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Taylor Swift

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Taylor Swift
Photo: Kevin Kane/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Taylor Swift Facts:

Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania and was named after the singer-songwriter James Taylor.

Swift spent her early years on a Christmas tree farm, which her stockbroker father had purchased from one of his clients.

After watching a documentary about Faith Hill, Swift felt sure she needed to go to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a music career. She travelled with her mother at age eleven to visit Nashville record labels and submitted a demo tape of Dolly Parton and Dixie Chicks karaoke covers.

In 2003, Swift and her parents started working with New York-based music manager Dan Dymtrow. With his help, Swift modelled for Abercrombie & Fitch as part of their Rising Stars campaign and had an original song included on a Maybelline compilation CD.

At age 14, Swift became the youngest artist signed by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house and, at age 15, she signed her first record deal.

Her self-titled debut album peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the United States, spending 157 weeks there, the longest stay on the chart by any release in the US that decade.

Her 2006 eponymous debut album was the longest-charting album of the 2000s in the US. Its third single, “Our Song”, made her the youngest person to write and perform a number-one song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Her second album Fearless, was released in 2008. Buoyed by the pop crossover success of the singles “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me”, it became the US’s best-selling album of 2009 and was certified diamond in the US. The album won four Grammy Awards, and Swift became the youngest Album of the Year winner.

In 2009, Swift became the youngest person to ever win Entertainer of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards.

Swift made her acting debut in a 2009 episode of CSI, playing rebellious teenager Haley Jones.

In 2015, American singer Ray Stevens released his album Here We Go Again which included the single “Taylor Swift is Stalking Me”.

Her sixth album, Reputation (2017), made her the only act to have four consecutive albums each selling one million copies in their first week in the US.

Swift is one of the most-followed people on social media.

In 2015, Swift became the youngest woman to be included on Forbes’ list of the 100 most powerful women, ranked at number 64.

Swift placed at number eight on Billboard’s list of greatest artists of all time, the highest for an act that debuted in the 21st century and was named Woman of the Decade by the magazine and Artist of the Decade by the American Music Awards.

Her 2018 53-date Reputation Stadium Tour grossed $345.7 million.

In 2018, Swift collaborated with 300 women in Hollywood to set up the Time’s Up initiative to protect women from harassment and discrimination.

Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ (10 Minute Version) is the longest song in history to reach No. 1. The longtime record holder was Don McLean, whose eight-minute track ‘American Pie’ held the top position for four weeks in 1972.

Swift has sold more than 50 million albums, including 37.3 million in the US, and was one of the top five music artists with the highest worldwide digital sales.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Swift promoted the Every Woman Counts campaign, aimed at engaging women in the political process.

Following the release of Red (Taylor’s Version), Swift broke Shania Twain’s record for the most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart.

With 178,600 pre-adds on Apple Music within one day, her seventh studio album Lover is the most pre-saved album by a female artist. The album surpassed three million album-equivalent units worldwide within its first week of release.

She was nominated for six awards at the 2024 Grammys, including for Song of the Year for ‘Anti-Hero.’ This marked Swift’s seventh nomination for Song of the Year — the most of any artist.

Swift is the only artist in history to claim all top 10 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 in a single week. All entries were from Swift’s album Midnights. At the top of the list, the week that Swift broke the record was ‘Anti-Hero,’ the album’s lead single.

Forbes reported in 2019 that Swift brought in a whopping $825 million between 2010 and 2019. Business Insider reported in 2020 that Swift owns at least $84 million in real estate across four states.

Her Reputation tour was the highest-grossing tour in the US as of 2018, grossing $266.1 million.

At the 2021 Grammy Awards, Swift became the first woman to win album of the year three times. The only other artists who have won album of the year three times are Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, and Paul Simon.

Forbes reported that she became a billionaire in October 2023, in part due to her Eras tour, and in February 2024, her net worth was estimated to be $1.1 billion.

Important Dates In The Life Of Taylor Swift:

On this day in music
13 Jun 2024
Thousands of Taylor Swift fans made the earth move by cheering and dancing at her three Edinburgh concerts last weekend. Fans took the singer's encouragement to 'Shake It Off' literally, with monitoring stations detecting seismic activity from 6km (3.73 miles) away. It was also reported how Swift's three-night stint at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh in Scotland had an "unbelievable impact" on the city's hospitality industry with thousands of Swifties swamping cafes, bars and tourist attractions across the centre of Edinburgh while Swift's billion-dollar tour was in the town.
7 Jun 2024
Taylor Swift played the first night on the UK leg of her Eras tour with the first of three nights at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh Scotland. Swift was set to perform for more than a million people over 15 UK shows this summer. The Eras tour had made the most money of any tour in music history and was on track to make £1.5 billion. Around 11 million tickets had been sold for the 152 shows in 22 countries.
23 May 2024
Sir Paul McCartney affectionately mocked Bruce Springsteen, as he presented him with a prestigious prize at the Ivor Novello Awards. Springsteen was in London, England to receive the ceremony's highest honour - a fellowship of the songwriting academy. He was the first international star to receive the award, and Sir Paul said he "couldn't think of a more fitting recipient... except maybe Bob Dylan. Or Paul Simon, or Billy Joel, or Beyoncé, or Taylor Swift" he added. "The list goes on." "He's known as the American working man," Sir Paul continued, "but he admits he’s never worked a day in his life."
8 May 2024
Facebook users whose accounts were hacked and hijacked to sell fake Taylor Swift tickets criticised the platform for not doing more to stop the scammers. Some fans said friends had lost hundreds of pounds after responding to scam posts offering tickets to Swift's UK tour dates, and that Facebook did not respond to multiple attempts to report the hacks. Lloyds Bank estimated that British fans had lost £1m in ticket scams, 90% of which were said to have started on Facebook.
26 Apr 2024
Taylor Swift's latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, topped the UK charts with the biggest first-week sales in seven years. Two hours after the album was released Swift surprised fans by issuing a second volume, titled The Anthology, containing 15 extra tracks. Swift now matched Madonna as the female artist with the most UK No.1's.
31 Dec 2023
Taylor Swift surpassed Elvis Presley for the most No.1 weeks of any solo musician in music history. To date, Swift had logged 68 weeks with the No.1 album in America. That number tops Elvis’ previous record of 67 weeks at the top of the charts. Now, Swift sits behind only The Beatles, who spent 132 weeks at No.1 throughout their career.
28 Dec 2023
UK sales of vinyl LPs hit their highest level since 1990 as the revival of the physical music market continues. Sales rose by 11.7% to 5.9 million units, increasing for the 16th year in a row, according to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) trade group. Taylor Swift's 1989 (Taylor's Version) was the best-selling LP, followed by the Rolling Stones' Hackney Diamonds. Cassette sales also did well, topping 100,000 for a fourth consecutive year.
15 Dec 2023
Billboard reported that Taylor Swift's Eras Tour had already grossed an estimated US$554 million, and projected the US leg to finish with $591 million, surpassing the former all-time female record set by Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour ($407 million) in 2008–2009.
8 Dec 2023
Pollstar reported that Taylor Swift's concert tour brought in about $1.04bn (£829m) in gross sales across its first 60 shows. Overall, the top 100 global tours brought in more than $9bn (£7.17bn) in 2023 in gross sales, up 46% from 2022, which had itself seen record-spending. Singer Beyoncé and Bruce Springsteen rounded out the top three concerts of the year.
6 Dec 2023
Taylor Swift capped off a stellar 2023 by being named Time Magazine's Person of the year. The star, whose Eras tour broke box office records and provoked an inquiry into Ticketmaster's sales practices, follows the likes of Barack Obama, Greta Thunberg and Volodymyr Zelensky.
3 Nov 2023
A re-recording the Taylor Swift crossover pop album 1989 became the UK's fastest-selling record of 2023. 1989 (Taylor's Version) sold 184,000 copies in one week. In the US the album sold 1.1 million copies since its release and 580,000 were on vinyl - the largest week for a single album in that format since modern sales tracking began in 1991.
2 Aug 2023
As a thank you to crew members on the Taylor Swift Eras Tour, it was reported that the singer had paid a hefty bonus of $100,000 to the tour’s truck drivers as the US leg came to an end. Swift insisted on writing a handwritten note to each driver thanking them for their work. The star is said to have given bonuses totalling more than $55m (about £43m) to performers and crew working on her huge Eras tour, rewarding everyone from dancers to riggers, sound technicians, catering staff and more.
15 Jul 2023
Taylor Swift was at No.1 on the UK chart with Speak Now (Taylor's Version) the third re-recorded album. It was part of her re-recording projects following the 2019 dispute over the ownership of her back catalogue. Upon release the album broke the record for the most single-day streams for a country album on Spotify. In the United States, it spent two weeks atop the Billboard 200 and became Swift's 12th number-one album.
17 Mar 2023
Taylor Swift kicked off the Eras Tour in Glendale, United States. The tour was met with unprecedented demand, breaking ticket sales and venue records worldwide, but faced various obstacles leading to the imposition of price regulation and anti-scalping laws. Around 3.5 million people registered for Ticketmaster's US presale, which quickly crashed after going online on November 15, 2022; however, over 2.4 million tickets were sold that day, marking the highest single-day ticket sales for an artist.
1 Dec 2022
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift was at No.1 on the US chart with her tenth studio album Midnights. The album broke a string of records globally. It achieved the Spotify feat for the most single-day streams of an album and topped the charts in 28 territories.
29 Oct 2022
Taylor Swift overtook Madonna by setting a new chart record for the quickest succession of nine UK No.1 albums by a female artist after her 10th album, Midnights, topped the UK chart. The album also became the fastest-selling record of 2022.
3 Apr 2022
Bonnie Raitt was the unexpected winner at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards when the 73-year-old American blues, folk and country singer scored a win for Song of the Year for her track 'Just Like That.' The critically acclaimed singer jumped ahead of pop titans Beyoncé, Adele and Taylor Swift to take home the prize honouring songwriting.
24 Mar 2022
It was reported that Spotify paid $7bn to music industry rights holders in 2021, accounting for almost 25% of the industry's total revenues. The streaming giant said 52,600 artists earned more than $10,000 (£7,500) from Spotify in 2021. Of those, 130 were paid more than $5m (£3.8m) over the last 12 months. Spotify didn't name any of the artists involved, but its most-streamed acts last year were Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift, BTS, Drake and Justin Bieber; while the most streamed-song was Olivia Rodrigo's 'Drivers License'.
12 Mar 2022
Stereophonics scored their eighth UK No.1 with their 25th anniversary album Oochya! The achievement made them one of the most successful chart acts of all time, tying with Taylor Swift, Oasis, Kylie Minogue and R.E.M. - who also have had eight chart toppers. The Beatles have the most, with 15, followed by Elvis Presley and Robbie Williams, both of whom have 13.
24 Nov 2021
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift was at No.1 on the UK chart with Red (Taylor's Version) the second re-recorded album by Swift released as a part of the singers countermeasure against the purchase of the masters of her back catalog. The album is the re-recording of Swift's fourth studio album, Red (2012).
24 Apr 2021
Taylor Swift was at No.1 on the US album chart with Fearless (Taylor's Version). It was part of Swift's re-recording projects following the 2019 dispute over the ownership of her back catalogue released by Big Machine Records. Fearless (Taylor's Version) comprises re-recordings of the tracks on Swift's second studio album, Fearless (2008).
14 Mar 2021
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Awards were originally scheduled for January 31, at the Staples Center but were pushed back due to escalating COVID-19 cases. Beyoncé won the most awards with four. Billie Eilish won her second consecutive Record of the Year award for ‘Everything I Wanted’, while Taylor Swift won her third Album of the Year award for Folklore.
3 Feb 2021
Taylor Swift was being sued by a US theme park called Evermore, which said the star's latest album had infringed its trademark by using the same name. The theme park's owners said Swift's Evermore release had caused confusion about whether the two were linked saying there was a "dramatic departure from typical levels" of traffic on its website in the week after the album's release.
5 Oct 2020
Taylor Swift was at No.1 on the US chart with her eighth studio album Folklore. It was a surprise album, released in July following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 when Swift cancelled a concert tour and quarantined herself, during which time she conceived Folklore.
15 Aug 2020
Taylor Swift was at No.1 on the UK album chart her eighth studio album Folklore. Upon release, Folklore broke the Guinness World Record for the biggest opening day on Spotify for an album by a female act. Three of its tracks reached the top 10 of the official charts in eight countries. It was Swift's seventh consecutive No.1 album on the US Billboard 200 and became the best-selling album of 2020.
8 Aug 2020
Taylor Swift became the first artist to debut at No.1 on both the Hot 100 and US albums chart when Folklore and its lead single, 'Cardigan' both went to the top. Folklore also became her seventh consecutive No.1 album.
1 Aug 2020
Taylor Swift was at No.1 on the UK album chart with her eighth studio album Folklore. It was a surprise album, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Swift cancelled the concert tour for her seventh studio album Lover (2019) and conceived Folklore during quarantine. Folklore broke the record for the biggest opening day on Spotify for an album by a female act. The single 'Exile' featuring Bon Iver, reached the top 10 on music charts in eight countries, and became Swift's sixth No.1 single on the US Billboard Hot 100.
18 Apr 2020
Paul McCartney, Elton John, Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and several other stars performed from their homes on the One World: Together At Home concert during the coronavirus pandemic. The event organized by Global Citizen of New York City and curated by singer Lady Gaga was in support of the World Health Organization.
26 Jan 2020
Billie Eilish swept the board at the 2020 Grammys, winning five awards, including best new artist and song of the year becoming the first person to achieve the feat since Christopher Cross in 1981. The 18-year-old also won album of the year for her debut, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go. She replaced Taylor Swift as the youngest person ever to win the award. Her elder brother, Finneas O'Connell, also picked up producer of the year for his work on Eilish's album.
24 Nov 2019
Taylor Swift received the Artist of the Decade award at the 47th Annual American Music Awards held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Swift was the most-awarded artist of the night with six wins, becoming the most-awarded artist in the award's history with 29 wins.
22 Nov 2019
Pollstar published their list of the top touring artists of the 2010s in North America. U2 came in first with a gross of $1,038,104,132, followed by The The Rolling Stones ($929,196,083), Ed Sheeran ($922,361,663), Taylor Swift ($899,627,048) and Bon Jovi ($868,715,392).
23 Aug 2019
Taylor Swift released her seventh studio album Lover, her first album after parting ways with her former label, Big Machine Records. All of the album's 18 tracks charted on the Hot 100, breaking the all-time female record for the most simultaneous entries. Lover topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and several others. It was Swift's sixth No.1 album on the US Billboard chart.
30 Jun 2019
Taylor Swift's former label, Big Machine, was sold to Scooter Braun's company for an estimated $300 million, giving him control of her back catalog, including the master recordings. In response, Swift accused Braun of bullying her and said she would re-record all her old albums to devalue his purchase.
15 Oct 2018
A study by guitar-maker Fender showed that women accounted for 50 percent of all beginner and aspirational players. They said guitar sales were rising with artists such as Taylor Swift encouraging more young women to pick up an "axe". Fender’s study also found that 72 percent of guitar players pick up a guitar for the first time to gain a life skill or improve themselves.
27 Aug 2017
The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards were held at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Hosted by Katy Perry, the music video for Taylor Swift's song 'Look What You Made Me Do' premiered during the broadcast. Viewership was down to 5.68 million viewers, making it the lowest viewed show since 1994.
23 Feb 2017
Jay Z was set to become first rapper inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame. Previous inductees include Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson. But no rapper had ever made the cut before. Jay Z would be inducted as part of the hall's class of 2017 alongside Max Martin, who has written songs for Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Ariana Grande.
2 Nov 2016
Taylor Swift was the highest-paid woman in music, according to Forbes' annual list, having earned more than double her nearest competitor Adele. The 26-year-old pop star had amassed earnings of $170m (£137.8m) over the past year, mainly thanks to a world tour named after her recent 1989 album.
8 Jul 2016
Canadian rapper and singer Drake was at No.1 on the US chart with his fourth studio album Views. With Views, Drake also joined Adele, Michael Bublé and Taylor Swift as the only artists in the 2010s decade to have an album remain at No.1 on the Billboard 200 for six consecutive weeks.
19 Jun 2016
Artists including Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Pearl Jam, U2 and Sir Paul McCartney called for online copyright laws to be reformed. More than 180 artists signed an open letter criticising the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). They claimed the law benefits companies that "exploit music for their financial enrichment", but not artists.
14 Mar 2016
Sony ATV Music Publishing announced that it would buy out Michael Jackson's share of a joint music publishing venture for $750m. The purchase gave Sony the rights to about three million songs, including works by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Taylor Swift, but did not include Jackson's master recordings.
15 Feb 2016
Winners at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles included Taylor Swift who won three awards, including Album of the Year for 1989, becoming the first female artist to win Album of the Year twice as main credited artist. Alabama Shakes also won three awards including Best Alternative Music Album for Sound & Color. Ed Sheeran won two including Song of the Year for 'Thinking Out Loud'. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' 'Uptown Funk' won for Record of the Year.
23 Nov 2015
Taylor Swift dominated the American Music Awards, winning three prizes, including album of the year and song of the year. One Direction were named favourite group and artist of the year, for the second year in a row and Ariana Grande was the surprise winner of best female, beating Taylor Swift.
1 Nov 2015
Taylor Swift was being sued for $42m (£27m) for allegedly stealing the lyrics to her hit 2014 song 'Shake It Off', which topped music charts around the world. R&B singer Jesse Braham claimed in legal papers Swift stole the words from a song he wrote in 2013 called 'Haters Gone Hate'.
26 Oct 2015
Justin Bieber cleaned up at the MTV's EMAs - (European Music Awards), winning best male, best North American act, best collaboration for 'Where Are You Now?', with Skrillex and Diplo, biggest fans and best look. One Direction won the prize for best pop, Taylor Swift's 'Bad Blood' won best song and Rihanna was named best female.
21 Jun 2015
Apple Music reversed its payment policy, a day after Taylor Swift said she was refusing to allow the company to stream her latest album 1989. In an open letter to Apple, Swift said she was withholding the record as she was unhappy with the three-month free trial offered to subscribers, saying "We don't ask you for free iPhones. Please don't ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation." Apple now said it would pay artists for music streamed during trial periods.
15 Apr 2015
It was reported that Digital music revenues matched physical sales for the first time in 2014, thanks to strong growth in the streaming market. The digital market rose 6.9% to $6.9 billion (£4.6 billion), representing 46% of all global music sales. CDs, vinyl and other physical formats also accounted for 46% of the market. Pharrell Williams's 'Happy' was the most-downloaded single globally in 2014, with Taylor Swift the most popular artist.
29 Jan 2015
Taylor Swift was seeking to trademark phrases including "this sick beat" and "we never go out of style", in the United States. If granted, the trademark would stop others from using her lyrics on items such as t-shirts, stickers and bags. Other phrases she wants to protect included "nice to meet you, where you been" and "party like it's 1989".
27 Nov 2014
Taylor Swift was at No.1 on the US album chart with her fifth studio album 1989. The total US sales figure from the debut week of 1989 was the highest of any album since 2002 and 1989 became the best-selling album of 2014 in the US. The album has now sold over 9 million copies worldwide.
12 Nov 2014
After a high profile move by Taylor Swift to pull her entire back catalogue from the song-streaming service Spotify, their chief executive Daniel Ek's defended its business model, saying it has paid out $2bn (£1.2bn) to the music industry to date.
6 Nov 2014
Taylor Swift's latest album 1989 debuted at No.1 on America's Billboard albums chart selling 1.287 million copies in its first week. Swift was now the only act to earn three million-selling weeks with an album. Before 1989, Red sold 1.208 million in it's first week, while Speak Now clocked up 1.047 million sales.
10 Oct 2014
Taylor Swift was named Billboard's Woman of the Year 2014, making her the first artist to receive the award twice. The award goes to the female artist who "has shaped and inspired the music industry with her success, leadership and innovation" over the last year.
18 Sep 2014
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift was at no.1 on the US singles chart with 'Shake It Off', becoming Swift's second No.1 single in the United States and the 22nd song to debut at No.1 in the chart's history.
3 Nov 2013
The first ever YouTube awards were held in New York City. The event featured Eminem, Lady Gaga and M.I.A making live music videos directed by the awards' creator, Spike Jonze, and others. Eminem won Artist of the Year, while Taylor Swift's 'I Knew You Were Trouble' took the YouTube Phenomenon award.
12 Mar 2012
Taylor Swift beat Adele and Lady Gaga to be named the highest-earning pop artist of 2011. The 22-year-old earned $35,719,902 (£22.7m) in 2011 from a combination of music sales, royalties and touring. U2 took second place with $32m (£20m) thanks to their 360 tour, seen by more than seven million people while Adele came 10th.
31 Jan 2010
At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Taylor Swift became the youngest artist ever to receive the Album of the Year award with Fearless. The Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance went to Bruce Springsteen for Working on a Dream, Best Rock Song went to Kings of Leon for 'Use Somebody' and song of the Year went to Beyoncé for 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)'.
7 Jan 2010
According to Nielsen SoundScan's final 2009 figures, Michael Jackson was the best selling artist of the year, moving 8,286,000 units. Forty years after their break-up, The Beatles were still the best selling group, thanks to their remastered catalog which sold 3,282,000 copies. Digital downloads however, were a different story. Lady Gaga was the queen of the downloads, selling 15,297,000 digital tracks. The Black Eyed Peas, Michael Jackson and Taylor Swift all finished in the vicinity of 12 million digital units.
11 Nov 2009
During the 43rd Annual CMA Awards Taylor Swift became the youngest person to ever win Entertainer of the Year. Swift also took home Best Female Vocalist and Album and Music Video of the Year. The event was aired live on the ABC Television Network before a sold-out crowd at the Sommet Center in Downtown Nashville.
27 Dec 2008
Taylor Swift started a seven-week run at No.1 on the US album charts with Fearless. The album was the best-selling album of 2009, making Swift, 18 at the time of the album's release, the youngest artist to have the best-selling album of a calendar year. The album is certified diamond by RIAA and has sold over 7.18 million copies.
9 Sep 2007
Taylor Swift released 'Our Song' the third single from her self-titled debut studio album. It became Swift's first No.1 single on the Hot Country Songs chart, maintaining the position for six consecutive weeks. The track made Swift the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a No.1 song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
24 Oct 2006
Taylor Swift released her self-titled debut studio album. Swift was 16 years old at the time of the album's release and the album went on the top the Country Albums Chart for 24 non-consecutive weeks selling over seven million copies. The album also became the longest-charting album on the Billboard 200 of the 2000s decade, remaining on the chart for 277 weeks in total.
19 Jun 2006
Taylor Swift released her debut single 'Tim McGraw' as the lead single from her self-titled debut album. The track peaked at No.40 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Peta

    August 2, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Taylor my favourite

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