ACM Awards: Taylor Swift Credits Musical Heroes, Fans

Offers Thoughts About Her First Entertainer of the Year Award

LAS VEGAS — Taylor Swift captured her first ACM entertainer of the year trophy on Sunday night (April 3) in Las Vegas and told reporters backstage she credits other country stars for showing her how to entertain.

“It’s just the biggest thing in the world to me because my heroes won that award,” Swift said, when asked what the title means to her. “To have such amazing artists take me under their wing — like Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and George Strait — and you look back at Shania Twain and Garth Brooks, who I am absolutely in awe of. I see those people as entertainers. Just the fact that I’d be mentioned in reference to that word is pretty mind-blowing.”

The entertainer of the year category is decided by a mix of fan voting and Academy members.

Swift started laughing when asked about the first thing that went through her mind when her name was called.

“Shock!” she finally stated. “And just overwhelming gratitude because fans are the ones who did that. I feel like of all the things that have happened in my life, they are the best thing that I have ever, ever gotten to have. My relationship with them is everything to me. The fact that they did that makes it that much more beautiful.”

In addition to reaching a sales status of 20 million albums worldwide, Swift recently wrapped up a European and Asian tour.

“To see people in countries, where they don’t speak English, singing the words back perfectly in English, it’s just really gratifying as a songwriter,” she noted. “There have been so many things to look back on and so many things to look forward to.”

Speaking about her new single, “Mean,” which she performed on the show, Swift said she has received numerous letters from fans offering their own interpretations.

“I never would never have imagined it would have that many different meanings,” she said, noting that the inspiration came from a bad review she read. (She has never identified the writer of that article.) “So having it branch out and turning into so many different stories that people can insert into their lives, it makes me so happy.”

Check out photos and more coverage from the ACM Awards.
Craig Shelburne has been writing for since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.