Monday, October 05, 2009

Life proceeds at Swift pace for 17-year-old country singer


By Jacob Bennett
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Evansville Courier & Press
Photo by Andrew Orth

Taylor Swift said many artists get a couple of days to soak in their first victories at the CMT Music Awards.

She had eight hours.

The next day she had to take her high school junior year final exams.

"You've got to get back to reality, I guess," said Swift, the 17-year-old budding star whose song "Tim McGraw" won the award for breakthrough video.

"They haven't given me the results yet. I'm sure I passed."

That's because she studied hard on the bus, in hotel rooms, and at airports, as she traveled to festivals, radio appearances and concerts opening for the likes of George Strait.

Now she's on tour with Brad Paisley, the chart-topping singer-songwriter-picker-grinner who was here in 2005 with Sugarland and Sara Evans. Paisley headlines a show tonight at Roberts Stadium.

In addition to Swift, this time Paisley brings former "American Idol" contestant Kellie Pickler and Jack Ingram, a longtime underground country musician who has lately been making a mainstream push -- he's the guy who covered Hinder's rock ballad "Lips of an Angel." He opened here last year for Sheryl Crow.

Swift said she's keeping the promise she made two weeks ago at the CMT Awards: She's bringing the belt buckle-shaped trophy for her customary post-show signing.

She said she doesn't usually get nervous, but there was someone at the after party who made her feel awe -- Jon Bon Jovi.

"He told me that he liked my music and I just about fell over," she said. "I've never known a world without Jon Bon Jovi. Think about it. I was born in 1989. He's a serious icon. I've always looked up to him for his writing, for his performing, for being the first rock star that smiled."

One star she hasn't met is Tim McGraw, the namesake of her breakthrough hit. "I would probably just say, 'Hey, it's nice to meet you,' and see who brought up the song first."

Between tour dates, Swift is about to start squeezing in recording sessions for her second album. She's written 40 songs that will be under consideration, she said. More of them are upbeat than, say, current single "Teardrops on My Guitar," but not all of them.

"My favorite thing to write about is loneliness and sadness," she said. "There's definitely a taste of that on there."

She's going to miss out on her senior year, but she went to high school for two years before leaving this year. She said she went to two proms and made lots of friends, so she got a good taste of the experience.

"I'm not walking away from something that's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," she said. "I hope things continue to go the way that they have."

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Nina F. said...
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