Taylor Swift’s parents have always helped her chase her “Wildest Dreams.”
Long before she was a Grammy-winning superstar and the world’s highest-paid female entertainer, the “Folklore” singer’s parents were listening to her sing karaoke and driving her to local gigs near her hometown of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.
“She was always singing music when she was 3, 5, 6, 7, years old,” her dad, Scott Swift, told UDaily, the newspaper of his alma mater, the University of Delaware. “It’s Taylor doing what she likes to do.”
Scott and Andrea Swift have been their daughter’s biggest fans since birth, nurturing her talent and passion from a young age while striving to keep the pressures of fame off of her.
“There would always be an escape hatch into normal life if she decided this wasn’t something she had to pursue,” Andrea told Entertainment Weekly in 2008. “And of course that’s like saying to her, ‘If you want to stop breathing, that’s cool.’ ”
Andrea, a former marketing manager at an advertising agency, married Scott, a stockbroker-turned-vice-president for Merrill Lynch, on February 20, 1988, in Harris County, Texas. The couple welcomed Taylor on Dec. 13, 1989. Just over two years later, Taylor became a big sister when her brother Austin was born on March 11, 1992.
The two siblings grew up on a 15-acre Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania before eventually moving to the suburbs of Nashville after the “Teardrops On My Guitar” singer landed her first major record deal with Sony at age 14.
Within a few years of taking that leap of faith, Taylor made her debut onstage at the Grand Ole Opry as a rising country star in September 2006. Andrea began to accompany her on the road as her career took off, while Scott stayed home with Austin.
By 2010, Taylor’s chart-topping success took her to the Grammys, where she swept up four awards and made history as the youngest artist ever to take home album of the year for 2008’s Fearless. She effusively thanked both her parents for their support in her acceptance speech, dedicating the award to her dad. “This is for all those times that you said I could do whatever I wanted in life,” she said. “And my mom, you’re my best friend.”
Keep reading for more about Taylor Swift’s parents, Scott and Andrea Swift.
They raised Taylor on a Christmas tree farm
The “Lover” singer’s deep affinity for Christmas stems from growing up on a Christmas tree farm in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Though the family later moved to Nashville, Taylor has always spoken fondly of her memories on the farm, even returning to pay a visit there in 2018.
She later commemorated her childhood home in her 2021 song “Christmas Tree Farm,” on which she sings about her happy holiday memories from growing up.
They named her with a business career in mind
Both of Taylor’s parents have backgrounds in the financial industry, something which influenced the moniker they chose for her.
“My mom thought it was cool that if you got a business card that said ‘Taylor’ you wouldn’t know if it was a guy or a girl,” she told Rolling Stone in 2009, explaining that they thought an androgynous name could help reduce any potential discrimination in the corporate world. “She wanted me to be a business person in a business world.”
Andrea and Taylor traveled all over together to pursue Taylor’s dreams
Sure of her talent and drive from a young age, Taylor sought to make her dreams a reality by trying to track down a record deal. Andrea was supportive from the start, driving Taylor to Nashville to hand out demos of her singing karaoke.
“My mom waited in the car with my little brother while I knocked on doors up and down Music Row,” Taylor told Entertainment Weekly in 2008. “I would say, ‘Hi, I’m Taylor. I’m 11. I wanted a record deal — call me.”
Upon returning from that fateful Nashville trip — where no one did call her — Taylor decided to take up guitar and focus on songwriting in order to help herself stand out. When her parents initially tried to dissuade her from starting with a 12-string guitar, suggesting that her fingers were still “too small,” she immediately set out to prove them wrong.
“Don’t ever say never or can’t do to Taylor. She started playing it four hours a day — six on the weekends,” Andrea told the outlet.
They moved to the suburbs of Nashville to support Taylor’s career
In 2003, Taylor and her family relocated to Hendersonville, just outside of Nashville, after she became the youngest person to sign with Sony/ATV Publishing. While the move was made in service of then-14-year-old Taylor’s budding career, her parents strove to keep the pressure off of her, promising the move was “a change of scenery.”
“I never wanted to make that move about her ‘making it,”‘ Andrea told EW. “Because what a horrible thing if it hadn’t happened, for her to carry that kind of guilt or pressure around.” Meanwhile, Scott moved the financial advisory business where’d he worked for nearly three decades — The Swift Group, under Merrill Lynch — to their new home.
Part of the reason they didn’t move directly to Nashville was to offer Taylor a buffer against the trappings of fame as well, Andrea revealed. “And we moved far enough outside Nashville to where she didn’t have to be going to school with producers’ kids and label presidents’ kids and be reminded constantly that she was struggling to make it,” she explained. “We’ve always told her that this is not about putting food on our table or making our dreams come true.”
Scott often joined Taylor on tour — where he playfully did his best to embarrass her
Like any stereotypical dad, Scott got a kick out of embarrassing his teenage daughter — but Taylor took it all in stride.
“My dad is along the ride for this trip,” she wrote on MySpace in 2009. “He’s a social butterfly, and loves being on tour. He loves it so much, he thinks it’s absolutely hilarious to embarrass me as much as possible.”
“For example,” the then-19-year-old said, “[I’m] walking into the hotel lobby after returning from dinner. It’s a quiet, serene, beautiful when Screaming voice from out of nowhere: ‘HEY! THAT’S TAYLOR SWIFT!!’ Me: ‘Dad. Please stop doing that.’ ”
But despite his ribbing, she insisted: “It’s pretty priceless having my dad out here with me.”
Andrea has inspired two of Taylor’s songs
The pop star first gave fans a glimpse into her and Andrea’s close bond in 2008’s “The Best Day,” which references a handful of sweet memories the pair have shared together over the years. When Taylor released a lyric video for the track in 2021, she included adorable never-before-seen home videos of the duo as well.
On Lover, Taylor opened up about the emotional trauma of navigating her mom’s cancer diagnosis in “Soon You’ll Get Better,” singing, “And I hate to make this all about me/ But who am I supposed to talk to? What am I supposed to do? If there’s no you.” During a YouTube Live, Taylor revealed that it was a family decision to ultimately include the song on the album. “It’s something I’m so proud of, but it’s just really hard. I can’t sing it. It’s hard to just emotionally deal with that song,” she explained.