It's been 10 years since Taylor Swift dropped her debut self-titled album and even longer since she unleashed her first single, "Tim McGraw," in June of 2006. Chock-full of forlorn love songs ("Teardrops on My Guitar" forever and always), sassy kiss-offs (long live "Picture to Burn"!) and straight-up BOPS (hey, "Our Song"), Taylor Swift kicked off the career of one of the highest-selling, most globally beloved artists of all time.
So, do you remember the exact moment when this all started? We asked friends and fans alike on forums online if they could pinpoint the moment.
David L.: "Driving my gold Ford Explorer in Louisville, Ky. when 'Tim McGraw' came on the radio. Bought the CD shortly after. Listened on repeat until I knew every word to every song."
Meg F.: "I was in the cafeteria in ninth grade (2006/2007) waiting for first bell to ring so I could go to my locker, and my friend Kayla had it on her iPod and told me I would love it. She let me borrow the first album the next day so I could put it in my iTunes!"
Tyler: "My cousin had a song on her Verizon Chocolate phone that she would not stop playing at a family party. So I had her let me listen to it and it was 'Mary's Song'. I remember going home and downloading the entire album and not knowing how to handle my emotions"
Erica V.: "I was 12, on my way home from church and heard 'Should've Said No' and felt a great amount of sympathy for this woman with a beautiful voice and went home and looked her up and instantly got hooked."
Katherine S.: "A rental car in Orlando, Florida. My older sister was bitching about that 'it's late and your mama don't know' song (and kept repeating that line)—and then 'Our Song' came on the radio."
Heather: "'Teardrops on My Guitar.' I was in high school leaving for lunch one day and my friend played it. We jammed hardcore as high school senior girls do to some Tay Tay. And then laughed as we had a friend named drew who another friend was dating at the time."
Emily S.: "My sister's friend was singing 'Our Song' in a southern accent. It was history from there."
Liv C.: "Craig Kwilos kept singing 'Our Song' in chemistry class. Then I went and saw her at the Erie County Fair right before Fearless came out"
Jessica N.: "My middle school best friend loved country music and GAC (Great American Country—a network just like CMT) was always on the TVs in her house. We were making Rice Krispies treats when the 'Tim McGraw' music video premiered on GAC and we were instantly fans/obsessed with her."
Kristy B.: "I was in the cafeteria cramming to finish my homework before homeroom and my friend Ashley Gallagher told me to listen to this new song on her iPod called 'Tim McGraw,' and I was confused at first because I thought she said it was a new song by Tim McGraw."
Sarah: "I was watching CMT and saw the video for 'Teardrops on My Guitar.' I was in high school and feeling exactly what the song was talking about. I connected instantly."
Nate S.: "'Teardrops on My Guitar,' driving to the Sardinia town pool."
Kimberly W.: "I was 24 and working at my first job when I heard 'Tim McGraw' on the radio we had in the office. I used to always go negative, so my first thought was 'she's totally using TIm McGraw to launch her career.' Then my friend bought me her album and I fell in love with how insanely talented she was, and it's been all Taylor all the time ever since. Side note—I also didn't like my best friend when I first met her....and I'm happy to note that I no longer go negative first!"
Kristina P.: "I was on the treadmill and 'Tim McGraw' came on CMT for the first time."
Paige E.: "I was working at a Christian camp in upstate New York. I was kitchen staff, and we were only allowed to listen to a few approved CDs, one of which was Taylor's self-titled album. We listened to it start to finish about four times a day over the course of a month. I left really adoring her, but not knowing much else about her as an artist. Three months later, I was given the newly released Fearless album for my birthday, and that was it, I was hooked. No other artist has made me feel so comforted in knowing I am not alone in my struggles."
Hannah W.: "I heard 'Tim McGraw' on the radio in 2006 and immediately added Taylor on Myspace, bought her album, and became a hardcore Swiftie right away!"
Avery: "I was at my grandparents house on a Friday after noon watching Ellen and it was Taylor's first time on Ellen and she sang 'Our Song,' and I fell in love! I begged my mom that day to use her credit card to purchase the album on iTunes ! And the rest is history! This was probably in 2006, I was 11 years old."
Michal S: "I was on my way to summer camp for the first time and Our Song came on the radio. I think I was seven."
Katie: "I was 14 just about to start freshman year of HS. Probably early August 2006. My dad had come home from work and told me to go listen to the 'Tim McGraw girl' and the rest is history."
Angela: "I was dancing around my cousins garage when they put on 'Tim McGraw.' I was absolutely obsessed. We put it on repeat and danced the rest of the night. I still remember it like it was yesterday."
Holly T: "I was in the car with my mom and we were driving home from dinner at a local restaurant. It was probably July/August 2006. 'Tim McGraw' came on the radio and I remember the exact house we were passing (it was a family friend's house) when it was ending and they said the artist's name. I immediately Googled her when I got home, and now here we are. And she actually performed in my hometown three days before her first album came out and I got to hear the song live for the first time!"
Jeff B: "I love harmonies and I remember hearing 'Teardrops on My Guitar' on some adult-contemporary radio station in the car and being drawn to the harmonies in that song. For the longest time that was the only Taylor Swift song I knew and I remember thinking it was a really nice song, but this girl wouldn't make it past the occasional play on AC radio."