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QUICK TAKES : Camaraderie at CMA Awards

November 13, 2009|Randy Lewis

Taylor Swift was predictably flummoxed when she got on the phone Wednesday night with The Times, a few minutes after becoming the youngest person ever, and the first female in nearly a decade, to be named entertainer of the year by the Country Music Assn.

"I am absolutely at a loss for words," she said, the sounds of celebration clattering in the background. "I feel like I'm in a dream. It honestly was one of those moments where my second-grade music teacher, my crew who puts that stage together and takes it down every night, all the fans in the meet-and-greet lines, all these faces came flashing through my mind."

The 19-year-old singer and songwriter said she was as surprised -- and confounded -- as many country music fans at also being named female vocalist of the year over more seasoned singers including Martina McBride, Reba McEntire and the category's winner for the previous three years, Carrie Underwood. But while many of those who watched the show have taken to the blogosphere to criticize Swift since results were announced, she said she got nothing but support from other musicians.

"Reba and Faith Hill were there, and after they announced the entertainer award, we were all just hugging and crying," she said. "It was such a wonderful moment." Likewise, she said Kenny Chesney, the CMA's entertainer of the year for four of the previous five years, congratulated her on her way up to the stage. "It's such a wonderful thing to be part of an industry where everyone genuinely roots for each other," Swift said.

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Randy Lewis

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