my life. This is definitely the highlight of my senior year!”

In May 2017, it was reported that Taylor Swift had quietly been recording a new album. The first single off “Reputation” — “Look What You Made Me Do” — was released in August and immediately started breaking records. Most notable? Its music video became the most viewed ever in a 24-hour period on YouTube, with more than 28 million views in a single day (it’s now been seen on her YouTube Vevo channel alone more than 1.2 billion times). “Reputation” was also the most pre-ordered musical item in Target’s History.

In 2008, Taylor Swift scored her very first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with her sophomore effort, “Fearless.” More than 12 years later in April 2021, she scored another No. 1 album — her ninth No. 1 album in a row — with the release of the re-recorded “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).” On top of that, with that top spot, she broke a record held by The Beatles for more than 50 years: She’s now the artist who’s achieved three No. 1 albums in the shortest amount of time. She did it in just 259 days with the release of “folklore” and “evermore” in 2020 and “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” in 2021. It took The Beatles 364 days to do the same with 1965’s “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” and 1966’s “Revolver.” She’s also now the first woman to deliver three No. 1 albums in less than a year.