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Taylor Swift makes a grown-up move on 'Red'

The pop star has prided herself on writing her own material. But on her new album, she is happy to collaborate with other pop heavyweights. Maybe it's another sign of maturity.

October 18, 2012|By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times

Case in point: "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" reaching No. 1, for two weeks, on the Billboard 100 pop chart, one of the few commercial peaks she hadn't yet conquered. It's also become a bona-fide hit in England, a sign of the solidifying international appeal she's been building for several years, a rarity for Nashville-based musicians.

Meanwhile, Swift continues to be a lightning rod for attention, positive and negative. For every award she collects, such as her six Grammys including the album of the year for "Fearless" and multiple entertainer of the year accolades from the Country Music Assn. and the Academy of Country Music, she weathers withering blows from listeners and music critics who dis her vocal abilities, even her enthusiasm whenever good news comes her way.

"I never have the moment where I feel like it's too much," she said. "But there's definitely the moment where I get sad that I feel like sometimes people don't believe in anything being genuine anymore. That no matter what, there's someone questioning everything that I say or do."

She makes no apologies for her pursuit of happiness or for her ubiquitous and oft-criticized expressions of wide-eyed, opened-mouth surprise each time she is on the receiving end of an award.

"The No. 1 piece of advice other artists have given me," she said, "is 'Live in the moment. Really, really understand that this is amazing.' Some of them have said, 'I let it pass me by; I didn't realize how great it was till after. And I acted really cool when it was all happening, and then afterward I realized I'd let it pass by.'

"If you really take that advice to heart, you freak out when you win an award. If you're really living in the moment, you're not bored that you won an award. I got a Grammy this year, and I really tried hard not to be as excited — not to act so excited when I won. But," she said, breaking into laughter, "I get so excited and I just was; I was really, really happy about it."

randy.lewis@latimes.com

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