I was eating dinner last night when a friend of mine from work texted me: Look who made TV. I thought she was talking about herself, but then the picture came through (see right.) That looked an awful lot like me…. Then another friend from work texted: So your face just appeared on the Country Music Awards. At least I knew I wasn’t imagining things.
Much as I do love country music, I wasn’t watching the Awards, so I missed out on the part where country music legends Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, and George Strait presented Taylor Swift with the Pinnacle Award. (George Strait is the only other person to ever receive that award. According to The Huffington Post, it’s “reserved for artists who have achieved the highest levels of record and concert sales and who have made an impact both on and beyond country music.”) Ah. So that explains how I wound up in the background of a Taylor Swift video compilation.
Last fall, Taylor Swift participated in a live webcast hosted by Scholastic. (Again, disclaimer: the opinions here are my own and don’t reflect my employer. Kgreatthanks.) Filmed in front of an audience of more than 200 children, the webcast was educational in nature; teachers from across the country registered so that their students could watch live as Taylor talked about the importance of literacy. She not only encouraged kids to Read Every Day, but also emphasized the ways in which reading has helped shape her as an artist. (The fact that her most recent album was called “RED”–the acronym for our company’s global literacy message–only confirmed that the match was made in word-nerd heaven.)
Despite the fact that I’m not a 13-year-old girl, I have to say I really like Taylor Swift’s music. It’s just so catchy. So what if the tabloids make fun of her dating attention span? She’s lucky that’s all the dirt they can dig up on her.
Year of Yes was about six or seven months in at the time of the Taylor Swift webcast. At the very end of it, she grabbed her guitar and performed for the hundreds of fans tuned in from their classrooms nationwide. At first, I tried to keep my cool; after all, I was 25, not 15. (Plus I was at work.) But sometimes when you’re going through a breakup, the heart wants what the heart wants, and what my heart wanted was to belt ”We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” at the top of my lungs in a room full of third-graders. So I did.
Seeing Taylor Swift honored at last night’s CMAs somehow felt right; I know the Pinnacle Award was for her contribution to country music and the community at large, but I have a hunch that her songs mend a lot of broken hearts, and I’d say that’s a pretty cool claim to fame in and of itself.