January 30, 2009 / 7:15 PM / 9 years ago

Taylor Swift launches first headline tour

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country singer Taylor Swift, the top-selling singer of 2008, will headline a tour for the first time as she crosses the U.S. and Canada for six months, her record label said on Friday.

Musician Taylor Swift performs in Times Square during New Year festivities in New York in this file phtoo from December 31, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

“American Idol” finalist Kellie Pickler will join her friend Swift when the 50-city Fearless Tour officially kicks off April 23 in Evansville, Indiana.

But in the lead-up to that show, Swift will warm up with club performances and shows at smaller venues such as a Florida strawberry festival and a livestock show and rodeo in Texas.

The 19-year-old Swift, who is with Big Machine Records, became the biggest selling singer of 2008 with sales of 4 million copies, mostly of her album “Fearless” and of her 2006 self-titled debut.

The Pennsylvania-born Swift posts frequently to her MySpace page, where listeners have streamed her music 150 million times, and her break-up with Jonas Brothers singer Joe Jonas was something the two young stars talked about on the site.

She has toured with country stars Faith Hill and Brad Paisley, but has never headlined her own show.

After Evansville, Swift’s tour stops will include Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago; and smaller cities such as Calgary in Canada and Lafayette in Louisiana.

The tour ends on October 10 in Minneapolis.

Big Machine Records said Swift will play five different guitars at each show, and the piano.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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