All About Taylor Swift’s Parents, Scott and Andrea Swift
Long before she was a Grammy-winning superstar and the world’s highest-paid female entertainer, the “Folklore” singer’s parents were listening to her sing karaoke and driving her to local gigs near her hometown of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.
“She was always singing music when she was 3, 5, 6, 7, years old,” her dad, Scott Swift, told UDaily, the newspaper of his alma mater, the University of Delaware. “It’s Taylor doing what she likes to do.”
Scott and Andrea Swift have been their daughter’s biggest fans since birth, nurturing her talent and passion from a young age while striving to keep the pressures of fame off of her.
“There would always be an escape hatch into normal life if she decided this wasn’t something she had to pursue,” Andrea told Entertainment Weekly in 2008. “And of course that’s like saying to her, ‘If you want to stop breathing, that’s cool.’ “
Andrea, a former marketing manager at an advertising agency, married Scott, a stockbroker-turned-vice-president for Merrill Lynch, on February 20, 1988, in Harris County, Texas. The couple welcomed Taylor on Dec. 13, 1989. Just over two years later, Taylor became a big sister when her brother Austin was born on March 11, 1992.
The two siblings grew up on a 15-acre Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania before eventually moving to the suburbs of Nashville after the “Teardrops On My Guitar” singer landed her first major record deal with Sony at age 14.
Within a few years of taking that leap of faith, Taylor made her debut onstage at the Grand Ole Opry as a rising country star in September 2006. Andrea began to accompany her on the road as her career took off, while Scott stayed home with Austin.
By 2010, Taylor’s chart-topping success took her to the Grammys, where she swept up four awards and made history as the youngest artist ever to take home album of the year for 2008’s Fearless. She effusively thanked both her parents for their support in her acceptance speech, dedicating the award to her dad. “This is for all those times that you said I could do whatever I wanted in life,” she said. “And my mom, you’re my best friend.”
In April 2023, Taylor gave her parents a sweet shout-out during an Eras Tour concert in Houston.
“I love you Houston,” she can be heard saying in a video posted on TikTok. “You treat us like Houston is my mom’s hometown, which it is. You treat us like this is where my parents got married, which it is.”
Keep reading for more about Taylor Swift’s parents, Scott and Andrea Swift.
They raised Taylor on a Christmas tree farm
The “Lover” singer’s deep affinity for Christmas stems from growing up on a Christmas tree farm in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Though the family later moved to Nashville, Taylor has always spoken fondly of her memories on the farm, even returning to pay a visit there in 2018.
She later commemorated her childhood home in her 2021 song “Christmas Tree Farm,” on which she sings about her happy holiday memories from growing up.
They named her with a business career in mind
Both of Taylor’s parents have backgrounds in the financial industry, something which influenced the moniker they chose for her.
“My mom thought it was cool that if you got a business card that said ‘Taylor’ you wouldn’t know if it was a guy or a girl,” she told Rolling Stone in 2009, explaining that they thought an androgynous name could help reduce any potential discrimination in the corporate world. “She wanted me to be a business person in a business world.”
Andrea and Taylor traveled all over together to pursue Taylor’s dreams
Sure of her talent and drive from a young age, Taylor sought to make her dreams a reality by trying to track down a record deal. Andrea was supportive from the start, driving Taylor to Nashville to hand out demos of her singing karaoke.
“My mom waited in the car with my little brother while I knocked on doors up and down Music Row,” Taylor told Entertainment Weekly in 2008. “I would say, ‘Hi, I’m Taylor. I’m 11. I wanted a record deal — call me.”
Upon returning from that fateful Nashville trip — where no one did call her — Taylor decided to take up guitar and focus on songwriting in order to help herself stand out. When her parents initially tried to dissuade her from starting with a 12-string guitar, suggesting that her fingers were still “too small,” she immediately set out to prove them wrong.
“Don’t ever say never or can’t do to Taylor. She started playing it four hours a day — six on the weekends,” Andrea told the outlet.
They moved to the suburbs of Nashville to support Taylor’s career
In 2003, Taylor and her family relocated to Hendersonville, just outside of Nashville, after she became the youngest person to sign with Sony/ATV Publishing. While the move was made in service of then-14-year-old Taylor’s budding career, her parents strove to keep the pressure off of her, promising the move was “a change of scenery.”
“I never wanted to make that move about her ‘making it,”‘ Andrea told EW. “Because what a horrible thing if it hadn’t happened, for her to carry that kind of guilt or pressure around.” Meanwhile, Scott moved the financial advisory business where’d he worked for nearly three decades — The Swift Group, under Merrill Lynch — to their new home.
Part of the reason they didn’t move directly to Nashville was to offer Taylor a buffer against the trappings of fame as well, Andrea revealed. “And we moved far enough outside Nashville to where she didn’t have to be going to school with producers’ kids and label presidents’ kids and be reminded constantly that she was struggling to make it,” she explained. “We’ve always told her that this is not about putting food on our table or making our dreams come true.”
Scott often joined Taylor on tour — where he playfully did his best to embarrass her
Like any stereotypical dad, Scott got a kick out of embarrassing his teenage daughter — but Taylor took it all in stride.
“My dad is along the ride for this trip,” she wrote on MySpace in 2009. “He’s a social butterfly, and loves being on tour. He loves it so much, he thinks it’s absolutely hilarious to embarrass me as much as possible.”
“For example,” the then-19-year-old said, “[I’m] walking into the hotel lobby after returning from dinner. It’s a quiet, serene, beautiful when Screaming voice from out of nowhere: ‘HEY! THAT’S TAYLOR SWIFT!!’ Me: ‘Dad. Please stop doing that.’ “
But despite his ribbing, she insisted: “It’s pretty priceless having my dad out here with me.”
Taylor shared with fans that Andrea has faced cancer twice
While writing songs is primarily how Taylor processes and shares her emotions with fans, she opened up directly in a candid Tumblr post in 2015, informing fans that Andrea had been diagnosed with cancer.
“I’m writing to you with an update I wish I wasn’t giving you, but it’s important and I’m used to sharing important events in my life with you,” Taylor began. “Usually when things happen to me, I process them and then write music about how I feel, and you hear it much later. This is something my family and I thought you should know about now.” She went on to explain that during a routine check-up which she’d encouraged her mom to get, doctors discovered Andrea had cancer.
“I’d like to keep the details of her condition and treatment plans private, but she wanted you to know,” Taylor added. “She wanted you to know why she may not be at as many shows this tour. She’s got an important battle to fight.”
In a reflective personal essay for Elle in 2019, Taylor revealed that her mom’s cancer had returned. “It’s taught me that there are real problems and then there’s everything else. My mom’s cancer is a real problem. I used to be so anxious about daily ups and downs,” she said, adding that her priorities had since shifted. “I give all of my worry, stress and prayers to real problems now.”
In the same essay, Taylor shared that her dad Scott had also previously been diagnosed with cancer, though she didn’t share specific details about his health journey. “Both of my parents have had cancer,” she wrote in part, going on to expand on her mom’s condition without elaborating on her dad’s.
While undergoing treatment for cancer, Andrea was also diagnosed with a brain tumor, Taylor revealed in 2020 to Variety.
“Everyone loves their mom; everyone’s got an important mom,” Taylor told the outlet, going on to express how the news was impacting their family. “But for me, she’s really the guiding force. Almost every decision I make, I talk to her about it first. So obviously it was a really big deal to ever speak about her illness.”
She added that it was “a really hard time” for her family, explaining that “the symptoms of what a person goes through when they have a brain tumor is nothing like what we’ve ever been through with her cancer before.”
Andrea introduced Taylor at the 2015 Academy of Country Music Awards
Just over a week after her first cancer diagnosis was shared with fans, Andrea joined Taylor onstage at the ACM Awards, where the singer was being honored with the Milestone Award. Andrea shared what a “proud mom” she was as she introduced her daughter.
“I’ve watched this milestone artist from the time she was a tangled-hair little girl … Full of imagination and creativity until right now, when she prepares for her next world tour. I’m a very proud mom,” Andrea said through tears.
Andrea has inspired two of Taylor’s songs
The pop star first gave fans a glimpse into her and Andrea’s close bond in 2008’s “The Best Day,” which references a handful of sweet memories the pair have shared together over the years. When Taylor released a lyric video for the track in 2021, she included adorable never-before-seen home videos of the duo as well.
On Lover, Taylor opened up about the emotional trauma of navigating her mom’s cancer diagnosis in “Soon You’ll Get Better,” singing, “And I hate to make this all about me/ But who am I supposed to talk to? What am I supposed to do? If there’s no you.” During a YouTube Live, Taylor revealed that it was a family decision to ultimately include the song on the album. “It’s something I’m so proud of, but it’s just really hard. I can’t sing it. It’s hard to just emotionally deal with that song,” she explained.
Scott worried about Taylor’s safety when decided to speak out about politics
After years of being criticized for not sharing her political opinions, Taylor broke her silence and put public support behind two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee in 2018 — much to the initial concern of her dad.
In her Netflix documentary Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, she and her dad discuss the social media post. “I’ve read the entire [statement] and … right now, I’m terrified. I’m the guy that went out and bought armored cars,” Scott told Taylor in the documentary. Speaking to Variety, Taylor explained that while she understood his concerns for her personal safety, she felt she could no longer stay silent.
“This was a situation where, from a humanity perspective, and from what my moral compass was telling me I needed to do, I knew was right, and I really didn’t care about repercussions,” she explained. “My dad is terrified of threats against my safety and my life, and he has to see how many stalkers we deal with on a daily basis, and know that this is his kid. It’s where he comes from.”
Scott is still a hands-on dad
When hundreds of Swifties camped out overnight in August 2019 to catch the “You Need to Calm Down” singer’s Good Morning America performance, Taylor made sure none of them went hungry. The singer ordered 30 pizzas to be delivered to the line of fans outside New York City’s Central Park, handed out by members of her team — including her dad! “For my parents, they’re like: That’s my kid! People are waiting on the sidewalk to see her sing!” Taylor told GMA of her dad getting involved.
Scott most recently joined his daughter as she kicked off her Eras Tour in March 2023. Ahead of her opening night concert, Taylor shared a snap of the backstage pass she created for her dad on her Instagram Story. The handmade card was marked “D.O.H. Pass” in gold lettering, with “(Dad of Headliner)” written below in Taylor’s handwriting.
“Made my Dad’s tour credential,” Swift captioned the photograph. “We are a small family business.”