Where did Taylor Swift grow up? All about singer's hometown

Z100's Jingle Ball 2012 Presented By Aeropostale - Show (Photo by Kevin Kane/Getty Images for Jingle Ball 2012)

Taylor Swift's 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, was released on April 19, 2024, and has captured the attention of Swifties across the globe. The singer has 14 Grammys, 118 Guinness World Records, 40 American Music Awards, and several Billboard's Hot 100 over the years. With all of this, she has become one of the biggest pop stars of this generation.

However, the 34-year-old had humble beginnings, and her experiences shaped her into the global superstar she is today. Before owning multi-million dollar mansions, Taylor Swift lived on a Christmas tree farm in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, where she and her brother, Austin, were raised.

All about Taylor Swift's hometown and early life in Pennsylvania

Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in the small town of Reading, Pennsylvania. She was raised on a Christmas tree farm in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, with her parents, Andrea and Scoot Swift, and her little brother, Austin Swift.

Taylor Swift family (via Instagram/austinkingsleyswift)
Taylor Swift family (via Instagram/austinkingsleyswift)

Taylor Swift's grandmother was an opera singer in Puerto Rico and Singapore. She performed in classics like The Barber of Seville and West Side Story.

Since she was a child, Taylor's heart resonated with country music. She has claimed multiple times that she would obsessively listen to singers like Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline. Additionally, she also loved poetry and enjoyed poems like those written by Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein.

As a fourth grader, Taylor's way with the words shone for the first time and she won a national poetry competition for her poem, Monster in My Closet. It was at this time that she was selected to perform the role of Sandy in a production of Grease by a children's theater group. She claimed that this was where she realized that country music was her true calling.

Soon, Taylor started singing in karaoke contests, bars, and in front of as many listeners as possible. At 11, she traveled to Nashville for the first time and distributed demo tapes to secretaries outside several recording studios hoping to get a break.

In an interview at Great American Country a few years later, the singer joked about the phase. She said that she believed if she had to sing, she would "need a record deal" and she was "going to get a record deal." The Midnights singer commented that she believed it was "that easy," adding how she made a demo tape of herself.

"I was like, if I want to sing music, I'm going to need a record deal. So, I'm going to get a record deal. I thought it was that easy. I made a demo tape of me singing along to karaoke songs and my mom and I started walking up and down Music Row handing them out to receptionists at every label. I think I had like one person call me back. And he was so sweet, just kind of telling me, 'You know, this is not how you do this'," Swift said.

Although 11-year-old Taylor returned home empty-handed, the experience taught her that she needed to be self-sufficient as a musician and write her own songs. She taught herself how to play the guitar and would practice for as many as four hours or until her finger bled. She stated that this helped her improve her songwriting and guitar skills.

Her first break came when she was 12 and was selected to perform the National Anthem at the U.S. Open tennis court tournament. Her performance caught the eye of Britney Spears' manager. Soon after, RCA offered her a contract to record songs, but Taylor turned it down because it prohibited her from recording her own songs.

At this time, the Swift family decided to relocate from Pennsylvania to Hendersonville, a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee.

Shifting to Nashville and Taylor's first break

Swift's massive break came in Nashville's The Bluebird Café when her voice was noticed by an executive from Big Machine Records. She signed a label with the company at 15 and released her career's first single, Tim McGraw.

Opening Night of Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)
Opening Night of Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

Tim McGraw made Taylor Swift a household name and peaked at #1 in the Country Music Television's (CMT) video charts. With sales crossing 40,000 copies in the opening week, Taylor Swift stood at #19 on the United States albums chart and #3 on the Country albums charts. Tim McGraw also won the Breakthrough Video Award at the 2007 CMT Awards.

During this period, Taylor Swift also released three other singles, all of which ranked within the top ten of the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs. She ended that year by winning the 2007 Country Music Association's Horizon Award. She was also nominated for the 2008 Best New Artist Grammy but lost to Amy Winehouse.

This was the inception of the phenomenon Taylor Swift has since become. She now has millions of fans and several records and awards to her name. Her latest album The Tortured Poets Department, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it her 14th debut at No. 1. Apart from being tied with Jay-Z on the number, she is right behind The Beatles, who have 19 No. 1 debuts.

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