Taylor Swift Says She Freaked Out After Winning ACM Award

Singer-Songwriter Talks About Upcoming Tour, Next Single, MySpace

LAS VEGAS — Taylor Swift was still riding a natural high when she visited the pressroom during the ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 5). And no wonder. She picked up album of the year honors as a performer and producer for Fearless, and she was also surprised with the Crystal Milestone award for selling more albums than any other artist in 2008, for the international success of “Love Story” and for attracting younger listeners to country music. She chatted with reporters about the upcoming tour, her new single and video and why she’ll spend her whole life thanking her fans.

What is your response to winning an ACM Award for album of the year?

Honestly, I obsessed over making this album and writing every song on this album. Everything from every individual photo shoot that we did for the album insert to encoding little codes in the lyrics in the CD inserts to spell out words for the fans. I labored over this album for two years. The fact that you can write songs in your bedroom about your feelings and boys and it can win album of the year at the ACMs, I didn’t think that was possible. I was really ready to hear somebody else’s name called, and I honestly freaked out when I heard mine. It’s all because of the fans. They’re the reason this album has taken my career to the next level, and I’ll never forget it.

“White Horse” just went to No. 1. Tell us about that and your follow-up single.

Well, “White Horse” just went to No. 1. I’m so excited about that and all the wonderful radio support that we’ve had — “Love Story” going No. 1 on the pop charts and in the U.K. and in Australia. I really don’t think I expected that all of this would happen to me, so I wake up every day looking around, going, “Really?” Going to No. 1 at country radio this week is just another wonderful thing they’ve done for me. “You Belong With Me” is the next single, and we’re shooting the video soon for that, so there’s hopefully more to come.

Did you know the secret behind [magician] David Copperfield’s presentation tonight?

Yeah. It’s magic. I’ve been to Vegas three times in the last two weeks, so this performance took a lot more preparation than any of my other awards show performances. I really was hoping that it would go well and that I wouldn’t get hurt or killed or anything like that. I’m really glad it went off without a hitch.

How has viral marketing, such as MySpace, helped your career?

I think MySpace has helped me out more than I can verbalize. There are millions of people and millions of friends on there that help me out so much. You know, they buy albums and stuff, but also from a personal standpoint, when I have a bad day, I read those beautiful, wonderful comments that people are sending me, and it really helps me out. Honestly, the reason I won the album of the year award tonight is because of the fans. I’m so excited that it was an industry award and that people in the industry liked the album … but the fans are the reason the album was so big, and I’ll spend my whole life trying to thank them.

Carrie Underwood won entertainer of the year tonight.

Yeah, she did! I just hope they keep it fan-voted.

And you’re about to start your own headlining tour. Does that give you even more of a drive to make this tour huge?

For this tour, I’ve been rehearsing for the last three weeks, and I go into dress rehearsals as soon as I get back [to Nashville]. There’s a lot going on with the tour. I didn’t think it would end up being a two-hour show, but at the end of the day, that’s going to be where the tour ends up being. We’re doing 52 cities, and we’re kind of extending it more. I am really obsessing over this tour like I obsess about everything. I am really excited. We have, like, six dancers out with us and about 15 billion wardrobe changes. I live for on-stage wardrobe changes by the way. And lots of production. I’ve never had production on stage. I’ve been opening up for people for, like, three years now, so this is going to be fun.

View photos and other coverage from the ACM Awards.