Since the age of 16, Taylor Swift has been able to dominate airwaves and headlines with her hit songs (and their secretive subjects), making her a staple of pop culture and also an example of just how fickle the roller coaster of fame can be.
Swift is polarizing. For some, she’s America’s sweetheart and for others, she’s a perfect example of the strength of the Hollywood machine. No matter who anyone thinks she is, one thing is clear. At 27 years old, Swift has been able to establish her longevity as a cultural and musical staple, and quite frankly, there’s no stopping her.
One sign of her powerful presence is the ‘love’ side of the Swift spectrum, with dedicated Swifties collecting and distributing every interesting fact about her online. Swift isn’t exactly secretive, but she can be guarded. Though it might seem like there aren’t too many things we don’t know about Taylor Swift (blame the tabloids), there are still some interesting bits of little-known info.
Whether you love her (hey, #squad), hate her (hi, Kimye!), or fall somewhere in between (most of us), take a look at these 10 fun facts about Taylor Swift.
1. Her lucky number is 13.
To say Taylor Swift’s lucky number is 13 is a bit of an understatement. She was born December 13, 1989 and has had several coincidences in regard to her fave digits.
“I was born on the 13th. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first #1 song had a 13-second intro,” she said. “Every time I’ve won an award I’ve been seated in either the 13th seat, the 13th row, the 13th section or row M, which is the 13th letter.”
Swift has been known to draw 13 on her arms during concerts and incorporate the number in whatever ways she can. Anyone who follows her on Twitter knows her handle is @TaylorSwift13.
2. She grew up on a Christmas tree farm.
Swift grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, with her parents Scott and Andrea and her younger brother, Austin.
She says the family’s home on the Christmas tree farm is to blame for her love of the holidays, saying it was “magical.”
The home, which boasts 15 acres of land, is also pretty beautiful.
— 93.5 NASH FM (@935NashFM) September 19, 2013
3. Her favorite cocktail is pretty unusual.
Swift is a pretty big fan of Diet Coke, as well as a paid spokesperson for the brand.
She told Vogue that her favorite drink is a vodka and Diet Coke, which is definitely a healthy choice.
4. She’s got some pretty solid legal advice.
When asked by Vogue what her greatest piece of advice would be for aspiring stars, Swift said, “Get a good lawyer.”
Swift is infamous for her reliance on her legal team, making sure that none of her music is leaked or used without authorization, as well as protecting her brand and its associations.
Swift and her lawyers went so far as to trademark several different terms from her albums, including applying to maintain control of the year/number 1989 for legal distribution, in honor of her birth year and her album title.
5. She once won a national poetry contest.
Swift’s entry in the contest was entitled Monster In My Closet and she wrote it in fifth grade during her time at West Reading Elementary Center.
There’s a monster in my closet and I don’t know what to do!
Have you ever seen him?
Has he ever pounced on you?
I wonder what he looks like!
Is he purple with red eyes?
I wonder what he likes to eat. What about his size!!
Tonight I’m gonna catch him!
I’ll set a real big trap!
Then I’ll train him really well.
He’ll answer when I clap!
When I looked up in that closet there was nothing there but stuff.
I know the monster’s in there! I heard him huff and puff!
Could it be he wants to eat me?
Maybe I’m his favorite tray.
And if he comes to get me,
I’ll scream loudly, “Go away!!”
If he’s nice, I’ll name him “Happy.”
If he’s bad I’ll name him “Grouch.”
I suspect that he is leaving, but if not… I’ll kick him out!
Now Swift’s writing abilities have earned her countless awards and accolades.
6. Swift wrote all of Speak Now without the help of any co-writers.
Though it’s common for artists to involve several other people in their songwriting process, Swift said she unintentionally wrote the entire album by herself.
“I actually wrote all the songs myself for this record. It didn’t really happen on purpose, it just sort of happened. Like, I’d get my best ideas at 3:00 A.M. in Arkansas, and I didn’t have a co-writer around and I would just finish it,” Swift said in a telecast before the album’s release.
The album debuted at number one and broke several records…. which Taylor Swift would then proceed to break with even more releases including Red and 1989. It was not only commercially successful, but also critically successful, gaining favor from reviewers and fans alike.
The album’s lead single, “Mine,” has received over 229 million views on its accompanying music video alone.
7. She’s a huge fan of rap!
Swift initially emerged as a wildly successful country music artist before transitioning to pop, but she has always been vocal about her love of rap music.
She has rapped Nicki Minaj‘s “Superbass” on the radio, wrote a short satirical song with T-Pain called “Thug Story” and starred in an Apple Music commercial that featured Drake and Future’s “Jumpman” in the background.
After the commercial aired, she even appeared at Drake’s birthday party, sparking rumors that they were either collaborating or dating… or both.
8. Taylor Swift had to fight hard for 1989.
She departed entirely from country to create the album, named after the year she was born. Swift said she wanted the tracks to be “sonically cohesive” in ways that her previous albums, mixes of pop and country, had not been.
Swift made sure that nobody’s “influence” would sway the album’s creation, even fighting with execs for the album’s final cover art not to include her face. She also acknowledged that many people around her were nervous about whether or not the album would be a success, with Swift being the reigning winner of the CMAs and a country radio staple.
In the end, the album shattered several records for its high volume of sales and its huge critical reception, and it was reviewed favorably by critics.
One of the album’s singles, the controversial “Bad Blood,” broke Vevo records for having the most views in 24 hours, though it was later beaten by Adele.
As of now, “Bad Blood” has 990 million views.
9. Taylor Swift was named after James Taylor.
Her parents named her after their favorite singer, James Taylor, and Swift has been known to name drop the legend as one of her own favorites.
In “Begin Again,” Swift discusses finding ground with a potential new love interest about James Taylor. She sings, “You never met one girl who had as many James Taylor records as you, but I do.”
She had the opportunity to sing “Fire and Rain” with Taylor while on tour, and confessed that the song had been the only one she enjoyed singing in her school’s choir.
10. She’s obsessed with cats.
Swift has her own pet cats, both Scottish folds and is an avid cat-lover.
Her pets, Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey, are named after her favorite TV characters from Law and Order and Grey’s Anatomy respectively.
During her aforementioned 73 Questions segment with Vogue, producers asked Swift to name as many cat breeds as she could in 10 seconds and Swift was a pro.