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Taylor Swift Talks Growing Up & Role Models

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 02: Taylor Swift attends the Billboard's Sixth Annual Women in Music event at the Capitale on December 2, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Taylor Swift was recently named Billboard’s Woman of the Year and received her award during Billboard’s annual Women In Music event on December 2 in New York City. The ceremony took place just a few weeks after the five-year anniversary of when Taylor’s self-titled debut album hit store shelves when she was 16. Just shy of turning 22, Taylor contemplated where she falls between ‘girl’ and ‘woman’ during an interview with Billboard.

“Growing up in this position, making music, writing songs and having everyone hear what I’m going through since I was about 16 years old, now I’m 21 about to be 22, I wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Taylor said. “On a scale of being a girl or teenager or woman, I never tried to be the one to label myself which of those three I was. I’ve just tried to grow up in the most natural and gradual process that I possibly can and make choices I feel are right for me and my fans. Whether I’m a woman now, or whatever, is up to my fans to decide, not for me.”

Being in the spotlight, Taylor is aware of her status of a role model for young girls all over the world. As an artist, she listed Faith Hill, Shawn Colvin, Kris Kristofferson and actress Reese Witherspoon as people she looks up to. On the business side of things, she named Kenny Chesney as her role model.

“Seeing a live Kenny Chesney show, you know what you’re going to get,” Taylor told Billboard. “You know it’s going to be an all-day party. He loves to sing about things he’s passionate about, and he’s made a brand without seeming like it’s a brand. I love that he’s gotten to a place where he can play such huge stadiums, and even when he’s supposedly taking downtime, he’s playing stadiums. He’s always been a huge hero of mine.”

Taylor recently released Speak Now World Tour Live, a CD/DVD combo pack of her Speak Now World Tour. Her decision to release the show on DVD was made so she could remember this  year of her life years from now with a family of her own.

“Every single night I stand on that stage and it feels like it’s the best crowd of the tour every night,” she said.” They are so loud and emotional and so passionate, and these crowds that we’ve played for this year have been unlike any crowd we’ve played for on any other tour, and this show has been different than anything we’ve ever put on. I want to look back on this years from now and show it to my kids and my grandkids.”

When Billboard asked Taylor what advice she would give herself if she would go back to 2006 when her first album was released, she had a simple answer. “I wouldn’t offer myself any advice, because I love how this has gone,” she said. To see what Taylor had to say about Dolly Parton, paying her dues and social media, read Billboard’s entire interview HERE.

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