It comes as no surprise that Taylor Swift is considered the most successful female singer-songwriter of all time. Even with 11 Grammy wins under her belt, Ms. Swift is showing no signs of slowing down.
She attributes much of her early success to the support of her parents, Andrea Swift (Finlay) and Scott Kingsley Smith.
While Taylor has been the center of attention in her family, her parents have experienced quite a ride in the last two decades as well!
Taylor Swift’s Early Years
Born on December 13, 1989, Taylor grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Her parents recognized that she possessed a special sparkle and was destined for showbiz success.
Taylor Swift performed at an event during the 2006 CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 6, 2006 (Credit: WENN / David Mills)
She remembers watching her maternal grandmother sing before crowds at church, which sparked her interest in performance.
Like most little girls, Taylor belted out tunes from Disney films; however, once the song ended, Taylor would riff on her own lyrics beyond the original score.
Parents relocate to the Nashville area
Her mother, Andrea, was a mutual funds manager, and her father, Scott, was a successful stockbroker.
When Taylor was only 14 years old, her parents took a chance by uprooting the family from their farm in Pennsylvania and relocating to the Nashville area to be close to industry professionals.
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They settled on Hendersonville, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville, for their family.
It was important to them that Taylor go to school outside of the industry bubble, away from children of executives and talent managers, in an effort to diffuse any difficulty she may experience while trying to gain traction as a performer.
Taylor Knocking on Doors in Nashville
It wouldn’t take long before a young Taylor Swift received a contract for representation.
“Hi, I’m Taylor. I’m 11; I want a record deal. Call me,” Taylor remembers saying while knocking on doors on Music Row in Nashville.
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Meanwhile, her mother waited in the car with her younger brother, Austin, as Taylor stirred up interest.
Before long, Big Machine Records granted her request by signing Taylor to her first contract at age 14 in 2005. Somewhat controversially, Taylor’s father bought a 3% stake in the record company around the same time.
Taylor Drops her First Single
While Leading up to the release of her first, self-titled album, Taylor released her first single, “Tim McGraw”, in the summer of 2006.
Charged with all the trappings of teenage years, Taylor dreamed up the tune during math class. The tune was inspired by her feelings of dealing with her boyfriend moving away to college and their impending breakup.
Taylor Swift was 16 years old when attending the 41st Academy of Country Music Awards held on May 23, 2006, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (Credit: Mike Stotts / WENN)
Writing about her romantic partners would go on to be one of her hallmarks, for which she’s been both knocked and praised.
Over the years, she’s been quick to point out that the criticism has been reserved for her as a female while her male counterparts rarely receive the same grief for using relationships as fodder for songs.
Taylor Swift’s First, Record-Breaking Album
Her first album, Taylor Swift, featured “Tim McGraw” as the opening track and soared to the number one spot of the Top Country Albums charts for a record-breaking 24 weeks.
Her first albums and singles rocked the country airwaves as America had discovered their newest country music sweetheart.
Taylor Swift performs with a guitar at MGM Grand Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 14, 2007 (Credit: Judy Eddy/ WENN)
Taylor went on to receive a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2008 following recognition as the youngest artist ever to both write and perform a chart-topping song on the Hot Country Songs chart.
What Other Genre Does Taylor Swift Perform?
Swift has proven to be one of the most versatile artists of our generation. While she got her start in Nashville with her country roots, she also has dropped popular pop albums and rock albums that have an edgier urban style.
Taylor Swift’s Parents
Early in her career, her parents hung on for the whirlwind that was their daughter, Taylor’s, rise to stardom.
Her first headlining tour, Fearless, hit the road in the spring of 2009, bringing the Swift family across the United States, Canada, and England over the course of six months.
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It’s said that Taylor may have the best bond with her parents out of anyone in show business. The family even gives us a sneak peek inside their relationship in Lana Wilson’s 2020 Netflix documentary, Miss Americana.
Taylor Swift’s Father, Scott Kingsley Swift
Scott Kingsley Swift, Taylor’s father, worked in finance for many years before taking the leap of faith with Taylor, transferring to the Nashville office of his banking firm.
Born on March 5, 1952, in Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Taylor Swift’s dad Scott Kingsley Swift worked as a stockbroker (Credit: HRC / WENN)
Taylor describes her father as “a social butterfly” that enjoys “talking to every person he comes in contact with.”
Aside from that, just like most dads, he lives for trying to embarrass and get a rise out of his daughter. You can still occasionally find him floating among the crowds of “Swifties,” handing out guitar picks emblazoned with Taylor’s face.
Taylor Swift’s Mother, Andrea Gardner Swift (née Finlay)
Taylor and her mother, Andrea, have a truly special relationship. “Mama Swift,” as she’s known around Taylor’s caravan, serves as an ambassador, greeter, and all-around motherly presence to those lucky enough to be around her.
It’s also been revealed that Andrea is the one that draws a 13 on Taylor’s hand- her lucky number- before each show.
Taylor Swift’s mother Andrea Swift with fans at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville in 2008 (Credit: Judy Eddy / WENN)
As one of her most ardent supporters, Andrea, Taylor says, is where she gets her creativity and confidence. Taylor secretly recorded “The Best Day” for her mother, which she presented to her at Christmas.
The song alludes to memories of Taylor’s childhood with a small mention of her father as well. “The Best Day” appeared on her second album, Fearless.
Taylor Swift’s Mother’s Battle with Cancer
The Swift family has not gone into depth about Andrea’s cancer diagnosis in 2015; however, it’s something that the family has struggled with over the years.
After treatment, Andrea’s cancer did go into remission, but in 2019, it is said to have reappeared. While she was undergoing chemotherapy, doctors also located a tumor in Andrea’s brain.
“While she was going through treatment, they found a brain tumor,” Swift told Variety in 2020 while promoting her documentary film Miss Americana.
“And the symptoms of what a person goes through when they have a brain tumor is nothing like what we’ve ever been through with her cancer before. So it’s just been a really hard time for us as a family.”
Andrea Gardner Swift (née Finlay) was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 (Credit: David Lucas/ WENN)
“Both of my parents have had cancer, and my mom is now fighting her battle with it again. It’s taught me that there are real problems and then there’s everything else. My mom’s cancer is a real problem. I used to be so anxious about daily ups and downs. I give all of my worry, stress, and prayers to real problems now,” Taylor shared with Elle magazine.
These days Taylor still spends much of her time with her mother, especially during treatment. She’s used her platform to share the diagnosis with fans and encouraged fans to get checked for cancer and ask others they care about to get screened.
Taylor Swift’s Parents Support Their Daugther
As the Swift family continued to support Taylor’s career, travelling often for months at a time to perform for sold-out crowds across the country and beyond, it’s been rumored the constant separation and stress eventually led to problems between Andrea and Scott.
Some news outlets have reported that Andrea and Scott decided to part ways amicably and quietly divorced in 2011. However, it has never been confirmed and we have reason to believe her parents are still together.
Andrea Gardner Swift (née Finlay) and Scott Kingsley Swift secretly got divorced in 2011 (Credit: HRC / WENN)
While the divorce rumors likely are not true, fans picked up on Taylor’s sadness surrounding the event and correlated her lyrics to the split.
Her album, Red, was released in October 2012, and while many fans assume the album is about the end of her three-month relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal, others point to her parents’ marriage troubles.
“I look back on this [Red] as my true breakup album, every other album has flickers of different things. But this was an album that I wrote specifically about pure, absolute, to the core, heartbreak,” Taylor told Rolling Stone.
What is Taylor Swift’s Family Doing Now?
Also a cancer survivor, her father Scott Swift has slowed down over the years but still works in financial advising. He does resurface on Taylor’s tours, although he mainly stays home and office-bound.
Andrea Swift continues to receive treatment for her cancer diagnosis while staying at Taylor’s side.
Taylor Swift poses for a photo with staff at a Belfast cocktail bar after dropping in for a margarita while visiting boyfriend Joe Alwyn in Northern Ireland on September 14, 2021 (Credit: The Tipsy Bird / MEGA / WENN)
Taylor is still busy as ever, but she’s aching to get back out on the road and in front of fans. She revealed in a recent TikTok that she misses the connection she gets from shows, hashtagging the 13-second video with #allithinkaboutisyou.
Accused of slut-shaming Camilla Bella, she hasn’t been seen live on stage since the shelving of her Lover Fest tour was shelved during the spring of 2020.
Swift has been busy creating during the lockdown, pushing out two albums: Folklore and Evermore. No shows are currently scheduled for the rest of 2021 or for 2022 yet, but fans are eagerly awaiting new dates to drop.
Taylor Swift wears a strapless “Quince” jumpsuit from The Reformation (Credit: TNYF / WENN)
Over a year later, the then 24-year-old pop star took them out for another stroll.
Taylor Swift shows off her black “Agagta” shoulder bag by Dolce & Gabbana and Ray-Ban sunglasses (Credit: TNYF / WENN)
Taylor Swift was spotted wearing the Christian Louboutin Karina while spending a day with her parents Scott Kingsley Swift and Andrea Gardner in New York City.
Taylor Swift with her parents Scott Swift and Andrea Finlay in Manhattan, New York City, on July 11, 2014 (Credit: TNYF / WENN)
Do you like how Taylor styled her black jumpsuit with a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes? The Karina boots are from the brand’s Fall 2013 collection and have already sold out at Nordstrom and Mytheresa.
Christian Louboutin “Karina” Caged Red-Sole Ankle Booties, $1,195