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When she was nine years old the family moved to Wyomissing, PA, where she attended West Reading Elementary Center and Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School.Taylor spent her summers at her parents' vacation home at the Jersey shore. Her mother put her in a saddle when she was nine months old and Swift later competed in horse shows.

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She had previously won a national poetry contest with a poem entitled "Monster in My Closet", but now began to focus on songwriting.

She moved to Nashville at age 14, having secured an artist development deal with RCA Records.

The New York Times described it as "a small masterpiece of pop-minded country, both wide-eyed and cynical, held together by Ms. Her single "Our Song" made her the youngest solo writer and singer of a #1 country song.

The album sold 39,000 copies during its first week.

In September 2009 she became the first country music artist to win an MTV Video Music Award when "You Belong with Me" was named Best Female Video.

Her acceptance speech was interrupted by rapper Kanye West, who had been involved in a number of other award show incidents.

At the age of nine she turned her attention to musical theatre and performed in Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions of "Grease", "Annie", "Bye Bye Birdie" and "The Sound of Music".

She traveled regularly to New York City for vocal and acting lessons.

She was named after James Taylor, and her mother believed that if she had a gender neutral name it would help her forge a business career.

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