Taylor made history in early 2010, when she became the youngest ever winner of the GRAMMY award for "Album of the Year" for her second studio album, "Fearless". But she also had something to prove: people were skeptical if she, a teenage girl, was actually responsible for the impeccable lyrics in her songs. So Taylor
decided to write her next album solo. "Speak Now" would go on to become the best selling self-written album in history.
"Speak Now" was truly Taylor's golden era. The album was released on October 25, 2010, and was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200, with opening week
sales of one million copies, only the 16th album in history to do so. Even still, Taylor was still establishing herself not only as a country singer but as a world-renowned artist. She already
had a few GRAMMYs under her belt, she had just wrapped up her first headlining tour, and her music was climbing the charts. This is
also the point in her career when she began making headlines for her celebrity romances and friendships.
With the release of "Speak Now", Taylor came out on top yet again. Yes, she had recently dated a handful of attractive young stars (Joe Jonas, John Mayer and Taylor Lautner) and had also
feuded with a few notable celebrities (first and foremost: Kanye West). But instead of speaking on those matters publicly, Taylor addressed them in their music. Even though her songs have always
been about her personal experiences, they eventually took on a new form as fans scoured the lyrics for clues about which celebrity she was singing about. The guessing game may have been
trivial at the time, but it was also super entertaining and piqued the interest of many in her hidden Easter eggs.
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS
"Speak Now" became the fastest-selling digital album by a female artist, with 278'000 downloads in a week. For this feat, Taylor received a listing in the 2010 Guinness World Records; she
earned another entry in the book after 10 of "Speak Now's" tracks debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female to achieve the feat. Three of the album's singles --
"Mine", "Back to December", and "Mean" -- peaked within the Top 10 in Canada.
TWO MORE GRAMMY AWARDS
The song "Mean" won "Best Country Song" and "Best Country Solo Performance" at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor also performed the song during the ceremony. Claire Suddath
of Time felt she "delivered her comeback on-key and with a vengeance", and Jayme Deerwester of USA Today remarked that the criticism in 2010 seemed to have "made her a better
songwriter and live performer".
Taylor won various other awards for "Speak Now", including "Songwriter/Artist of the Year" by the Nashville Songwriters Association (2010 and 2011), "Woman of the Year"
by Billboard (2011), and "Entertainer of the Year" by the Academy of Country Music (2011 and 2012) and the Country Music Association in 2011. At the American Music Awards
of 2011, Swift won "Artist of the Year" and "Favorite Country Album".
SPEAK NOW WORLD TOUR
Taylor embarked on the "Speak Now World Tour", which ran from February 2011 to March 2012, and grossed over $123 million. In
November 2011, she released her first live album, "Speak Now World Tour: Live".
"THE HUNGER GAMES" AND "BOTH OF US"
The following month, Swift contributed two original songs to the "The Hunger Games" soundtrack album — "Safe & Sound",
co-written and recorded with The Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett, and "Eyes Open". The former was awarded the Grammy
Award for "Best Song Written for Visual Media". After providing vocals for B.o.B's "Both of Us" in May 2012, Swift dated political
heir Conor Kennedy from July to September 2012.