Taylor Swift greeted reporters backstage with wide eyes and a big smile about an hour after winning her second CMA Award for entertainer of the year on Wednesday night (Nov. 9) at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
Even though she noticed on the show’s production schedule that the top trophy would be presented in segment 13 — her lucky number — she told the press, “I just didn’t want to think about it. You don’t want to have high hopes about something that big and that cool. To win it twice is like the coolest thing that ever happened to me, happening twice. I’m freaking out right now.”
Swift is the first woman in 30 years to win the entertainer crown twice. (Her first one was presented in 2009.) Barbara Mandrell earned the award in 1980 and 1981.
Although members of the music industry vote on the award, Swift told reporters her touring associates and her legions of fans were just as responsible for the outcome.
“I think the reason why we celebrate like we just won the Super Bowl is because there are so many people involved with making something like this happen,” she said. “I know that my band and my crew and the dancers and the aerialists and the catering guys and my family and my friends and the fans all over the world were paying attention to tonight. And I know they were excited because they were a part of this.”
Asked to reflect on the success of her Speak Now world tour, Swift replied, “To look out into a stadium that’s full of people is the most overwhelming feeling. It’s like a sea of people. You can’t see the end of it. The fact that we got to do that so many times this year, it’s all thanks to the fans. They’re the ones that decide whether you’re playing in a theater or a stadium. And I’m absolutely in awe of the fact that they’ve taken it further and further and topped themselves every single year. It’s unreal.”
Fielding a question about songwriting, Swift noted, “I think that the most amazing feeling is to watch a song start out as just an idea that hits you in the middle of your day and kind of haunts you until you write it. And then you’re playing it in your living room on guitar. And then you take it into the studio and put a band behind it. And it goes out into the world and becomes what it’s going to be.”
She continued, “And all of a sudden, this idea that was just yours is now everybody else’s. They sing it in their cars. And they sing it about their breakups or falling in love. They incorporate it into their lives. And the fact that you can look out into a crowd of 50,000 people, singing that back to you, that whole process is my favorite thing in the world.”