How Taylor Swift Rode Country Star Toby Keith’s Success to Boost Her Career

How Taylor Swift Rode Country Star Toby Keith’s Success to Boost Her Career

Taylor Swift is the world’s biggest pop star and has been the talk of the music and sports worlds throughout much of the past year.

But the 34-year-old arguably would not be where she is today without country music legend Toby Keith, who died on Monday following a battle with stomach cancer.

Keith helped launch the record label that first signed Swift, then 15, all the way back in 2005, Rolling Stone reported.

The country star had such an influence on Swift’s early career that she praised him to no end during her first television appearance.

According to Rolling Stone, Keith partnered with music executive Scott Borchetta to start Big Machine Records in 2005.

Borchetta, who had heard Swift perform in a Nashville cafe the year before, quickly signed her to the new label.

Swift was with Big Machine for 13 years, going from an aspiring teenage country singer to “America’s sweetheart” and pop superstar.

WSMV-TV interviewed Swift just as her career was getting off the ground.

“You’re in the room with him and you can feel it,” she said of Keith at the time.

“There’s a power there and you’re just like, ‘Oh my God.’ So I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point where I won’t see him and be like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Toby Keith.’”

Keith told the Chicago Tribune in 2016 that signing Swift had paid off handsomely. In fact, the late singer said the deal meant he never had to work again.

“I own a piece of the label she’s on. If I just took the royalties I had off of that, I wouldn’t have to do anything else,” he said. “A bunch of people could live off that.”

In a 2013 interview with Forbes, Keith joked that “there’s an extra comma” in his career earnings thanks to Swift.

Borchetta sold Big Machine Records for $330 million in 2019, according to Rolling Stone.

Swift had not publicly commented on Keith’s death as of Tuesday evening.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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