Her father, Scott, is a wealth management adviser with Merrill Lynch; her mother, Andrea, worked at a mutual fund before becoming a full-time mother to Taylor and her younger brother, Austin.
While at school in Pennsylvania Taylor often appeared in musical productions, local fairs and talent shows; and her love of country music was sparked by Shania Twain, perhaps the last country superstar to cross over to the pop charts as successfully as Swift.
I have friends who just think it’s not attainable, which I feel is a very defeatist way to look at life.’ And defeatism is not the Swift way.
Her infectious can-do attitude is evident from the moment she greets me brightly at the door, wearing an elegant dress, with her hair swept back.
Despite knowing her height (5ft 10in), I find her taller than I expected and slimmer, too.
Swift has ordered in coffee, apologising for the lack of tea (‘You’re British! ’) and peppers conversation with first-name references to her famous friends.
She is the first artist since the Beatles to spend six or more weeks at number one in the United States with three consecutive albums (at the time of writing, 1989 is into its 11th week at the top).
Which is a lot of pressure to put on one artist and one album.’ Does she think future artists will sell records like this again? ‘We all have to step up and make albums that are good, top to bottom, if selling albums is still important.
It is to me, but a lot of artists have already given up on that.
She has just come from a production meeting for her forthcoming world tour, fretting about the set list, sight lines and how to get her piano to the right part of the stage at the right time.
Before that, when she woke up, she was immediately gripped with anxiety about something she said last night (even though it was only using the word ‘interjection’ when she meant ‘injection’).