Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee at age 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed with the independent label Big Machine Records and became the youngest artist ever signed by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. Her eponymous debut album in 2006 peaked at number five on Billboard 200 and spent the most weeks on the chart in the 2000s. The album's third single, "Our Song", made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number-one song on the Hot Country Songs chart. Swift's second album, Fearless, was released in 2008. Buoyed by the pop crossover success of the singles "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me", Fearless became the best-selling album of 2009 in the United States. The album won four Grammy Awards, with Swift becoming the youngest Album of the Year winner.
In 2009, Swift appeared in the late-night show Saturday Night Live followed by her film debut the following year in Valentine's Day. Swift was the sole writer of her 2010 album, Speak Now. It debuted at number one in the United States and the single "Mean" won two Grammy Awards. Her fourth album, Red (2012), yielded the successful singles "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble". With her fifth album, the pop-focused 1989 (2014), she became the first act to have three albums sell a million copies within one week in the United States. Its singles "Shake It Off", "Blank Space" and "Bad Blood" reached number one in the US, Australia and Canada. The album received three Grammy Awards, and Swift became the first woman and fifth act overall to win Album of the Year twice. The 2015 eponymous concert tour for 1989 became one of highest-grossing of all time.
As a songwriter, Swift has received awards from the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She is also the recipient of ten Grammy Awards, five Guinness World Records, one Emmy Award, 23 Billboard Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards, and one Brit Award. Swift is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums—including 27.1 million in the US—and 130 million single downloads. She has appeared in Time's 100 most influential people in the world (2010 and 2015), Forbes' top-earning women in music (2011–2015), Forbes' 100 most powerful women (2015) and Forbes Celebrity 100 (2016). She was the youngest woman to be included in the third of these and ranked first in Celebrity 100.