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In 2006, Taylor Swift released her debut single "Tim McGraw", which peaked at number six on the Billboard country charts. Later in October 2006, she released her self-titled debut album, which produced five hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and was certified 3Ãƒâ€” Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. The New York Times described Swift as "one of pop's finest songwriters, countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults".
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Swift was the biggest selling artist of 2008 in America with combined sales of more than four million albums. Swift's Fearless and her self-titled album finished 2008 at number three and number six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. She was the first artist in the history of Nielsen SoundScan to have two different albums in the Top 10 on the year end album chart. Fearless has topped the Billboard 200 in ten different weeks. No album has spent more time at number one since 1999-2000. It also the first album by a female artist in country music history to log eight weeks at #1 on The Billboard 200.
In mid-January 2009, Swift became the first country artist to top the 2 million mark in paid downloads with three different songs. As of the week ending February 8, 2009, Swift's single "Love Story" became the country song with most paid downloads in history and has become the first country song to top the Mainstream Top 40 chart.