Why Taylor Swift Is Tennessean of the Year

The Tennessean, Nashville’s daily newspaper, has named Taylor Swift its 2013 Tennessean of the Year . It’s not surprising to anyone, I’m sure, because Swift stands out day after day, year after year, as an outstanding woman from the great state.

Swift has given and done plenty more for groups all over the country, but for The Tennessean story, it was her philanthropy in Nashville that made the state most proud. Certain things stood out to the newspaper, such as:

A $4 million contribution Swift made to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Her $100,000 gift to the Nashville Symphony.

Swift’s well-deserved CMA Pinnacle Award for taking country to a worldwide audience. She is only the second artist in history to be honored with that award. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said he met a woman in China “whose only knowledge of Nashville was that it was home to Taylor Swift.” That says so much.

She’s a role model to young girls. A really, really good one. “Swift was the first example of a girl too young to drink legally or rent a car who found popular embrace by turning her own experiences and insecurities into songs,” the story says.

And then there’s a quote from Swift to wrap up the story about why she is so Nashville, and Nashville is so her.

“I would not be the same kind of person without Nashville,” Swift says. “It has shaped me into who I am. I think everybody feels that. We don’t have an ocean or mountains. People come here because of the feeling they get. It pulls you in and turns you into who you’re going to be.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.