Triple-platinum country music sensation Taylor Swift celebrated the launch of her second album, Fearless, at an exclusive event held at the Taylor factory in El Cajon, California on Wednesday, November 5. Located inside the company’s intimate performance venue, Swift and her band thrilled an audience of nearly 200 contest winners and special guests with a heartfelt acoustic set that included several songs from the new record, which was released on Tuesday, November 11.
The event was hosted by nationally syndicated country radio personality Blair Garner (aftermidnite.com), who rallied the crowd of excited fans, each of whom had been flown in from around the country as winners of a special contest organized by Swift’s label, Big Machine Records, and Verizon Wireless. The lucky winners were also treated to a catered dinner on-site, along with special red carpet treatment that included a “meet-and-greet” and a photo-op with Swift.
Inside the Taylor Guitars venue, Garner welcomed Swift to the stage for a live, sit-down interview in which she talked about the inspiration behind the songs on Fearless, and answered questions that had been submitted by fans. The interview with Garner, along with several album tracks from Fearless, was recorded and scheduled to air on over 500 radio stations across the country.
Following the interview, Swift brought Bob Taylor on stage.
“When I’m playing guitars and you see on the end that it says Taylor, that’s not because I make the guitars,” she deadpanned. “That’s because he makes the guitars.”
Bob shared a warm hug with Swift and welcomed her back to the Taylor factory.
“We’ve been fans of yours since your dad called us six years ago and said, ‘You just have to hear my daughter sing,’” Bob told the 18-year-old star in front of the audience.
Bob has been an avuncular figure to Swift since the two met in person about five years ago. On stage, he was visibly happy to acknowledge the way Swift’s precocious songwriting talents have spawned huge career success at such a young age.
“Everything that has happened to you should have happened because you’re so talented,” Bob said. “A lot of people go into music, but not very many people write great songs.”
Bob said he could personally relate to the way her passion for songwriting inspired her to pursue her craft at a young age.
“I made my first guitar when I was 16 years old,” he told Swift. “I got about halfway through that thing, and it hit me like a ton of bricks that that was what I was going to do.”
Swift and her band finished the night with a five-song acoustic set, leading off with three new tracks. “White Horse,” which debuted on this year’s season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, touched the crowd with emotionally raw lyrics about a not-so-fairy-tale ending to a relationship. “Love Story” recasts the tragic romance of Romeo and Juliet, only this time with a happier outcome. On the title track from Fearless, Swift accompanied herself on her sparkle-topped GS. She also treated fans to “Change,” which was released earlier this year and used as a soundtrack during coverage of Summer Olympics. Swift closed with her first number-one hit and a fan favorite, “Teardrops on My Guitar.”
The acoustic performance was video-recorded for a special Verizon V CAST program to support the release of Fearless.
Swift has emerged as a huge phenomenon in the music industry in the two years since her debut album was released. She’s already racked up several of country music’s highest awards, and her new album’s lead single, “Love Story,” peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. It also went to number one in all genres on iTunes, which is a first for her.She recently passed the 90 million mark for music streams on MySpace, where she is consistently ranked country’s number-one artist.
And she’s been all over TV lately. CMT’s Crossroads recently paired her with Def Leppard. On Monday, November 10, she appeared on both Good Morning America and The Late Show with Letterman. And on Tuesday, Nov. 11, Ellen DeGeneres featured Swift for the entire duration of her hour-long show.
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