Taylor Swift will receive the 2011 Harmony Award, Symphony Ball Chairs Mrs. Steven Eskind (Laurie) and Mrs. Bennett Frederick Horne Jr. (Vicki) announced today. The four-time GRAMMY® winner, reigning Billboard Top 200 Albums Artist and Academy of Country Music and Entertainment Weekly Entertainer of the Year will be presented the award at the 27th annual Symphony Ball on Saturday, December 10, 2011, at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Each year, the Nashville Symphony presents the Harmony Award to an individual who exemplifies the harmonious spirit of Nashville’s thriving musical community. "We are proud to call our home Music City, and Taylor Swift is the perfect person to receive this award, because she has contributed so tremendously to promoting this amazing community of which we are all a part," says Nashville Symphony CEO and President Alan Valentine. "From classical to country to pop, a wide variety of genres of music thrive in Nashville, and Swift embodies the all-encompassing spirit that makes our city such a uniquely special place."
Moving to Nashville with her family at age 14 to pursue her music career, Swift released her self-titled debut album in 2006. She has since become the top-selling digital artist in music history, has topped both the Country and Pop radio charts, and last year sold more albums than any other artist in any genre of music. With the release of her latest album, Speak Now, Swift has made history on the Billboard Hot 100, charting a record-breaking 11 songs from one album in a single week. She writes all of her own songs, has career record sales in excess of 20 million albums and 33 million song downloads and sells out stadiums and arenas around the globe — this year playing 98 shows in 17 countries.
Last year, at the age of 20, Swift became the youngest artist in history to win the music industry's highest honor, the GRAMMY Award for Album of the Year. Also at the 2010 GRAMMYs, she took home the awards for Country Album of the Year, Best Country Song and Best Country Female Vocal Performance. Her six-times Platinum album Fearless is the most awarded album in country music history, and her multi-Platinum Speak Now album is the #1-selling album in all genres of music over the past 12 months.
Past recipients of the prestigious Harmony Award include Amy Grant, LeAnn Rimes, Michael W. Smith, Mike & Linda Curb, Lyle Lovett, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, The Judds, Steve Winwood, Vince Gill, Wynonna and Naomi Judd, Chet Atkins, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and Marty Stuart.
Now in its 27th year, the Symphony Ball is Nashville's premier winter social event and one of the Nashville Symphony's two annual fundraisers. Since its inception in 1985, the ball has raised a total of more than $6.5 million for the Symphony, sustaining the organization's mission of achieving excellence in musical performance and educational programs, while engaging the community, enriching audiences and shaping cultural life.