On Sunday, October 13th, the Nashville Songwriters Association International will name seven-time GRAMMY winner Taylor Swift their 2013 Songwriter/Artist of the Year. Taylor’s 6th time to win the award, she will have now won this award more times than any other songwriter/artist, surpassing five-time winners Vince Gill and Alan Jackson. She remains the youngest artist ever to earn the award.
The Songwriter/Artist of the Year Award recognizes “most prolific and productive Nashville writers who achieved Top 30 singles during the past year.” Taylor, whose RED album reached #1 in 50 countries, created and placed 14 Top 30 songs on the charts from July 2012 through June 2013. RED, released on Big Machine Records, has sold more than 6 million copies to date, and Taylor has career record sales in excess of 26 million albums and 75 million song downloads.
On Saturday, October 12th, the Taylor Swift Education Center officially opens at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Taylor’s $4 million gift to endow the center is the largest individual artist gift in the Hall of Fame’s history.
Taylor has a long history with the Country Music Hall of Fame — she signed her record contract there as a teenager, and gave one of her first public performances on the building’s plaza. She has also volunteered her time to several of the museum’s “All for the Hall” fundraising shows, and has donated numerous items to the museum for display. Her stand-alone multi-media exhibit has drawn big crowds every day for years, and the museum exhibition on her Speak Now tour was incredibly popular, and the first-ever of its kind, paving the way for subsequent contemporary exhibits.
The Taylor Swift Education Center, which will encompass parts of two floors and feature three classrooms, a learning lab and a state-of-the-art children’s exhibit gallery, will increase the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s educational capacity up to seven-fold (the museum previously had one classroom). The classroom spaces will be adjacent to a visible design studio; this space will feature thematic displays, e.g. dozens of instruments, and allow students to observe museum curators at work. The children’s gallery, situated on the second floor, will be a dedicated exhibit space for young patrons and will be filled with hands-on, interactive exhibits. The center will open officially on October 12th(classrooms and learning lab will open on that date; gallery space will open in March, 2014).
Taylor’s six NSAI Awards will be on special display in the foyer of the Taylor Swift Education Center.
Taylor just concluded the US leg of her blockbuster RED tour with 3 sold-out hometown shows at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, and is now taking the tour around the world, beginning with shows Australia and New Zealand later this year. Taylor is the first solo female artist in twenty years to undertake a national stadium tour of Australia, the last being Madonna in 1993.
After Taylor’s initial announcement last week of 3 shows for February, 2014, at London’s O2 Arena, a fourth show was added due to fan demand, and after all 4 shows sold out in a matter of hours, on Monday she added a 5th show. Taylor will play the O2 February 1, 2, 4, 10 and 11, 2014.
With 6 nominations, including one for Entertainer of the Year, Taylor leads the nominee field for this year’s CMA Awards, and she will perform live from Nashville on the November 6th ABC telecast. Taylor is featured on the covers of the November issues of InStyle (US) and Glamour (UK).