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Swift to bring Fearless tour, down-home charm

By Donecia Pea • • September 8, 2009

Even multi-platinum-selling, award-winning superstars have their star-struck moments.

Country music singer-songwriter Taylor Swift remembers hers vividly.
"I met Shania Twain. I was really scared because she's superstar status and I never wanted to be the kind to just walk up on her and invade her space or be annoying. But I was at the CMA Awards and walking down the hall after the show I heard someone call my name. I turned around and it was Shania Twain and I nearly fainted. She came up to me and told me she was proud of me and to keep on doing what I'm doing," Swift said in a recent phone interview.

Doing what she's doing has landed her not only numerous awards, critical acclaim and record-breaking, commercial success, but at the mere age of 19, Swift already has reached that level of crossover appeal that has scored her hits on both country and pop music charts.

And after touring as an opening act for several years with some of country music's biggest names, including Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, George Strait and Brad Paisley, the 19-year-old Wyomissing, Pa., native has struck out on her own with her first tour, Fearless, named after her chart-smashing album.

The much talked-about tour, which had box offices selling out within minutes all over the country, will make a stop Thursday at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City. The sold-out show will feature her friend and "American Idol" finalist Kellie Pickler, as well as newcomer band Gloriana.

But Swift isn't your typical diva-in-training. When she describes her life and career at this point, there's an underlying tone of down-home humility that glows throughout her conversation. For instance, here are her thoughts on being a role model.

"I consider that as a high compliment. It's one of the nicest things when a mom says 'My little girl enjoys listening to your music.' I strive to be the kind of person I've always aspired to be, making the right choices and applying a moral code for myself instead of letting the pressure of millions of people determine it for me," Swift said.

"I always ask myself, 'Would I make this decision if I weren't famous?' And I always have an image in my head of that little girl on the front row at one of my concerts, singing to every word of my songs. And I have that feeling of not wanting to let her down. My fans are the most precious people in the world and the thought of letting them down or making them feel they didn't know me is something I'd never want to do."

She's equally as humbled by the frequent comparisons of her to Twain.
"Anybody who even says my name in the same sentence as Shania Twain makes me really happy. She's one of those very few artists that I feel helped me figure out who I wanted to be when I was younger.

"There was the list of people who made me feel inspired and confident when I was younger: Faith Hill, Shania Twain, the Dixie Chicks. To me that represented what a female artist could do. Shania's confidence and individuality "» She just represented a certain strength to me that if I could ever be anything like her or stand on a stage every night, that would be amazing."

Despite her level of fame, don't expect Swift to be one of those celebrities ranting negatively about the attention.

"Whenever celebrities complain about being celebrities, it's really funny to me. When people complain about the attention or complain that they can't go out in public without begin recognized, I'm always like 'That's what I dreamed about as a little girl.' So when I walk into a public restaurant, I know I'm going to spend the majority of that signing autographs and there will be a line and that's OK because there has to come a time where you have a perception change and if you don't want to have people come up and talk to you, stay at home," she said with a laugh. "I remember wondering what that would be like and I'm the luckiest girl for that to actually happen. I don't regret any part of that."

While Swift has already tasted a level of success that many artists her age can only dream of, she's not planning on resting any time soon. "My goal is to stay in a position where I keep on doing things I haven't done before as far as making music videos and putting out albums. I always want to try to do things I haven't accomplished before creatively," she said. "The cool thing about goals and accomplishing them rapidly is that I always replace the one I just accomplished with something new.

"The second I put out 'Fearless,' I started writing for the next album the day after. I love to plan ahead and I already know what I want to do for the next tour. It's really fun to constantly dream about the next thing and I'm lucky to be surrounded by people who listen to those crazy ideas."

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