How a Failed Acting Career, a Computer Repairman, and an Entrepreneur Made Taylor Swift Famous

By C. Murph | Monday Monday Staff -    2016-10-16

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift found success with hard work and a few lucky breaks (photo from Heightline)

Have you ever wondered how Taylor Swift got famous? How did the MySpacing teenager become the T-Swift we know today?

Even if you don’t like her, she’s worked hard to have the success she has. Just in case you’re not sure of the full scope of her acheivements, here are some examples.

She has won multiple Grammys. At just 20-years-old, she was the youngest artist in history — not just in country music — to win a Grammy for Album of the Year. The following year, Billboard named her Woman of the Year. Other awards include the AMA Artists of the Year, the Entertainer of the Year from CMA and the ACM. Oh, and she’s also one of the top-selling digital artists in music history.


She came into the world in 1989 in Reading, Pa., and her parents named her after James Taylor. Her mother believed that if her daughter had a gender-neutral name, it would help her build a solid business career (smart thinking but sad that the world is that way).

Taylor Swift as a young girl (photo from Ranker)
Taylor Swift as a young girl (photo from Ranker)

At just nine years old, Taylor got into musical theatre, performing in “Grease,” “Annie,” and “The Sound of Music,” to name just a few. She often went to New York City for vocal and acting lessons; both have come in handy in her career. But unfortunately, after spending a few years auditioning, she wasn’t having much success.

That’s when she looked into country music.

At 11, she won a local talent contest after singing LeAnn Rimes’ “Big Deal.” Because of that, she got the chance to open for Charlie Daniels.

That’s when the computer repairman entered her life.

This repairman showed her how to play three chords on the guitar. That led to her writing her first song, “Lucky You.”

Then, at age 14, she made the move to Nashville after landing an artist development deal with RCA Records. But the next year, she left RCA because they wanted her to start recording songs from other songwriters (a common occurrence in country and pop music). She decided to wait until she was 18 to put out her own album with her own songs.

She eventually caught the eye of Scott Borchetta, a Dreamworks Records executive. At that time, he was forming his own record label, Big Machine Records. And Taylor was one of the record’s first finds. 

I’d say it’s worked out pretty well for them and for Taylor.

Taylor Swift with her multiple awards (photo from
Taylor Swift with her multiple awards (photo from

New music from T-Swift?

As Time reports, “New music seems likely, with many Swifties pointing to a drop on October 23. While there’s no guarantee that we’ll be hearing a new album on that particular date, the Internet has more than a few theories on why we should keep our eyes peeled for an album as October draws to a close.” 

Those theories include the fact that she has gigs lined up, she has dropped albums in past Octobers, and she puts out records about every two years.

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