Taylor Swift wrote "Our Song" for a ninth grade talent show, but the stage was a lot bigger -- and the crowd a lot more enthusiastic -- on Monday night (April 14) when the 18-year-old singer-songwriter picked up female video of the year and the overall video of the year trophies at the fan-voted 2008 CMT Music Awards in Nashville.
Photo Credit: Ed Rode
Asked about the song, Swift confessed backstage, "I never thought it was going to be on an album. I never thought I'd get to record it. I never thought it would be a single, I never thought it would go No. 1, and I never thought it would win video of the year. I am absolutely taken aback and so, so incredibly, unbelievably, unbelievably grateful."
Swift was barefoot for most of the night because her stylish, 4-inch, hot pink heels were killing her feet. "I was limping up the stairs," she said. "I walked past Faith Hill and I whispered, 'This hurts so bad,' and she was like, 'Take 'em off!' At that point, I just took off my shoes and did not put them on for the rest of the night. I actually accepted an award barefoot and presented an award barefoot. You know, Faith Hill told me to do it, so I did it."
In 2007, Swift won the buckle-shaped CMT trophy for breakthrough artist and took it on tour with her so fans could take their photos with it. This year, she said, she was thrilled to be asked to sing on the show, but she didn't think she'd win anything.
"I really didn't honestly think I would get to take away an award," she said. "The fact that the fans would do this for me again this year completely blows my mind. I can't even believe it. There's nothing that is more important to me than my fans and making them happy. I never want to let them down. The fact that they would do this for me... that they would vote for me ... in those categories! It's so unbelievable. I am absolutely so flattered, humbled and having the best night I can remember. It's so exciting!"
While sharing her memories of making the "Our Song" video, Swift replied, "I remember all the outfits, and I remember how [video director Trey Fanjoy] had this video in her head. When she heard the song, she had this idea for a front porch performance and then a field of flowers for another performance, then a black-and-white performance shot. It all came together in her head. She was able to translate that so well onto film. It just shows what a truly great director she is."
Swift also chatted about her new video, "Picture to Burn." She said, "I used some pyro on the new video. I was a little afraid that I might catch on fire. They had a guy with a fire extinguisher right there on set, so it was safe, I guess. It was a two-day shoot. That's the longest we've ever shot before.
"The storyline of the video is, if you break up with me, my band will ransack your house," she explained. "It was so much fun to get to have my band in the video and my best friend Abigail in the video. And so many cool people walking around. I'm blown away by the video crews and the lighting crews and the people who are setting up all these things. I would never be able to do that. I am blown away that all these people can work together and help me out so much."
Asked about her recent crossover success on pop radio, Swift was quick to thank country programmers.
"I walked into their radio stations as a 16-year-old girl with a song named 'Tim McGraw.' And I don't think it gets any weirder than that. The fact that they opened their arms and embraced me, I will never, ever forget them as long as I live. Country radio is where my base is, and I love them so much.
"The fact that pop radio stations are playing my songs is amazing to me. I am so blown away and so thankful for it. I like to think of it less as crossover and more as spillover. That's what they call it at my record label -- 'spillover.' I am so thankful for the spillover and for everybody who's just been so amazing."
Check out photos and more coverage from the 2008 CMT Music Awards.