Last night Taylor Swift won her second American Music Awards “Artist of the Year” award. It was her tenth AMA award in 12 nominations. She’s also won four Grammys, thirteen Teen Choice Awards and six CMT awards. She’s won just about everything possible and has a total of ninety awards out of 146 nominations.
She turns 22 next month.
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.
In 2008, her albums sold a combined four million copies, making her the best-selling musician of the year in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Forbes ranked Swift 2009’s 69th-most powerful celebrity with earnings of $18 million, 2010’s 12th-most powerful celebrity with earnings of $45 million and 2011’s 7th-most powerful celebrity with earnings of $45 million, too. Swift was ranked the 38th Best Artist of the 2000s by Billboard. In January 2010 Nielsen SoundScan listed Swift as the most successful digital artist in music history with over 34.3 million digital tracks sold. On June 2011, renowned site The Boot named Swift and Carrie Underwood The Country Royalty, as they were the only female country artists to be ranked on Rolling Stone’s Queens of Pop list. As of March 2011, she has sold over 20 million albums and 34.3 million singles worldwide. She has been listed in the 2012 Guinness Book Of World Records as the Fastest Selling Digital Album by a Female Artist for her album Speak Now, and Most Simultaneous U.S. Hot 100 Hits by a Female Artist. In 2011, Billboard named her woman of the year.
Unlike many young artists Taylor Swift isn’t the result of exploitive packaging and promotion. She writes her own music and runs her own production company. She rarely drinks and doesn’t use drugs or make pornified music videos. She’s either genuinely nice of one hell of an actress.
But it’s Taylor’s way of tirelessly courting her fans that may be the key to her success. Remarkably, she spends an hour before every show, meeting and greeting and charming.
She was a pioneer in using social media to connect personally with her fans: posting funny video blogs she edits herself with glimpses of her offstage life, making her fans feel like they’re part of her close circle of friends.
And she’s orchestrated her concerts too – to get as close to her fans as any performer we’ve ever seen. Halfway through the show she walks through the audience and sings three songs to the people in the back.
All while members of her team search the crowd for the most enthusiastic fans, and reward them with gold! An invitation to hang out with Taylor after the show.
If she keeps going like that for another five years she’s going to own the record books.
Click here to watch her 60 Minutes interview.
I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan since I first saw this video: