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Taylor Swift

With her homespun charm, golden locks, and prodigious songwriting talent, Taylor Swift is one of the youngest Nashville newcomers to capture a national audience in recent memory. Born in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania in 1989, Swift began playing guitar at age twelve. As a teen, her family moved to the outskirts of Nashville, where she debuted at the famed Bluebird Cafe songwriter showcase. Her first big single “Tim McGraw” peaked at #3 on the Billboard country chart, and held a spot in the top 10 for several months. Country queens like Tanya Tucker, Marie Osmond and LeAnn Rimes also hit the charts as teenagers, but unlike her forebearers, Swift wrote her own song. Her self-titled debut album, issued in October 2006, spawned more radio hits like “Our Song” and “Picture to Burn.” This wealth of popular singles propelled Taylor Swift to triple-platinum status--not bad for a young beginner! The sophomore effort Fearless (heralded by the hit “Love Story”) was released in November 2008. A couple embarrassing and highly publicized awards show incidents couldn’t slow Swift down; she released two more albums and is working on breaking into acting with movies like Valentine’s Day and The Lorax.