Country Music Memories: Taylor Swift’s Debut Album Is Released


Fourteen years ago today, on Oct. 24, 2006, Taylor Swift’s life was about to completely change. It was on that date that the then-16-year-old released her self-titled debut album on Big Machine Records.

Swift released her first single, “Tim McGraw,” on June 19, 2006. The song, which Swift wrote with Liz Rose, peaked at No. 6 on the country charts and at No. 40 on the pop charts.

“This song means so much to me, that’s why we wanted it to be the first track on the album,” Swift said of “Tim McGraw” at the time. “The idea for this song came to me in math class. I just started singing to myself, ‘When you think Tim McGraw …’ The concept for this song hit me because I was dating a guy who moved away, and it was going to be over for us.

Big Machine Records

“I started thinking of things that I knew would remind him of me,” she continued. “The first thing that came to mind was that my favorite song is by Tim McGraw. After school, I went downtown, sat down at the piano and wrote this with Liz Rose in 15 minutes. It may be the best 15 minutes I’ve ever experienced.”

Swift wrote or co-wrote all 11 songs on her debut project. The Pennsylvania native released five songs from Taylor Swift as singles: “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “Our Song,” “Picture to Burn” and “Should’ve Said No,” in addition to “Tim McGraw.” All five songs have been certified at least platinum, for sales of one million copies, with “Our Song” and “Should’ve Said No” both landing at the top of the charts.

Swift won the CMA Horizon Award, as well as an ACM Awards trophy for Top Female Vocalist, partially thanks to the success of Taylor Swift. She released five more albums with Big Machine, then signed with Universal Music Group at the end of her original contract, prior to releasing 2019’s Lover.

Taylor Swift and More Country Debut Albums That Changed the Game:

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