By Hayden Wright

It’s easy to forget there was a time before Taylor Swift was a two-time Album of the Year GRAMMY winner—before the hits (pop and country), high-profile romances, and #squad of famous friends. It was one decade ago, in the year 2006, when Taylor Swift completed and shipped her first single—”Tim McGraw”—to radio stations.

Related: Taylor Swift’s Maid of Honor Speech Sounds Like a Taylor Swift Song

Her label Big Machine tweeted a throwback photo of the exact moment that song was sent to the airwaves. A fresh-faced Swift slides a compact disc (how quaint!) into an envelope, presumably to stick it in a mailbox and throw a bit of salt over her shoulder. Big Machine seems to imply, “Imagine the chain of events this small, manual gesture set into motion.” The pop world as we knew it would never be the same.

From her meeting with Big Machine brass, imagine a 16-year-old Taylor Swift walking down the block in perfect, serene anonymity to a Nashville Starbucks—she orders a skinny caramel latte, of course. “Can I have your name?” asks the barista. He writes “Tayler” on the cup but Taylor lets it slide. Very soon he would know her name.


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