for the love of music: the story of nashville

10

Painting Full-Throttle: The Art of The Kills’ Singer Alison Mosshart (@amosshart)

To see more of Alison’s paintings, head over to @amosshart on Instagram. For more music stories, check out @music.

Last year, Alison Mosshart (@amosshart) was looking for inspiration. Captivated by skid marks on asphalt, the lead singer of The Kills was determined to recreate them in her artwork. Her first idea was super rock and roll: drive her baby, a Dodge Challenger, through paint and over a ream of canvas, thus uniting her two loves of muscle cars and art. Unfortunately, it also would ruin her ride, so she nixed it. The second was rolling a spare tire around manually, a much easier idea to execute in her Nashville home studio. Then she realized without weight on the tire, she couldn’t get skid marks.

Which is how she found herself in a Toys R Us late at night, inspecting the treads and wheels on remote control cars like a fifth-grader composing a Christmas list.

“I got a bunch of monster trucks and went home. I turned into this madwoman driving a car around the studio, laughing to myself like, ‘This is the most fun ever!’” she says, while sitting in a booth at Los Angeles’ Café 101 and chewing on the straw in her iced tea. The finished tire paintings comprise much of her upcoming gallery show in New York.

Though Alison has been burning up stages alongside Jamie Hince in The Kills for over a decade, and Jack White in The Dead Weather since 2009 she’s been drawing since she was a little girl in Florida. Her mom, a high school art teacher, discovered she could plop Alison down with a packet of magic markers and keep her content for hours.

“I’ve been doing [music and art] forever — they feel like the same thing,” she says. “Painting and drawing is a part of waiting. I’ve been on the road touring since I was like, 14. Twenty-two years straight — so all my artwork is suitcase-sized.”

Until recently, her artwork was most prominently displayed in her mom’s attic. But when she bought her house in Tennessee, she designated a big room with lots of windows the “complete crazy chaos music and art room.” When friends visited and saw her paintings strewn on the floor, they told her she should start posting them. Within a week, she was offered her first gallery show in New York.

“I could not believe it,” she says. “This is insane. I just posted pictures of paintings!” She’s a prodigious poster, much to the delight of her fans, and even shares the stuff she hates.

“If I don’t like a painting, I’ll paint over it. My mom liked one I thought was so awful,” she says, pointing to a recent piece. “I posted it, still hated it. Painted over it and posted that and she was like, ‘Bring the other thing back!’ It’s too late, Mom. I hated it anyway!”

Her modesty is charming, but it’s not exactly a surprise that the art world, just like the music industry, has been receptive to her work. The inspiration for both comes from the same place. “The same feeling that makes me want to paint something is the same feeling that makes me want to write a song,” she explains.

With painting, “everything is really fast. Fast, fast,” she says, as opposed to her work in The Kills. “It’s a pretty long process with me and Jamie because there’s just two of us. Everybody has to do everything. It’s a lot of work,” she says.

That duality and state of flux play out in her drawings, too, many of which contain two or three or 23 faces, an eye bugging out here, a tongue sticking out there, as if different parts of Alison are fighting for the final say by way of brushstroke. “I can’t stop painting faces. That’s all that comes out,” she says. “There’s a lot of changing of the mind going on. That’s why things always have like three eyeballs.”

The one change she’s not so comfortable with is the lack of a place to retreat at her exhibit openings. “I’m quiet,” she says. That’s true in the literal sense — she speaks in such a gentle tone the diner’s lunchtime din nearly drowns out her voice. But her music, and now her art, is quite the opposite.

And with that, Alison drains her tea, smiles politely and ducks out the front door. Safe bet she left at least one set of tire tracks in her wake.

––Rebecca Haithcoat for Instagram @music

music.

if we could keep writing
our story together
there would be more
nights beneath the stars
suspended in hammocks
with the world as our canvas.

if we could keep painting
our masterpiece together
there would be more
nashville and woodstock
where love felt like music
and we still knew the lyrics.

if we could keep composing
our symphony together
there would be more
dancing and dreaming
and we’d never stop
believing in love again.

MEETING LUCY

So first UP was the q&a and here’s some things I wrote down during it. We weren’t allowed to take videos or audio but I did audio record the end bit of her doing an Australian accent hahaha. She’s literally so fucking funny she had the crowd constantly laughing.

-“I’m 27 I can have beer”
-“I play a teenager or … used to play a teenager” and she looked so sad.
-She’s so fucking excited about hugging a koala
-SHE ASKED ABIUT DREAM WORLD and everyone laughed omg
-She’s gonna miss being around the cast and crew because of the energy. -She still feels depressed about wrapping and doesn’t really know exactly what she’s doing next.
-She asked if we illegally stream pll because she was told it doesn’t air on tv here and then she’s like OOOO NEXTFLIX and everyone laughed bc our Netflix is shit here.
-“I ask troian every day what we filmed last week.”
-She doesn’t remember much about the show privileged and fans were asking a few questions about that and the OC (lmao why)
-Shes gonna set aside some time to just go to Nashville and make new music. In the next year or two.
-Someone asked her about jaria and then PEOPLE WERE SCREAMINGG JARIA. She said she loves Ian and she shut down jaria hahahaha.
-In her head the story continues for Aria and she always thinks about what Aria would be doing next.
-“I’m in Australia they can’t get mad at me” - after she nearly said a massive spoiler omg
-‘Dude’ will be released at Sundance hopefull.
-SHE GOT ASKED ABOUT DATING IAN AND SHE TIP TOED AROUND THE QUESTION and said she used to have a crush on him.
-Ashley was crying when they were digging up a dead body one time (unsure what episode she was talking about) and the bodies are supposed to only be 1 meter under the ground but that day it was like 6 feet under and they were so exhausted after digging so much.
-Lucy is going to send an ezria shirt to this girl who missed out on getting one omg.
-Lie a little better is about someone but she wouldn’t tell.
-She said she’s the closest with Janel out of all of the girls.
-“Y'all just wait and see what they did to Spencer it’s so good”
-Her fave memory from filming was shooting the pilot. She said when they put Ali’s body in the car and they were outside the church she said she looked at Ashley and shay and she knew this show was going to be big.
-She used to leave love letters for Zach Hansen in the woods bc he was her crush when she was younger.
-“She’s a bad GIRL isn’t she” about Aria having lots of boyfriends. She said she wishes she could have been more independent when she wasn’t with Ezra because she wanted to show girls you don’t need a man.
-“There’s so many lesbians in rosewood it’s great”
-“I don’t watch anything I’m in because it makes me really uncomfortable”
-The weirdest things she did on pll was holding a cow tongue, having a rat jump on her and the dead pig in the boot.
-Her favourite outfits for Aria were in season one bc they were the weirdest.
-She wasn’t allowed to keep any of Arias clothes or anything because they’re going to be kept in a warner brothers vault and can be used in other shows etc.
-Someone asked are you in any other fandoms and she said “here’s a fun fact I’ve never seen or read Harry Potter. Is there like a Netflix fan club??? I love Disney movies too”
-Her favourite lines on pll are “Spencer sluttin it up” and “bitch can see”.

She was so cute and did an Australian accent and asked what to eat here etc because food is important to her. She was so curious about fairy bread and she said she tried Vegemite and it was interesting (she hated it).

She is SOOOOO TINY I couldn’t believe it omg and she is soooo beautiful I was in shock.

I had my photo with her and it was extremely quick it was just “Hi” and take the photo quickly and go because there was like 300 people in line. They were surprised how many people were there lmao I don’t think they planned for it to be this big.

Then I had my autograph and I was like “Omg I’m low key dying right now” and she went “Awwww” and I apologized for being so nervous. She then asked me how my day was to take my mind off it I think and I fucking said “I just wanna say thank you because pretty little liars saved my life” and she was like AWWWWW and did the cutest little puppy dog face and then that was it haha.

Everything was so rushed so it was a little disappointing because her flight was delayed and they didn’t expect that many people.

27 Years of Taylor Swift

On December 13th, 1989, a legend was born by the name of Taylor Alison Swift. Born to Andrea and Scott Swift and sister to Austin. In their hometown in Pennsylvania, home to a Christmas Tree farm little did we know that this precious baby could turn into a music icon and legend, at only 27 years of age!!! Her love for music really blossomed into something really big as her parents discovered her magical talents, as she got older she showed her talents in contests, talent quests etc to showcase what she can do as an artist.

An upcoming rising star, the Swift family moved to Nashville, TN where the start of Taylor’s career was born, however like many artists she struggled to find a record label that would get her a deal. But nonetheless, on a sunny day in Nashville performing at the iconic Blue Bird Cafe, 16 year old Taylor performed covers when a man named Scott Borchetta discovered the new country music sensation and that moment forward, her life was about to change forever. Taylor released her self titled album back in 2006, but her fame rose to extraordinary heights in 2008 where she released ‘Fearless’ featuring hit singles such as 'Love Story’, 'White Horse’ and 'You Belong With Me’ which led the album to be number one worldwide for country music. An honour that will later turned to awards, 2010 was an iconic year for Taylor, releasing her third studio album “Speak Now” for the first time all her tracks were written by Taylor herself which led Taylor to sweep the Grammys and became the youngest person to ever win Artist of The Year. Scott and Andrea AND of course Austin were immensely proud of a young woman who reached extraordinary heights in a short amount of time. 2012 was a time when Tay experienced heartbreak and loss but managed to pull herself through to write her fourth album “RED” which represents the feelings she had when her heart was broken and everything in between. Which of course led to more accolades and honour.

But the year of 2014, an historic making transformation was unfolding as Taylor decides to switch her looks, her genre. As she transformed herself from a country music icon, to a world renowned pop superstar, leaving many shock and speechless, she felt she need a change by moving to New York where she felt most inspired. Which led to the creation of 1989, her fifth album that features more pop that kicks 80s vibes. She gave us swifties the experience we would never forget, from throwing parties to having secret sessions to swiftmas, it was an era we are grateful to be apart of and to have a friendship with Taylor unlike any other in the world. To this day, 1989 is the most popular and mainstreamed album despite releasing 2 years ago. 2015 was the start of the 1989 World Tour in Tokyo, Japan and ended December 12, Melbourne Australia. Met many fans, chatted through tumblr like best mates and most of all made us like a big family. From me to you, @taylorswift Happy Birthday my honorary Aussie! I will spare you the Tim Tams and chocolates next time you come down under!! We love you and I love you baby girl xoxoxo

I know I posted a version of this photo like last night, but that was from Iggy’s Instagram, so I wanted to post my own thing:
Ultimate Storytime was such an incredible, delightful, & uplifting story! I loved the twists in the plot, the fantastic music, & everyone had such diverse & wonderful voices!
Thomas was such a sweetheart! He was so patient & giving of his time! I’m glad he liked the Hufflepuff scarf I crocheted him. & I hope he liked the other gifts in the bag too. Also, the stories are true: Thomas gives the greatest, most love-filled hugs!!
I also got to meet & hug Jay & Jonah (who both took pictures with Iggy- which really added to my evening), & even talked tattoos a bit with Jay! Everyone (cast & people coming to see the show) was just so real & kind & awesome!
My brother & I drove to Nashville from Atlanta for the show & it was absolutely worth it! I got the cd & can’t wait to listen to it over & over again! I just hope the tour is a phenomenal success at every stop so they can add more cities (like maybe Atlanta)! Thank you for sharing your vision, @thatsthat24 !

Taylor Swift never changed, our expectations did

Some will say Taylor Swift is back to her Nashville roots since it was revealed this morning that Little Big Town’s lead single, “Better Man,” from their upcoming album, The Breaker, was in fact penned by Swift. However, I would argue she never left her Nashville roots. Instead, most of us, namely the media, chose to forget her roots and put her on a pedestal so high there was nothing to do but fall.

I’ll admit, I have a more idealistic mindset when it comes to Swift than most people. I understand why the “journalists” for outlets like Star magazine have no problem turning Swift’s breakups into punchlines. They haven’t had a relationship with Swift for 10 years like I have. They didn’t sit on their bedroom floor and highlight articles about Swift to write a column about Swift’s first ACM Entertainer of the Year win for their high school newspaper. They didn’t stand outside in the Colorado cold for a chance to get floor seats to one of her concerts. They didn’t drive to Target the day of every album release and physically grab a copy from the shelf and buy it with their own money. And they did not sit in Swift’s living room as she played 1989 a month early after handpicking them to thank them for their support.

Yes, I’m idealistic about Swift, but I firmly believe we have failed her in recent years.

People always say your favorite Saturday Night Live cast is the one you grew up with in high school. For me, this is true for SNL and also true for music. I grew up with Taylor Swift during high school. I grew up with her as she went from winning country music awards to Grammy awards. I grew up with her as she sold out Madison Square Garden and became the first solo female to ever sell out Gillette Stadium. And I grew up with her as she released albums like Fearless and Speak Now that mirrored the feelings I was feeling as a high-schooler.

Today, selling out stadiums and being on the cover of Vogue is expected of Swift. In 2008, being the musical guest (no interview, no games, no skits) on a talk show was a big deal in itself. Being on the cover of CosmoGirl (when that was still a thing) was an accomplishment. It was fun watching her go from a small segment on a talk show to having an interview and performance slot, and it was fun watching her go from CosmoGirl to actual Cosmopolitan.
It was new and it was fun and then all of a sudden it became a bad thing to be that popular. Seemingly overnight it became the most told (and tired) joke to say Swift only wrote about one thing — her ex-boyfriends.

Obviously, this wasn’t true at all. If you need examples of Swift songs that aren’t about relationships, I’ll give you just a few — “Long Live,” “Change,” “The Best Day,” and “Mean.” But when Taylor outgrew country music and became the biggest pop star in the world it wasn’t interesting anymore to ask her about the songs she had created/was creating for her upcoming album. It instead became enough to speculate on the subjects of these songs and standard practice to report on her relationships, Instagram posts and breakups.

Our expectations of Swift became so heightened and unrealistic she had nowhere to go but down. The human factor went out the window and people began to use her songs as clues about famous ex-boyfriends rather than talk about the real emotions and feelings these songs were written with and for.
Eventually, I learned to filter my Taylor Swift news. I stopped following the blogs and media outlets I used to because they became all paparazzi pictures and soon enough Taylor Swift music news was overshadowed by Taylor Swift relationship news.

I hyper-focused on Taylor in high school (2006–2010) and learned enough to last me a lifetime, but that is when it truly felt real. Learning about how she grew up, how she started playing guitar, how her family moved from a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania to Nashville, how she landed a record deal and how she wrote songs was fascinating to me. Watching the video blogs Taylor filmed and posted to engage with fans was real and unfiltered. Now we don’t need Taylor’s perspective through her own video blogs because the whole world is already filming her 24/7, posting updates to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

More or less, we have access to Taylor Swift every minute she is not inside her own home. We know her friendships, relationships and life — or at least we like to think we do. Access takes away the human factor of people — she’s starring in some weird version of The Truman Show now.

This access has heightened our expectations to a place where she can never fully satisfy us. However, lucky for Swift most of her fans are the ones who grew up with her, like me, during the early years. We still understand her core is being a singer-songwriter — not this celebrity figure or person with a “squad.”
The media, and general public as a whole, have taken away Taylor’s privacy and relationships, but they can’t take away her talent. Nobody but Taylor can claim songs like “Dear John,” “Love Story” and “Our Song” as their own.

To some, Taylor Swift penning a single for the Nashville-based country group Little Big Town is seen as a return to her roots. But what it really does is challenge our expectations of her. In recent years we’ve grown accustom to the “Taylor Swift machine” — new single, press and promo, new album, new world tour. Rinse and repeat. We’ve forgotten why we’re all really fans of Taylor — the music. Taylor never left her roots as a singer-songwriter, we just stopped caring that those were her roots.

Even OneRepublic singer and 1989 collaborator, Ryan Tedder, sees Taylor as the most talented artist we have in music today saying, “Taylor is the only artist that I’ve worked with that has the complete skillset. If she weren’t an artist, she’d be the number one songwriter in the world. If she weren’t a songwriter, she’d be the number one artist in the world.”

I’m lucky enough to have been able to hug Taylor, look her in the eyes and thank her. And at the same time she has looked me in the eyes and said, “No, thank you.” No gossip column or heightened expectations due to fame will change how I feel about Taylor Swift. Taylor is a bright light in the music industry. She might be taking a longer break from her own music right now, but I will gladly take her writing songs for other artists as a consolation prize. I love Taylor Swift for the person she is, the songwriter she is and the singer she is. I couldn’t care less about the celebrity of it all.

Writing a song like “Better Man” for Little Big Town isn’t a return to her roots, it’s a reminder she never left them.

https://medium.com/@AlexAnnan/taylor-swift-never-changed-our-expectations-did-d0f0fcb724c2#.swmps6ac2

Taylor’s 250+ Awards

Academy of Country Music Awards

2008: New Female Vocalist of the Year

2009: Album of the Year (Fearless), Crystal Milestone Award

2011: Jim Reeves International Artist, Entertainer of the Year

2012: Entertainer of the Year

2014: Video of the Year (Highway Don’t Care with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban)

2015: 50th Anniversary Milestone Award

American Country Awards

2013: Worldwide Artist, Collaborative Single of the Year (Highway Don’t Care), Collaborative Video of the Year (Highway Don’t Care), Song of the Year (Songwriters Award, Highway Don’t Care)

American Music Awards

2008: Favorite Country Female Artist

2009: Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, Favorite Country Female Artist, Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist, Favorite Country Album (Fearless)

2010: Favorite Country Female Artist

2011: Favorite Country Female Artist, Artist of the Year, Favorite Country Album (Speak Now)

2012: Favorite Country Female Artist

2013: Favorite Country Female Artist, Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, Favorite Country Album (Red)

2014: Dick Clark Award for Excellence

2015: Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist, Favorite Pop/Rock Album (1989), Song of the Year (Blank Space)

BBC Music Awards

2015: International Artist of the Year

Billboard Music Awards

2009: Female Artist of the Year

2011: Woman of the Year, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Country Artist, Top Country Album (Speak Now)

2013: Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Country Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album (Red), Top Country Album (Red), Top Country Song (WANEGBT)

2014: Woman of the Year

2015: Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, Billboard Chart Acheivement Award, Top Billboard 200 Album (1989), Top Streaming Song (Blank Space)

Billboard Touring Awards

2010: Top Package (Fearless Tour)

2011: Concert Marketing and Promotion Award (Speak Now World Tour)

2013: Top Package (Red Tour)

BMI Country Awards

2007: Award-Winning Songs (Tim McGraw)

2008: Award-Winning Songs (Our Song)

2009: Song of the Year (Love Story), Publisher of the Year (Love Story, Picture to Burn, Should’ve Said No), Award-Winning Songs (Love Story, Picture to Burn, Should’ve Said No)

2010: Songwriter of the Year, Publisher of the Year (Fifteen, White Horse, You Belong With Me), Song of the Year (You Belong With Me), Award-Winning Songs (Fifteen, White Horse, You Belong with Me)

2011: Publisher of the Year (Back to December, Fearless, Mine), Award-Winning Songs (Back to December, Fearless, Mine)

2012: Publisher of the Year (Mean, Sparks Fly), Top 50 Songs (Mean, Sparks Fly)

2013: Publisher of the Year (Begin Again), Country Awards Top 50 Songs (Begin Again, Ours)

2014: Publisher of the Year (Highway Don’t Care, Red), Country Awards Top 50 Songs (Highway Don’t Care, Red)

BMI London Awards

2014: Award-Winning Songs (Everything Had Changed with Ed Sheeran)

BMI Pop Awards

2009: Award-Winning Songs (Teardrops On My Guitar), BMI President’s Award

2010: Song of the Year (Love Story), Award-Winning Songs (Love Story, You Belong With Me)

2011: Pop Publishers of the Year (Two is Better Than One with Boys Like Girls, You Belong With Me), Award-Winning Songs (Two Is Better Than One, You Belong With Me)

2012: Award-Winning Songs (Mine)

2013: Award-Winning Songs (WANEGBT)

2014: Publisher of the Year (IKYWT), Award-Winning Songs (IKYWT)

2015: Songwriter of the Year, Award-Winning Songs (22, Everything Has Changed, Shake It Off)

Bravo Otto

2012: Super Singer Female

Brit Awards

2015: International Female Solo Artist

Canadian Country Music Association

2009: Top Selling Album (Fearless)

2010: Top Selling Album (Fearless)

2011: Top Selling Album (Speak Now)

2012: Generation Award

2013: Top Selling Album (Red)

Channel V Thailand Music Video Awards

2009: Popular New Artist

Country Music Association Awards

2007: Horizon Award

2009: Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, International Artist Achievement Award, Album of the Year (Fearless), Music Video of the Year (Love Story)

2011: Entertainer of the Year

2013: Pinnacle Award, International Artist Achievement Award, Musical Event of the Year (Highway Don’t Care), Music Video of the Year (Highway Don’t Care)

Country Music Awards of Australia

2014: Top Selling International Album of the Year (Red)

CMT Music Awards

2007: Breakthrough Video of the Year (Tim McGraw)

2008: Female Video of the Year (Our Song), Video of the Year (Our Song)

2009: Video of the Year (Love Story), Female Video of the Year (Love Story)

2011: Video of the Year (Mine)

Elle Style Awards

2015: Woman of the Year

Emmy Awards

2015: Original Interactive Program

FiFi Awards

2013: Fragrance Celebrity of the Year (Wonderstruck Enchanted)

2015: Fragrance of the Year: Women’s Popular (Incredible Things)

Glamour Awards

2014: International Solo Artist

Grammy Awards

2009: Album of the Year (Fearless), Best Country Album (Fearless)

2010: Best Female Country Vocal Performance (White Horse), Best Country Song (White Horse)

2012: Best Country Solo Performance (Mean), Best Country Song (Mean)

2013: Best Song Written for Visual Media (Safe & Sound)

2015: Album of the Year (1989), Best Music Video (Bad Blood)

Guinness World Records

2010: Fastest Selling Digital Album by a Female Artist (Speak Now), Most Simultaneous US Hot 100 Hits by a Female Artist

2012: First Solo Female with 2 Million-Selling Weeks on the US Albums Chart, Fastest Selling Single in Digital History (WANEGBT)

2014: Most Million-Selling Weeks on the US Albums Chart with Three Consecutive Albums

IFPI Global Recording Artist Award

2015: Global Recording Artist 2014

iHeart Ratio Music Awards

2015: Artist of the Year, Song of the Year (Shake It Off), Best Lyrics (Blank Space)

2016: Female Artist of the Year, Best Tour (1989 World Tour), Most Meme-able Moment, Album of the Year

Japan Gold Disc Awards

2015: Albums of the Year (1989), Best 3 Albums

MTV Europe Music Awards

2009: Best Female

2012: Best List Act (Speak Now World Tour), Best Look

2015: Best Song (Bad Blood), Best US Act

MTV Video Music Awards

2009: Best Female Video (You Belong With Me)

2013: Best Female Video (IKYWT)

2015: Best Female Video (Blank Space), Best Pop Video (Blank Space), Video of the Year (Bad Blood), Best Collaboration (Bad Blood)

MTV Millennial Awards

2013: Hit Chicle del Año (WANEGBT)

mtvU Woodie Awards

2015: Best Cover Woodie (Riptide)

Much Music Video Awards

2013: Your Fave International Artist/Group

Music Business Association

2010: Artist of the Year

Myx Music Awards

2010: Favorite International Video (Love Story)

2013: Favorite International Video (WANEGBT)

2015: Favorite International Video (Shake It Off)

2016: Favorite International Video (Bad Blood)

Nashville Songwriters Association International Award

2007: Songwriter/Artist of the Year

2009: Songwriter/Artist of the Year

2010: Songwriter/Artist of the Year

2011: Songwriter/Artist of the Year

2012: Songwriter/Artist of the Year

2013: Songwriter/Artist of the Year

2015: Songwriter/Artist of the Year, Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written (Shake It Off)

Nashville Symphony Ball

2011: Harmony Award

American Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards

2010: Favorite Female Singer, Favorite Song (You Belong With Me)

2012: The Big Help Award

NME Awards

2016: Best International Solo Artist

NRJ Music Awards

2015: International Female Artist of the Year, Video of the Year (Bad Blood)

People’s Choice Awards

2010: Favorite Female Artist

2011: Favorite Country Artist

2012: Favorite Country Artist

2013: Favorite Country Artist

2014: Favorite Country Artist

2015: Favorite Song (Shake It Off), Favorite Female Artist, Favorite Pop Artist

2016: Favorite Female Artist, Favorite Pop Artist

Los Premios 40 Principales

2012: Best International Artist

Radio Disney Music Awards

2013: Song of the Year (IKYWT), Best Break Up Song (WANEGBT)

2014: Best Musical Collaboration (Everything Has Changed), Fiercest Fans

2015: Best Song to Dance To (Shake It Off)

Ripple of Hope Gala

2012: Ripple of Hope Award

SESAC Nashville Music Awards

2008: Recurrent Country Performance Activity Award (Teardrops On My Guitar), Country Performance Activity Awards (Picture to Burn)

2009: Country Performance Activity Awards (You Belong With Me, White Horse)

Shorty Awards

2015: Best Singer

SiriusXM Indies Awards

2013: International Artist of the Year

Songwriters Hall of Fame

2010: Hal David Starlight Award

Teen Choice Awards

2008: Choice Breakout Artist

2009: Choice Female Artist, Choice Love Song (Love Story), Choice Female Album (Fearless)

2010: Choice Breakout Female, Choice Female Country Artist, Choice Country Song (Fifteen), Choice Country Album (Fearless)

2011: Red Carpet Hot Icon – Female, Choice Female Artist, Choice Female Country Artist, Ultimate Choice, Choice Country Song (Mean), Choice Break Up Song (Back to December)

2012: Choice Female Artist, Choice Female Country Artist, Choice Voice (The Lorax), Choice Single by a Female Artist (Eyes Open), Choice Country Song (Sparks Fly)

2013: Choice Female Country Artist, Choice Country Song (WANEGBT)

2014: Choice Female Country Artist

2015: Choice Summer Music Star: Female, Choice Twit, Choice Break Up Song (Bad Blood), Choice Music Collaboration (Bad Blood)

Telehit Awards

2013: Album Pop Femenino (Red)

2015: Best Female Artist, Video of the Year (Bad Blood)

Young Hollywood Artists

2008: Superstar of Tomorrow

YouTube Music Awards

2013: Response of the Year (IKYWT)

2015: 50 Artists to Watch

Taylor Swift: One Exception to that Rule.

I’m on Twitter, following one of my fave Taylor twitter accounts, tweeting congratulatory tweets about “Shake It Off” being certified on Vevo. Later that night, a notification tells me that I was followed by Taylor Nation and that they’ve sent me a message. After talking to me and verifying that I am eligible to participate in the event, they give me the information for the event and tell me to arrive between 4:30 and 5pm. 

Saturday arrives and I’m arriving at the meet-up location looking nervously around for other people and I spot a tent behind two small party-type buses. Quickly though I make my way to a tent where I’m checked in and told the do’s and don’t of the event and we get wanded by security. A wristband and stamp later, I’m led to one of the bus waiting for us. As soon as I step on the bus, the other Swifties who were already on board started cheering and asked my name and to name a Taylor song that started with my first initial. Being able to click quickly with other Swifties literally from the moment we met is one of the best feelings ever. As the bus pulled out of the parking lot of the meet-up we start singing some of our fave Taylor songs like Tim McGraw, State of Grace, Our Song, Fearless, Love Story, Shake It Off.

Once we arrived at the location, a security guy tells us that we’re going to get wanded and checked by security once more before entering this person’s home and to treat it the way we would like our home to be treated by guests. We’re led down a path where there’s food and drinks waiting for us. Pizza, sushi, fruits and veggies, cookies, brownies, pies, meat on sticks, sodas, water, some kind of bread that tasted really good! As we all talk and mingle with each other, we all joke around that Taylor’s probably upstairs watching us or somewhere nearby looking down at us. Taylor’s team came around asking us if we were having a good time and what we think was going to happen that day and many of us replied that we thought maybe a music video shoot. They also came around taking pictures and video recording us eating and just having fun with other Swifties. 

We start to look around for clues as to what might be going on when we spot a lamp inside that’s made of wooden shoes. Then outside in front of us, we spot a small box full of smaller boxes of Polaroid film, waiting on the floor.

Suddenly we’re told to get in a line and at this point I start getting more and more excited than I already was because I was beginning to spot more and more things inside. An MTV award and a Grammy inside the house by the television, a bunch of cushions on the floor. We’re told to make ourselves comfortable and without pushing people aside I made my way as close to the front as I possibly could. At this point I was really hoping that Taylor would come out but at the same time I couldn’t believe that this was happening. Then a couple of girls on the other side of the room started shaking their heads and crying.

Taylor was coming around the corner and into the living room where we were waiting. Screams and shouts of happiness and shock and surprise were heard and Taylor’s face just lit up at our reaction. Boxes of tissue paper were passed around to us by Taylor’s team.

At first, I screamed out of excitement, but then I started shaking and crying. Was I really sitting in a living room and Taylor Swift just walked out and was now sitting less than 4 feet from me?? I started crying. I could not stop the tears. Here I was surrounded by other Swifties who were having the same reaction as I was. I felt one girl rubbing my back, another two girls holding my hands. Happiness and disbelief were the only emotions I was registering at that moment. It didn’t matter that we didn’t know each other, we were all there for one another.

Taylor began by thanking us for coming to this event and asked if we were surprised. Then she introduced her parents, Mama and Papa Swift. Taylor also told us that as soon as the event was over, we were allowed to talk about anything that happened during the event except song titles and song lyrics and that there would be an intermission break for snack and restroom breaks. She began talking to us about what the album means to her and where her inspiration for each of the songs came (from movies made in the ’80s to dreams to t.v. shows to all these people in the music industry) and that she would like for us to listen to the full album. She gave us the background story for each song and she sang along to every song, dramatically acting out parts of verses. You guys will LOVE 1989!!!

Taylor announced halfway through the album that it was intermission time and that she’d be right back. She came out with a tray of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that, according to Mama Swift, Taylor had baked herself. Not wanting to swarm Taylor or be rude to other fans who were talking to her I decided to go talk to Mama Swift. She was talking about how excited Taylor had been planning all of this out and told us that Taylor had been watching us for months now. Then she asked each Swiftie what their name was and gave each person a hug. Then Taylor comes up to us and asks if we want some cookies. They were amazing and still slightly warm! 

Taylor’s team asked if anyone needed the restroom and led us to a line in the hallway. While waiting in line, we could see has so many different pictures on her wall, with her family, with people she admires, during rehearsals. As I’m making way way down the hall, I could see that Taylor had brought Olivia out!!!! As I’m waiting my turn to pet her, I look at a bookcase she has nearby and see that in a small basket there is a pretty scallop shell with the words “Come morning light, You and I’ll be Safe and Sound” written on it. This was one of my more favorite finds in her home because I am such a huge Hunger Games fan. As I’m petting Olivia, who by the way is the cutest, most chill, fluffiest, adorable, ball of white fur EVER!, I see that Taylor is trying and I mean trying, to bring Meredith out. But Mer, was just not having it. She was wriggling and twisting trying to escape Taylor’s grip. “Okay, okay, fine.” Taylor let Meredith go back into hiding. 

As we continue fawning over Olivia, Taylor asks us, “Did you guys see that? Have you guys ever seen a cat that hates its owner that much?” Taylor also tells us that she kind of woke Olivia up to bring her out and that Olivia just like to be held by humans. After one Swiftie asked if she could hold her, Taylor said, “Yeah. Go ahead, she’ll fall asleep in like 5 seconds. 5…4…3…2…1 aaaaaand sleep.” And sure enough, Olivia tucked her furry head back in and closed her adorable little eyes. 

Heading back into the living room, we begin listening to the second half of the album. This time around we were treated to a voice memo of Taylor coming up with the melody of one of the songs. We laugh as she cringes while listening to herself on the recording and says, “That’s not even english what I’m saying there. Those are just weird noises.” Once we hear the last song on the album, she plays “Shake It Off” and we have a dance party in the middle of her living room. It’s such a surreal moment not just for me but for all the Swifties that were there. As the song winds to an end, we all, including Taylor, shout and scream the last few lines of the song. Taylor laughs from gleefully and you can see in her face how much fun and how happy she is to have just done that. Then as the song changes to a Kendrick Lamar song, Taylor begins rapping along to it in her extra small white, crop tee. Girl knows every single word.

We’re told to get in line because we’re taking individual pictures with Taylor. I was expecting a group picture. I started talking to other Swifties as we stood in line about how we still couldn’t believe what was happening and we started singing along to all the Ed Sheeran songs that were playing from Taylor’s playlist as we waited. As we got closer and closer to the front of the line, Mama Swift was hanging out with the fans taking polaroid selfies with us! Mama Swift informed us to not shake the polaroids because they would streak and that they take about 30 minutes for the picture to show.Then Papa Swift came up to us and asked how we were feeling. If we were happy and surprised and enjoying ourselves. He was also curious to find out what we originally thought this was going to be. The majority of us said music video.

Then it was my turn to meet Taylor. I walked up to her and just hugged her. “I’m so happy that you came. Thank you so much for coming.” Why is Taylor thanking us when we should be thanking her? I thanked her for being the constant in for the past 6,7 years of my life, that after being dumped by best friends and having people judge me and leave me, she was always there for me. She hugged me again as kept telling me “I love you, I love you.”  She complimented me on having dimples and told me that she’s always wanted to have dimples. That sometimes she tried doing weird smile faces to try and create dimples. I spoke to her how whenever I go through a rough patch, I’ll sit at home on my bed with a plate of cookies, listening to her music. She taps my shoulder and then pats her heart and whispers, “That’s so me. Me too!” I told her how even my mom knows the story of how when she was about 11 she would go to Nashville and dropping off demo cd’s at record labels and saying she wanted a record deal. And how Scott signed her to his label when she was 14 even though he didn’t actually have a recording studio. That I watch all the video and interviews she does on the Ellen show and at this point she covers her face laughing, looking slightly embarrassed. She thanked me for being such a great fan of hers and I told her that if she looks at pictures of her and Cher Lloyd and of her and Sara Bareilles she could spot me in the corner of the pit cheering along. She hugged me again and then she asked me what “toys” I wanted to use for our picture (like her Grammy!)  We decided on taking a tea party picture. She hugged me and told me “I love you” a few more times before letting me go. Taylor also told me that the picture on the Polaroid would take about 20 minutes to show up that sometimes some people think the pictures faulty or broken (Taylor’s own words) and they end up throwing away the picture. So not to worry if they picture doesn’t show up super fast, it’ll get there.

I had tea with the Queen!!

As we’re led outside, one of Taylor’s team stops and tells me that as a “Thank you” we were being given goodie bags and that inside was a keychain that Taylor wanted us to have to remember all the fun we had that night at the secret session. Security and the team members were all waiting outside in different spots to make sure we made our way back to the bus site safely. They even talked to us as well for a few minutes, asking if we had fun and enjoyed ourselves, if we expected any of this.

The bus ride back down to the meeting spot was just all of us being shock and wondering if this had really happened to us. Then one of the Taylor Nation staff asked us if we loved the event and told us the hashtag that Taylor wanted us to use when posting on social media about the event, but that in all the excitement, Taylor forgot to tell us. The Taylor Nation staff member on board with us was talking to us about Nashville and how they weren’t able to go sightseeing and that everyone should go to Nashville once in their lives, especially if they’re country music fans. Then we said we should all go to CMAfest together! 

Apart from getting to meet Taylor Swift, the best part of the night was being able to be in a room with 30 other Swifties who love Taylor as much as I do and wouldn’t look at me weird because I start crying cause Taylor’s there because they’re crying too. I’ve gone to Taylor’s concerts and have had other fans look at me like something’s wrong with me because I start crying because Taylor’s there. I felt completely comfortable to be my Swiftie self, to not be afraid to cry and be judged by others there. Even though for the most part we were all complete strangers, we automatically felt like friends. It wasn’t like a fan event where you know that there are other fans there as well but you’re afraid to talk to them. You could walk up to any Swiftie at the event and join their conversation without fear of being judged or left out. Even as I’m writing this, tears make their way into my eyes as I remember the night’s events. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in my life.

Thank you taylorswift and Taylor Nation for giving me such an amazing experience and for the chance to meet my idol and thank her for all that she’s done. I will never forget last night’s events. Thank you for making my dream come true, these memories will last me a lifetime. Thank you Taylor for opening your home to us, which smells like pumpkin, spice and Michaels, for allowing us to play and cuddle your adorable little ball of white fluffiness that is Olivia, for baking us cookies and dancing along with us. Thank you for being such an amazing woman and an even better role model for us and for the younger generations. Thank you for being as kind and as generous are you are towards your fans. I am so glad that now anytime someone tries to tell me that you’re fake or just acting nice for the cameras, I can proudly say (as I always have) that they couldn’t be anymore wrong and far off from the truth. I don’t think I or any other Swifties who were part of last night could ever find the words to express our gratitude and love for you.

They say you should never meet your heroes or idols, because usually you’re are guaranteed disappointment. But I am proud to say that taylorswift is one exception to that rule.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you.

latimes.com
The Taylor Swift Decade: 13 swift moves that put her on top of the pop music world
On Oct. 24, 2006, the fledgling Big Machine Records in Nashville released what may have looked like on paper as a 15-minutes-of-fame kind of album.
By Los Angeles Times

1) First foray to Nashville (2001)

2) Signing with Sony/ATV Publishing (2005)

3) Signing with Big Machine Records (2006)

4) “Tim McGraw” (2006): Name-checking this country star on her first single smartly gave notoriously rigid country programmers an immediate point of reference, dramatically upping the odds they would at least give the song a listen amid the onslaught of new artists.

5) Social media:  As a teenager with no hesitation concerning social media, Swift fully embraced and exploited MySpace to interact directly with fans at a time when most power brokers in Nashville were asking MyWho? She followed suit with the advent of Twitter, Instagram and other social media, further building an intensely personal bond with those who were catching on to her music.

6) “Taylor Swift” (2006): […] It was her belief, and Borchetta’s, that such songs could connect with a largely untapped fan base that didn’t have a lot of music speaking to them.

7) “Love Story” (2008):  […] Swift, at 18, demonstrated no qualms at rewriting Shakespeare. “Love Story,” her teen fable of romance, reflected her starry-eyed vision of at least the possibility of happily ever after. The album containing that song, “Fearless,” made Swift the youngest recipient ever, at 20, of the Recording Industry’s overall album of the year Grammy Award.

8) MTV VMA Awards (2009): Her response to Kanye West’s attempt to upstage her moment in the spotlight in front of millions of viewers was classy (and impressively mature), earning her greater respect from peers, fans and their parents.

9) “Speak Now” (2010): By writing virtually all the songs, she disarmed cynics who suggested she was simply riding the coattails of the songwriting pros she collaborated with on many of the songs on her first two albums.

10) “Mean” (2010): […]through a powerful video she transformed it into a broader message of self-respect, highlighting its relevance to bullying and other too-common forms of public shaming. Legions of her fans strongly identified and cheered its message.

11) Philanthropy 

12)   Wall Street Journal op-ed  on the value of music (2014): […] “Music is art, and art is important and rare,” she wrote. “Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.”

13)  Facing down Apple (2015):  Further flexing her music industry muscle, Swift politely but firmly called out Apple for not paying writers, producers or artists during a free three-month trial for its new music service.

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MEET & GREET! Submit your meet-and-greet stories to bryanstarsfanpictures@gmail.com. They are posted throughout the week.

This was my first time going to Warped Tour, & hopefully not my last. I convinced my dad to take me from Memphis to Nashville for this. We drove for 4+ hours to get to the city. It was the best car journey ever :) When I woke up the next day, I was well rested and so excited to go to Warped and see my best friend, Marley, again. I owe her a lot for introducing me to the music I love and to Bryanstars and Johnnie Guilbert. We waited in line from 9:15 to 11:00 AM to get into the venue. We walked around a little, found Marley, and then made a game plan. Right before Mayday Parade’s set, my knee started hurting. Really badly. It hurt so bad I had a panic attack. My dad went & got me an Ace Bandage and we sat for a little bit. I stood through all of Mayday Parade’s set, but I was in an incredible amount of pain. After that, we decided to go sit in line for the YouTuber’s signing. We sat in line for 2 and a half hours before the YouTubers arrived. Being the forgetful person I am, I left the letters I wrote and all the bracelets I made at home… in Memphis. I ended up having everyone sign my Ace Bandage, ticket for Warped, and my wrist. I’ve struggled with self harm for three years, and tried to commit suicide nearly 10 times, so this was the biggest part for me. When I asked Bryan to sign my wrist, he told me that I shouldn’t be hurting myself and I needed to stop. I told him I was working on it and laughed, and he brought me in closer and made me promise to stop. I promised him and he hugged me really tight and said he loved me and I just stood there shaking. When I asked Johnnie, he said that I was too pretty to be hurting myself and I laughed at him and he told me he was being serious. He said he hoped I would stop. I walked up to Damon and he was very kind and soft spoken, which was comforting because I was shaking so hard and I almost started to have a panic attack from all the people crowding the line. He said he didn’t want to ever see anyone hurting themselves. I was very awkward as he signed my knee and I had to shift balance which caused me to nearly fall over and I cried out in pain. It was a little embarrassing. He was very nice. Cyr was very quiet,he didn’t really say much but he was kind. When I caught up with Marley she was crying. I almost started crying too, and then I realized I had forgotten to give Bryan the bracelet I had for him. I ran back in, and handed it to the merch lady and asked her to give it to Bryan. We ended up seeing Bryan as we were leaving and got a group hug and he said it was nice to meet us and that we were very sweet. Bryan, thank you for giving me a reason to hold on. I hope you remember the awkward girl with the jank knee cx <3 
HITS REVEALS BEST-SELLING SONGS BY COUNTRY ARTISTS; FGL’S “CRUISE” IS #1, TAYLOR SWIFT HAS FOUR IN TOP 10

Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” is the all-time best-selling song by a country act. Four Taylor Swift songs rank in the Top 10.

In conjunction with its recent Nashville issue, music publication Hits Daily Double revealed the all-time best-selling singles released by country artists.

Florida Georgia Line’s diamond-certified “Cruise” predictably leads the pack. According to Hits, it has sold approximately 7.54 million US copies since its release.

Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” is #2 with 6.67 million, while Taylor Swift’s multi-format smash “Love Story” (5.96 million) and pop-oriented “I Knew You Were Trouble” (5.31 million) follow at #3 and #4, respectively.

The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” grabs the #5 slot with 5.08 million release-to-date sales.

Taylor Swift’s pure pop release “Shake It Off” is #6 with 5.07 million, while Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” (4.77 million, #7), Swift’s “You Belong With Me” (4.73 million, #8), Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” (4.46 million, #9) and Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” (4.43 million, #10) complete the Top 10.

Swift, as is evident, is the only artist with multiple Top 5 and Top 10 entries.

2

Taylor,

 This happened two months ago today, and I am still losing my chill. I’m not sure if you remember me, or remember following me, but I want you to know a little about me. 

 Taylor you deciding to follow me has made me so happy these past few months. I have had such an awful week and month and I just needed someone around and you have been around. You were there for me when I needed you. The night before my birthday (when you followed me) I was really upset because I had had a miserable day. Thank you so much, Taylor.

 I remember looking down on the stage while you pranced around in big black boots singing the words to the songs that I had memorized and made to the soundtrack to my life. I remember going to Nashville, crying when I went to the bluebird, going to the pancake pantry and listening to the stories the waitress told me about you, and how happy I was. I remember staying up really late making posters for concerts and listening to your music all by myself because no one else understood why I loved you so much. I remember just recently, when I’d be up so late at night just worrying about everything in my life and then only thing that calmed me down was your music and your words.

 Taylor I remember thinking, “What if she knew me?” and that question has been in my mind for the last 6 years. You finally know me, and I can’t even begin to comprehend that. I have so much more to tell you, but I’ll tell you overtime because I can go on and on and on and on (and I will) (see what I did there?).

 I wanted you to know that I love you so much Taylor and I’ve never had a friend like you but I do know and that’s everything I’m ever going to need. I’ll see you on October 17th, in Dallas, in the right pit. I love you forever.

 thank you for everything,

Paige Ouldhouse

taylorswift tree-paine

MEET & GREET! Submit your meet-and-greet stories to bryanstarsfanpictures@gmail.com. They are posted throughout the week.

This is me and Shaant Hacikyan. I’m seriously so happy meeting him. I never knew about Cute Is What We Aim For till I looked up the bands that where playing at Nashville, TN. I saw CIWWAF and I decided to expand my music before warped. I listened to them after a few bands and fell In love.
Sadly I didn’t get to see them at warped :c I saw another band playing the same time at them. But at least I met Shaant. I feel like a bad fan though. I went to his tent first when I got to warped and asked for a shirt. He looked so familiar but nothing can to mind. I walked away after buying myself a shirt. I shortly realized it was him. I went back a few hours later because he wasn’t there the second time I went. But then when I did go, I asked for pictures. It was truly amazing. The whole tour was amazing. Wish I met more idols there(:

Where Are They Now? The Taylor Swift Story

Where Are They Now? The Taylor Swift Story

Taylor’s Point of View-

A couple months ago, I got a call from the Oprah Winfrey Network saying they wanted to do an installment of the Oprah: Where Are They Now series to celebrate a decade since the release of my debut album. They also asked if Calvin and I would do our first sit down interview together during the special. Calvin and I agreed because in recent months we have been more public with our relationship. The special will be filmed in a week’s time. The special will be filmed at my parent’s house in Nashville since Nashville is where my career started. I am both nervous and excited.

For the interview, I picked out one of my old sparkly dresses and a pair of cowboy boots since that is how I dressed around the time of the release of my debut album. It’s actually kind of funny because it will be Calvin’s first time seeing me dressed like how I dressed in the beginning of my career. He really has only seen me in the crop top and skirt phase of my career.

Calvin Harris POV-

About a week ago, Taylor got a call from the Oprah Winfrey Network and now we are getting ready to head to Nashville to film a special celebrating a decade since the release of Taylor’s debut album. The special will also include Taylor and I sitting down with Oprah for our first sit down interview as a couple. The majority of the special will cover Taylor’s career from her debut album until now.

We are actually getting ready to hop on a flight down to Nashville to help Taylor’s parents get their house ready for Oprah and her cameras. Taylor chose to have the special filmed in Nashville because that town was both where her career started and where she first had her major successes in the music industry. It’s where she went to high school and where she lived when she released her first three albums.

Taylor has decided to dress the way she did at the start of her career for the filming of the special. This is a treat for me because it allows me to see her dressed in a way I have not yet seen her dressed. It means sparkly dresses and cowboy boots. Like Taylor says “You can take the girl out of Nashville but you cannot take the Nashville out of the girl”.

A week later-

Taylor’s POV-

Today is the day that we film the special for the Oprah Winfrey Network. It is also a big day for mine and Calvin’s relationship because today we will sit down for our first interview together as a couple. Today is the day we finally tell the world our story from beginning to this very moment. I am dressed in my vintage style: a blue sparkly dress and cowboy boots along with my tightly curled long blonde hair. Calvin is dressed in a warm sweater and some dark jeans and sneakers to go for his usual style but just a little more dressed up.

Calvin’s POV-

I feel like I am seeing Taylor in another light for the first time. Of course I had seen pictures of her in the early days of her career. But the pictures do not do justice to the natural beauty that is Taylor Swift. I am dressed in my usual style but just a little bit dressed up due to the nature of the special that we are filming. We are in Taylor’s parent’s house as to showcase where Taylor came from and because it is one of the places where Taylor feels the most comfortable.

15 minutes later-

The doorbell rings and I stand up and grab Taylor’s hand. We walk alongside her parents and greet Oprah at the door. We invite her in and Taylor starts the introductions as the cameras start rolling. First she introduces her parents and Austin. Then she introduces me. Taylor had told me prior today that she wanted me by her side throughout the whole filming of the special. She told me she did not want me to make myself scarce until it was time for our interview. We give Oprah a tour of the house and the property where Taylor’s career began and where she spent most of her teenage years. Taylor proudly showed Oprah the bedroom in which some of her hit songs like Picture to Burn and Love Story were written.

Taylor and I sat down across from Oprah to begin Taylor’s first interview segment.

Start of interview-

Oprah- So Taylor we are here in Nashville in your parent’s home. My first question for you is how important would you say the town of Nashville was to the start of your career?

Taylor- Nashville was instrumental in the start of my career. It’s a well-known fact that country music and the city of Nashville are what gave me my desire to be a songwriter and country singer. I fell in love with the storytelling in country music. Sometimes that led to me feeling like an outcast from the rest of my peer’s in Pennsylvania where I grew up on a Christmas tree farm before moving to Nashville. So finally after competing in some local karaoke competitions I started begging my parents to take me to Nashville to see if I could make it. So one year during my spring break my parents finally broke down and packed me and my brother up and we took a trip to Nashville where I went into every record label building we could find and I gave the front desk a demo cd and said” Hi I’m Taylor and I’m eleven. I want a record deal. Call me”. That obviously didn’t work so we went back home to Pennsylvania and I taught myself guitar to try to give me something to make myself stand out. I would play guitar every day until my fingers bled. I also started writing my own songs. I always had a love of storytelling and so began to write my own songs. Finally, when I finished middle school my parents packed our belongings up and moved me and my younger brother, Austin, to Nashville. We got this house and I immediately got to work trying to get noticed by a record label. The first thing that happened was I began high school at Hendersonville High.

Oprah: So tell me about the beginning of your career and how everything got started.

Taylor: A few months into high school I was noticed by Sony Records and they wanted to sign me to a development deal. When they explained what that meant to me it was kind of a letdown because it’s like they want to watch you but not necessarily let you make an album yet. So, I signed a one-year development deal with Sony. At the end of that one-year they were still not ready to sign me to a record deal. At that point I made a pretty bold decision and walked away from Sony Records. Then from there I started performing my original songs and playing my guitar at open mic nights here in Nashville. On a certain Friday night I was playing at an open mic night at the Blue Bird Café in Nashville and noticed a guy in the crowd with his eyes closed during my set. After my set was over that guy came up to me and my mom and introduced himself as Scott Borchetta. He told me he had been with Universal records and that he wanted to sign me. Then he dropped the bomb that he wanted to start a record label and he wanted me to be the first act he would sign but he had no name for the label and didn’t even have a building. But from then on I just had a feeling inside me telling me to trust this guy. So with my mom’s permission we partnered up with Scott and from there Big Machine Records was created. It was just so nice to finally have someone who believed and wanted to invest in my dream. Right away, Scott set me up with a co-writer named Liz Rose and we started writing the songs for my first album. I found a producer named Nathan Chapman that I wanted to produce my album but Scott was reluctant. But I did not give up and finally Scott agreed to let Nathan Chapman produce my first album. So during the day I went to school and attended my classes like any other teenager but as soon as school let out I was in the studio recording for the album. I have said before that I would be sitting in class and I would be doodling in my notebooks and suddenly a lyric for a song would pop into my head and I would have to jot it down in the margin of my notes so that I could have it to show Liz later. The process of recording my debut album was the best times I had had at that point in my life. I was writing about crushes on a guy named Drew to having dated a senior named Drew and him getting ready to go away for college. So when that happened I wrote the song “Tim McGraw” about the things I wanted him to remember about me and our relationship. I wrote about getting cheated on and I wrote about a guy I had a crush on who would not let me drive his truck. That year turned out to be one of the best and worst years of my life at that point. When I released my first album I tried my best not to get my hopes up but I also wanted it to be successful because when you spend so long working on something as much as I worked on that album you obviously want it to do well. Then one morning at the beginning of my summer break I got a call from Scott asking if I was ready to hold auditions for my band. So we found the members of my band and they honestly became my brothers and my sisters. We named the band “The Agency”. They even appeared alongside my best friend Abigail in the music video for “Picture to Burn”. The first single had been released before the album had dropped and it was a song called “Tim McGraw”. That song was really special to me because my first boyfriend had been a senior guy at my high school named Drew and when he had graduated and was getting ready to go off to college I wrote that song to tell him all the things I wanted him to remember about me and the relationship we shared. The song did so much better than I could have ever hoped for and about a month after we had my band put together I got a call from Scott asking if I could be ready to go on tour with Rascall Flatts in two days. So 2 days later I was touring with one of the top country music bands and we had a great time on the tour. They really taught me how to bring the songs to life and how to captivate an audience. To this day I give them credit for teaching me how to run a successful tour and to give my all in a performance. After touring with them my parents decided it would probably be best if I did school by correspondence because of how fast my career was picking up. The offers for me tour with other artists kept coming in and in the next year I toured with: Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, George Strait, and Keith Urban. All of these greats in country music helped me gain my identity as a country artist. Tim and Faith became like a second set of parents to me and I am still so thankful to them for that. Those first two years of my career went so fast I felt like I was in a whirlwind.

Oprah: So how did your second album “Fearless” come about?

Taylor: I had been writing for the fearless album since my freshman year of high school as well. But as I got more and more well-known so did my relationships and friendships. I quickly got to know Miley Cyrus and through her got to meet the Jonas Brothers. Miley was still dating Nick so obviously Joe and I got thrown together in the mix and we hit off quite well. Joe and I dated from the end of 2007 to September of 2008. In early 2008, Joe and his brothers embarked on their first headlining tour and asked me to perform one of my songs with them at their Madison Square Garden’s show. So when I got there we decided to sing my song from my first album “Should’ve Said No”. Performing with them was the most public I had ever been seen with Joe. As the summer ended and fall began things with Joe and I began to fizzle. He ended up breaking up with me over a short phone call which inspired me to write the song “Forever and Always”. The first single off of “Fearless” had been released in August and was doing well. Recording “Forever and Always” while the break up was still raw and fresh was hard for me but it was something I felt needed to be on the album so I made it through and got it done and was able to get it put on the album at the very last minute and was so happy with how it turned out. Fearless was kind of nerve wracking to put out because it was the most honest song writing I had ever done and I remember being so scared for the fans to hear it. My best friend Abigail inspired a song on the album called “Fifteen”. Writing that song and deciding to put it out as a single was hard because it wasn’t my personal details it was personal details about my best friend and the things she went through during our freshman year of high school. So naturally, before I even decided to record it and put it on the album I played it for Abigail and she wanted so badly for it to be a single. I remember asking her why and she told me that if what she went through could in any way help other girls then it was my duty to make it a single. She was just so proud of the song and the fact that I had written it for her. Though my favorite song on the album was a song I wrote for my mom called “The Best Day”, fifteen was my second favorite on the album.

Oprah: How hectic did things get with the release of fearless? How did your life change after the release of your second album?

Taylor: Well, after releasing the album came the task of doing the promotion tour for the album. At that point, the news of my break up with Joe had become public knowledge and it seems like instead of talking about the album that  I had worked so hard on all people wanted to talk about was the break up. The only time I decided to really candidly talk about it was on an episode of dateline and on The Ellen Show. It had just gotten to the point where I was so tired of being asked about it.

Oprah: Then you embarked on your first headlining tour correct?

Taylor: Yes, we had started the planning of the fearless tour and I left on tour in the beginning of 2009 and toured through the first couple months of 2010 while still finding time to release other singles and making music videos from the fearless album. Fearless being my first headlining tour was just such an amazing experience. Getting to bring my songs to life and seeing the fans response that was my favorite part of my job. The tour was amazing and getting to do it with the band that had quickly become my family was just an added bonus.  Fearless allowed me the chance to win my first Grammy’s. One of them being, Album of the Year just amazed me so much that was something I had not expected in my wildest dreams. Now looking back on it as the only female artist to win in that category twice it was something that made me always want to make music better than what people had already heard from me.

Oprah: So as you became more and more famous so did the boyfriend’s is that correct?

Taylor: I have always considered myself to be a hopeless romantic so yes I have dated my fair share of guys in my teenage and early adulthood years. But for me with every heartbreak came new feelings I had to share with my fans in the hope of helping them get through similar heartbreaks and I think all of it led me to finding myself in this era of my career that I have embarked on in the last couple of years.

Getting to the interview with Taylor and Calvin-

Oprah: How important was it for you to be single for those two years before getting back into another relationship?

Taylor: Between that last relationship and meeting Calvin, I stayed single for a few reasons. One because I became so tired of being labeled as a serial dater that one morning I woke up and said that I was no longer going to give the media any ammunition to call me a serial dater anymore. Another reason why I stayed single those two years was because after so much heartbreak I felt the need to find myself outside of a relationship, which I did. During the process of writing the 1989 album, I really just focused on my family, my big move to New York City, and just surrounding myself with incredible woman to keep myself grounded. Having that base lead me to eventually meet someone who fit perfectly into my life and did not try to change any aspect of my personality or my life. Before meeting Calvin I had said that it would take someone truly extraordinary for me to consider getting back into another relationship and he truly is extraordinary.

Oprah: When did the two of your first meet?

Calvin: I’ll take this question. We were introduced by a mutual friend of ours, Ellie Goulding at the Elle Style Awards in London in February of 2015. Then we also connected the next night at an after-party for

Oprah: So Calvin, how hard was it for you to convince Taylor to give you a chance?

Calvin: I would not say that it was extremely hard but it was a challenge. She had been single for two years for a reason. So breaking down those walls at first tough but nothing I have ever done has been worth more. I knew all along that something good would come of us getting to know each other and seeing more and more of each other.

Oprah: So Taylor, the wooing started as you were about to embark on another world tour. So how hard was the distance between you guys during that first year of your relationship?

Taylor: Well, first of all I have always been one to say that the hard things always end up being worth it. The distance for us made our hearts grow fonder. With every mile between it just made us work that much harder at keeping our relationship as normal as possible.

Oprah: So Calvin, when you finally got Taylor how hard was the distance for you?

Calvin: Well because we both can travel so easily it was never all that difficult to see each other on a fairly regular basis whether it be me flying to see her shows or her flying home to see me in between her tour dates.

Oprah: You two in March celebrated a year of dating. Has being more public with your relationship made the relationship easier or harder?

Taylor: The way we look at it at the end of the day it is still just the two of us in this relationship and we just always try to hold onto that. At the end of the day no matter how much the world knows about our relationship the most important and intimate details are still just between us and we just take comfort in that fact.

Oprah: So can we expect to see marriage and babies in your future?

Calvin: Actually we do have an announcement to make. As of last week we are engaged and as for babies right now we are just taking things as they come but we definitely want to have children someday soon. Right now we just try to enjoy our time together as much as possible.

Taylor: We will probably try to get through the wedding planning and get married and then kids will probably come not long after that.

Oprah: Well this has been Where Are They Now? The Taylor Swift Story. Taylor I would just like to thank you for inviting us into your home and your life these last few years. We have loved you and your music and we cannot wait to see where life takes you next. Good night America from Oprah Winfrey and Music Power Couple Taylor Swift And Calvin Harris.