female vocalist

Taylor Swift and her mom worked together to make her room fun and cool

taylor-swift-and-momThe perfect room is all about location, says Taylor Swift, who has the only bedroom on the first floor of the Hendersonville, Tenn., home she shares with her parents, Andrea and Scott, and brother Austin, 15. “I do most of my writing in the middle of the night,” she says. “If my mom and dad heard me playing guitar at 2 a.m., they’d be like, ‘You’ve got to go to bed!’ But they can’t hear me.”   Swift’s bedroom perfectly reflects its 17-year-old inhabitant, who is both a country music superstar and a typical teen. On one wall hangs the commemorative award for her platinum-selling debut album Taylor Swift. Just inches away is a photo collage of her high school friends. Then there’s the portrait of her painted by a friend’s older brother and a beaded necklace (a gift from her very first boyfriend) draped over the lamp on her bedside table. “That’s one of my favorite things about my room,” she says. “There are so many mementos from my life before all this happened, and then there are things that remind me of where I am now.” Which, these days, is often on the road playing concert dates. “I’m home two or three days a month, so it’s valuable to me every time I get to spend time in my room,” says Swift. “I kind of took it for granted before, but now when I wake up here, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is not a bus. This is awesome!’”

Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Growing up, she developed a love for country music, especially Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton. By the age of 10, she began performing around her hometown, at festivals, fairs and sang at karaoke contests. She started writing songs at the age of 12, and this was the same time she got her first guitar.

Big Break
Taylor’s family realized her talent and determination, and they made regular trips to Nashville. At the age of 14, she became the youngest songwriter signed to a publishing deal with Sony/ATV. This is when the family packed up and moved to Hendersonville, TN.
At a showcase at the Bluebird Cafe, Taylor caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, who was at the time planning to launch a new label. He signed her to his label, “Big Machine Records,” and a career was born.

Her self-titled debut was released in 2006. It debuted at No. 3, but 39 weeks later, it hit the top of the charts and has sold over 2.5 million copies, earning the young star a Platinum album.

2007 is Taylor Swift’s Year

Although her album came out in October 2006, it was 2007, that was really a career year for Taylor Swift. As mentioned above, her album reached the No. 1 spot on the charts, and did so well that her label decided to re-package it with some video content, a few more songs, and release it as a Deluxe Limited Edition. Fans could listen to several new songs, watch all the videos released up until that time, plus watch a movie edited by Taylor herself.

In April, Taylor won her first award, at the CMT Music Awards, for “Breakthrough Video,” for “Tim McGraw.” She was so ecstatic, that she promised to take the award with her out on the road with Brad Paisley later that year. And, she did.

At the ACM Awards that year, Taylor finally got to meet her idol, and the namesake of her first hit song, “Tim McGraw.” Not only did she meet him, but she actually sang “Tim McGraw” to him, as he and wife Faith Hill sat in the front row at the awards show. Fans will not forget when the song ended, she reached out her hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Taylor.” It was such a precious moment.

At the ACM Awards, Taylor collected the Best New Female Artist Award. In November at the CMA Awards, she took home the Horizon Award.

Before the end of the year, and her 18th birthday, she would reach another milestone, as her single “Our Song” became her first No. 1 song. Not only was it No. 1, but it remained in the position for six weeks, into 2008.

Taylor Moves Fearlessly In 2008
In 2008, Taylor continued touring (she was on the road with Rascal Flatts as well as headlining some shows), which she loves so much.

In November 2008, she released her sophomore release, titled Fearless. Like the first album, it contains songs she’s written and co-written. If it ain’t broke… Whatever she does, you can be sure it will be a success. This girl looks to Garth Brooks as inspiration for how to treat her fans, and you can’t get a better inspiration than that.

The Eurovision Song Contest is Europe’s favorite TV show.

eurovision-song-contestAlready for 53 years, the Eurovision Song Contest is Europe’s favorite TV show. After more than five decades featuring some 1,100 songs, the contest has become a modern classic, strongly embedded into Europe’s collective mind. Read on to find out how it all started over half a century ago…
After 53 years, the database with Eurovision Song Contest facts and figures, stories and anecdotes is huge! A true, die-hard fan knows how many points Luxembourg got in 1980 (56), who came last in 1972 (Malta, with 48 points) and how many times the Netherlands got 12 points in 1996 (once, from Austria). Because no one can expect you to become a living Eurovision Song Contest encyclopedia, Eurovision.tv takes you through the contest’s history in fast forward. It’s all you need to know before you dive into the rich history of the Eurovision Song Contest…

How it all begun
Did you know that not only stars like ABBA, Celine Dion, Cliff Richard and Julio Iglesias took part, but also dance act Riverdance thanks its fame to the Eurovision Song Contest? The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was formed on 12th February 1950 by 23 broadcasting organisations from Europe and the Mediterranean at a conference in Devon, United Kingdom. It was on the 6th of June, 1954, that Montreux became the venue for the first transmission by the EBU’s Eurovision Network of the Narcissus Festival and its flower-bedecked procession floats. The first Eurovision viewers eagerly watched on four million television sets in homes, bars, and shop windows in Germany, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Ambitious project
In 1955, the EBU came up with the idea of an international song contest whereby countries, represeted by their respective public broadcasters, would participate in one television show, to be transmitted simultaneously in all represented nations. This was conceived during a meeting in Monaco in 1955 by Marcel Bezençon, a Frenchman working for the EBU. The competition was based upon the Italian Festival di Sanremo, held for the first time in 1951, and was also seen as a technological experiment in live television: In those days, it was a very ambitious project to join many countries together in a wide-area international network. Satellite television did not exist yet at that time, and the Eurovision Network comprised a terrestrial microwave network. Le Grand-Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Européenne was born!

The successes
Without interruption, the Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast every year since 1956, which makes it one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. In 2003, the first ever Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place, while the Eurovision Song Contest celebrated her 50th anniversity 2005. Viewers picked ABBA’s Waterloo as best ever Eurovision Song Contest song. In 2007, Europe could see the first ever Eurovision Dance Contest.

The 2008 running saw a record of 43 represented countries, as Azerbaijan and San Marino joined the family. The competition has been broadcast throughout Europe, but also in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States, even though these countries do not participate. In 2009, an Asian version of the Eurovision Song Contest is expected to be launched.

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