Deep 10: Taylor Swift's Fearless

Dive into 10 facts you may not know about the country album that broke records, and earned Swift the first GRAMMYs of her career

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2017 - 01:36 pm

Much to the disappointment of the tabloids, Kanye West did not blindside Taylor Swift onstage at the 52nd GRAMMY Awards in 2010, as he had so infamously done at the MTV Video Music Awards just four months earlier. But the ceremony turned out to be no less memorable for the then-20-year-old country/pop crossover artist. By evening's end, Swift took home four GRAMMY Awards: Fearless was named Album Of The Year and Best Country Album, while "White Horse" won for Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

Fearless also garnered unprecedented critical attention for Swift. The Boston Globe commended her ability to "blur the line between commercial country and Top 40 radio," while Rolling Stone called her a "songwriting savant."

Following are 10 lesser-known facts about the writing, recording and recognition surrounding what would go on to become the most commercially successful album in the U.S. in 2009.

1. Fearless made Swift the youngest solo Album Of The Year GRAMMY recipient to date.

Prior to Swift's win at 20 years old, the youngest artist to receive the honor was Alanis Morissette, who was 21 when she won Album Of The Year with her breakthrough, Jagged Little Pill, at the 38th GRAMMY Awards in 1996.

2. Swift cried when she learned her hit "White Horse" was being used on "Grey's Anatomy."

"I have never been that excited," she told Billboard. "My love of 'Grey's Anatomy' has never wavered. It's my longest relationship to date."

3. Fearless ranks fourth among
Billboard's best charting albums of all time. 

The album placed below Adele's 21 (No.1), The Sound Of Music — Soundtrack (No. 2) and Michael Jackson's Thriller (No. 3).

4. "Love Story" is Swift's alternate ending to Shakespeare's "Romeo And Juliet."

The Bard's tragic tale of star-crossed lovers could have been the best love story ever told if it had "just gone a little bit differently," Swift told the Daily Herald. To that end, Swift decided to "make it a happy ending and put a key change in the song and turn it into a marriage proposal."

5. Swift was 14 when she first collaborated with "White Horse" co-writer Liz Rose.

As Rose recalled during their Best Country Song acceptance speech: "This curly-headed 14-year-old walked up to me and said, 'Do you think you would write with me sometime?' And, thankfully, I said yes."

6. "Weird Al" Yankovic recorded a parody of "You Belong With Me" called "TMZ."

Yankovic's critique of celebrity gossip appears on his 2011 GRAMMY-nominated album, Alpocalypse, alongside parodies of songs by Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Weezer.

7. Swift wrote "Hey Stephen" about Love And Theft frontman Stephen Barker Liles at the same time he was writing a song about her.

"When I write songs, I don't hesitate to put names in the songs, because that's how I deal with life," she told The New York Times. As ominous as that may sound, Swift's "Hey Stephen" and Liles' "Try To Make It Anyway" are actually both very nice.

8. Swift penned seven of Fearless' 13 songs on her own.

The songwriting turned out to be less collaborative than her self-titled debut because the majority of the songs were written on the road. "I was the opening act for every country artist out there that was on their headlining tour," Swift said. The album's remaining six tracks were co-writes with Liz Rose, Colbie Caillat, Hillary Lindsey, and John Rich.

9. The Fearless platinum edition includes Swift's first-ever studio recording of another artist's song.

Swift covered rock band Luna Halo's "Untouchable," to which she added her own touch by changing the verses and adding more country sounds to the arrangement.

10. Swift's Album Of The Year win for Fearless set her up to make more GRAMMY history.

Just six years after winning for Fearless, Swift won in the same category with 2014's 1989. The only other acts to achieve this feat are Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and U2. Swift also holds the distinction of being the first female artist to win the award twice.

(Bill Forman is a writer and music editor for the Colorado Springs Independent and the former publications director for The Recording Academy.)

FYI/TMI: Are Taylor Swift And Ed Sheeran Getting Together?
Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images


FYI/TMI: Are Taylor Swift And Ed Sheeran Getting Together?

Rumors surface that the two are in a red-hot relationship; Sony/ATV Music Publishing named top publisher of fourth quarter in 2012

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(In an effort to keep you fully informed, and fully entertained, below we present today's FYI and TMI — news you need and news that's, well, sometimes needless….)


Sony/ATV Claims Top Publisher In Q4 2012
Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which in June 2012 acquired administration of EMI Music Publishing, was the top publisher in the fourth quarter of 2012 based on its 25.8 percent share of the top 100 songs during the period, according to figures released by Nielsen BDS. No. 2 was Kobalt Music Group (16.5 percent share), followed by Universal Music Publishing Group (15.9 percent share), Warner/Chappell Music (14.2 percent share), and BMG Chrysalis (5.3 percent share).


Swift Getting Together With Sheeran?
Taylor Swift may never be getting back together with a few people — like, ever — but that isn't stopping her from joining "The A Team." According to a report, Swift and GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran were reportedly seen together at a hotel in late February. Adding more red-hot fuel to the fire, Sheeran collaborated with Swift on her latest album, Red, the name of which is also a tattoo on Sheeran's left arm. Since Swift and Sheeran supposedly dated briefly last spring, maybe they are, like, getting back together.

Taylor Swift Plots 2020 World Tour With U.S. Dates For Lover Fest East & West

Taylor Swift

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/VMN19/Getty Images


Taylor Swift Plots 2020 World Tour With U.S. Dates For Lover Fest East & West

Following dates in Europe and South America, Swift will land in the U.S. for Lover Fest East and West, where the pop star will open Los Angeles' brand new stadium

GRAMMYs/Sep 18, 2019 - 02:38 am

Taylor Swift  will be spreading the love in support of her hit album 2020, but it may or may not be in a city near you. The GRAMMY winner announced plans for her summer 2020 tour in support of her seventh studio album, including two shows each in Foxborough, Mass. and Los Angeles for Lover Fest East and West respectively as the only four U.S. dates announced so far.

The tour kicks off in Belgium on June 20 and hits festivals in seven European countries before heading to Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 18 then heading to U.S. Swift will then present Lover Fest West with back-to-back Los Angeles July 25 and 26 at the newly named SoFi Stadium. The concerts will serve as the grand opening of the much-anticipated NFL venue. The tour will wrap a double header at Gillette Stadiuim in Foxborough July 31 and Aug 1

"The Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER. I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic," she tweeted. "I want to go to some places I haven’t been and play festivals. Where we didn’t have festivals, we made some. Introducing, Lover Fest East + West!" 

Lover was released Aug. 23 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Her sold-out tour for her previous album, 2017's Reputation, was the highest grossing U.S. tour ever, breaking her own record.

Tickets for the new dates go on sale to the general public via Ticketmaster on Oct. 17. 


"GRAMMY Effect" Spikes Sales

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

"GRAMMY Effect" Spikes Sales
The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards drove a 3.3 percent increase in album sales compared to last week, according to a Billboard report. The 2010 GRAMMY Nominees album jumped to No. 5 with sales of 71,000 units, a 55 percent increase. Top GRAMMY winner Beyoncé's I Am…Sasha Fierce rose to No. 14 with sales of 32,000 copies, a 101 percent increase. Other GRAMMY performers experiencing sales increases include Pink (up 234 percent), Dave Matthews Band (up 114 percent), the Zac Brown Band (up 82 percent), the Black Eyed Peas (up 76 percent), Taylor Swift (up 58 percent), and Lady Gaga (up 17 percent). Lady Antebellum, who also performed on the telecast, remained at No. 1 for the second consecutive week. (2/10)

Grainge Promoted To UMG CEO
Universal Music Group International Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge has been promoted to CEO of Universal Music Group, effective Jan. 1, 2011. He will succeed Doug Morris and report to Jean-Bernard Lévy, chairman of the management board of Vivendi. Grainge will relocate from London to New York to serve as co-CEO of UMG in tandem with Morris for six months starting July 1. Morris, who has served as UMG chairman and CEO since 1995, will remain as company chairman. (2/10)


Pop Shines With 55th GRAMMY Nominations

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

This year's GRAMMY nominations are an eclectic, all-inclusive ensemble of nominees perfectly reflecting the wide variety of musical genres, tastes and trends that The Recording Academy celebrates.

Pop made a strong impact in the coveted General Field categories with nominations for Kelly Clarkson (Record Of The Year for "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You"), Taylor Swift (Record Of The Year for her pop-tinged "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together") and Carly Rea Jepsen (Song Of The Year for "Call Me Maybe").

The nominations also marked a milestone for Fun., who received six nominations, including Record and Song Of The Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "We Are Young" featuring Janelle Monáe, and Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for Some Nights. The Brooklyn, N.Y., trio also received a Best New Artist nomination.

"It feels good, very good," lead singer Nate Ruess said backstage at "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" in Nashville on Dec. 5.

"American Idol" alum Clarkson is among the top female nominees with three nominations, including Best Pop Vocal Album for Stronger. Pink received a deserving nod in the Best Pop Vocal Album category for The Truth About Love, which hopefully opens the door to a performance during February's GRAMMY Awards telecast. (Side note: Pink's album features "Just Give Me A Reason," a duet with Ruess.)

It was a big night for British superstar Ed Sheeran, who grabbed a Song Of The Year nomination for "The A Team." Sheeran was overjoyed with the honor, tweeting, "I can't describe how happy I am."

GRAMMY winners Maroon 5 had a strong night with nominations for Overexposed, the group's self-proclaimed "most diverse and poppiest album yet," in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album categories.

RedFoo and Sky Blu of LMFAO scooped up a Best Pop Duo/Group Performance nomination for their dance-pop confection "Sexy And I Know It," a deserving nomination for the world's most colorful party rockers.

Following a successful year for her GRAMMY-winning album 21, Adele's momentum is still going strong.  The proud new mom picked up a nomination for her live performance of "Set Fire To The Rain" in the Best Pop Solo Performance category. Adele was nominated alongside Clarkson, Rihanna ("Where Have You Been"), Katy Perry ("Wide Awake"), and Jepsen, the latter of whom was quick to tweet that she was "over the moon excited" with the honor.

With exciting pop newcomers and veteran pop artists nominated in the General and Pop Fields, the GRAMMY Awards telecast on Feb. 10 will without a doubt be Music's Biggest Night and a terrific night for pop.