As much as I would really like to have saved myself heartache, embarrassment or gossip, I also know that my biggest mistakes have turned into my best lessons and sometimes my greatest career triumphs. If my life had been turbulence-free, no bumps in the road at all, maybe my music would be beige, maybe the stadiums wouldn’t be full and the mantle would be a little more empty.


I remember all the sit-downs in the conference room meetings, where I’d get kind of called in front of a group of people who have worked with me for years. They said, “Are you really sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want to call the album 1989? We think it’s a weird title. Are you sure you want to put an album cover out that has less than half of your face on it? Are you positive that you want to take a genre that you cemented yourself in, and switch to one that you are a newcomer to?”