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Taylor Swift’s Rise to the Top Profiled on ’60 Minutes’

Taylor Swift
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

An artist truly has made it when he or she is profiled on ’60 Minutes.’ Taylor Swift is the latest music star to be featured on the news magazine program, which looked at her role as the poet laureate of puberty, the spokeswoman responsible for a generation of young girls — and her famous open mouth, hands on cheeks expression of shock and awe whenever fans scream for her or when she picks up another award. The profile also examined how she’s managed to cross genres and remain beloved in both the country and pop worlds.

Interviewer Lesley Stahl astutely pointed out that Swift has remained in the spotlight without any missteps: No mug shots, no probation, no late night photos stumbling out of the bar, no sex tapes, no gossip headlines. Swift is clean as a whistle.

Swift showed off her stream-of-consciousness interview style when demonstrating how she came up with the melody for ‘Love Story.’ You felt like you are one of Swift’s girlfriends as she shared the story, strummed the guitar and explained her creative process.

We saw archival footage of Swift singing ‘Unchained Melody’ as a tyke, and she said she convinced her parents to move from Pennsylvania to Nashville by repeating a constant loop of “Can we go to Nashville?” — which they did, in 2001.

Her mother, Andrea Swift, revealed her daughter would walk into record label offices, go up to the receptionist, hand them a demo CD and say, “Hi. I’m Taylor, I’m 11. I want a record deal. Call me.” Sadly, no one called. But that didn’t deter the budding superstar and princess of country and pop. Swift got a development deal with a major label, but she didn’t like the suggestion of singing other people’s songs. She never looked back.

Swift recalled when she performed in a bar at 13:  “There were rock ‘n’ roll dudes, biker guys and me, being like, ‘This is a song I wrote about the guy who sits next to me in class.’ It was the wrong venue, but I was learning to talk to a crowd.”

The profile also pointed out that Taylor Swift is a major corporation, with Swift herself helming the operation. That fact was juxtaposed with the images of Swift courting her fans. One of the cutest scenes was of the singer asking a tiny, shy fan if it was okay to get a picture with her.

Stahl also addressed Swift’s expression of shock and awe every time she nabs an award or hears her fans scream their faces off for her. Stahl asked, “Are you really that surprised?” Swift replied, “I am really surprised every time I see a crowd like that, since I never thought I’d get to play to a crowd like that.”

Stahl impersonated the Swift expression, to which Swift joked, “It looks like that? Great!”

Swift’s statement to”make your words count” when you’re a public figure and entertainer responsible for raising a generation came at the end of the interview.

Watch a Behind-the-Scenes Clip of Taylor Swift’s Tour on ’60 Minutes’

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