Taylor Swift, the biggest selling album artist over the past 12 months, is Billboard's 2011 Woman of the Year.
Taylor Swift, the four-time Grammy winner and biggest selling albums artist in any genre for the past 12 months, has been chosen to receive the coveted Woman of the Year Award at the 2011 Billboard Women in Music event on Dec. 2 in New York City.
The 21-year-old singer-songwriter is the youngest artist to ever receive the honor, and it comes on the heels of earning several 2011 Billboard Music Awards, among them Top Country Album for the five-time platinum selling "Speak Now."
Swift has spent the past year on the Speak Now World Tour in support of her third album, which debuted last October atop the Billboard 200, selling over a million copies in its first week. All 14 tracks on the country-pop juggernaut were composed by Swift, and she made Hot 100 history by charting 11 songs off the album in a single week.
The Pennsylvania native is used to breaking chart records and currently holds another Hot 100 record for most top 10 debuts, with seven. Her self-titled debut, released in 2006, holds the honor of longest-running album in Billboard 200 since 2000.
She followed that up in 2008 with "Fearless," a critically acclaimed set that established her as a skilled songwriter and a procurer of hits, including "Love Story," "You Belong With Me" and "White Horse." Swift's "Fearless" is the longest-running No. 1 album by a female country artist in 200 history. Not surprisingly, the 6-times platinum "Fearless" is the most awarded album in country music history and her overall worldwide sales now exceed 20 million albums and 40 million song downloads. Again, she's only 21.
"Taylor has shown the power of good songwriting with music that has transcended genres, and we're thrilled to recognize all of her successes over the past year by honoring her with the Billboard Woman of the Year Award," says Bill Werde, Billboard's Editorial Director. "At the young age of 21, Taylor has already made a major impact on music and has been an incredible role model for aspiring singers/songwriters and young women everywhere. I look forward to watching her career continue to flourish in the years to come."
She is currently nominated for six 2011 CMA Awards including Entertainer of the Year, and is readying the November release of the CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray sets of her Speak Now World Tour.
Swift is a dedicated and prolific philanthropist as well, and has lent her time and efforts to raise money for causes ranging from clean water to literacy to disaster relief. She personally donated $1 million to to charities in the past year alone.
Billboard's annual Women in Music Event, now in its sixth year, celebrates the most powerful and talented women in the music business, coinciding with the publication of Billboard's Women in Music Power Players list. This year's event will be taking place on Friday, Dec. 2 at Capitale in New York City. Last year's honor went to Black Eyed Peas singer, Fergie.