CMT Insider Interview: Taylor Swift

She Talks to Katie Cook Following the CMT Music Awards

Following appearances during the recent CMA Music Festival and last week’s CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Taylor Swift returns to the road to headline Wednesday night’s (June 24) concert at the Country USA festival in Oshkosh, Wis.

After “Love Story” was named female video of the year and overall video of the year at the CMT Awards, Swift stopped backstage to talk to CMT Insider’s Katie Cook about two of her musical heroes and how her teenaged brother, Austin, reacts to her success. Swift also explains why she was temporarily placed on voice rest immediately following the music festival.

CMT Insider: I’ve got to ask you about your acceptance speech because it was so neat. I wasn’t expecting it. … You thanked Garth and Shania.

Swift:: For me, those are the people that I looked to, and those are the reasons why I fell in love with country music. … I’m always trying to think of reasons for all this happening to me because I can’t justify it. It’s just been unbelievable. The fans are a huge reason, but also going back to my inspiration and the reason why I wanted to do this — Shania and Garth. They’re just unbelievable artists. And they weren’t here tonight, but I wanted to shout out to them anyway.

And you gave a shout-out to your brother. He was your date for the awards show. Did he behave?

He was a really, really good person to go with, and he was really excited. My brother doesn’t really care about any of this. He doesn’t believe any of the hype. He’s like “ugh.” … This is him, in my awards show experience: I’ll call him on the way home, “Austin, I won an award!” And he’s like, “Where are you?” “I’m on my way back from the CMT’s.” … And he’ll be like, “Uh, what did you win?”

So does he get it now? He was here.

And he was so excited. He was so into it tonight. He was really nervous.

Were you having trouble with your voice? You lost your voice a couple of times right?

Yeah, it came back. I signed for six hours on the same day [at the CMA Music Festival] and I was performing at the stadium that night, and that was after a five-show run. … I went to the doctor, and they were, like, “There’s no problem. There’s no damage or anything. You just want to rest it.” And I’m, like, “I’ll do that.” … So I was walking around with a sign that said vocal rest, and then I drew a cartoon of me and had an “X” drawn over my mouth. And at the bottom of it, it said, “Have a nice day.”