In a sea of pop starlets, Taylor Swift shines like a modest diamond: The 21-year-old singer-songwriter has been making records about innocent teenage love and heartbreak since her freshman year in high school. Stylistically, Swift has the rare gift of being a country-to-pop crossover, combining the literal storytelling template of the former with the hooky catchiness of the latter. Her sweetened voice and lyrics about not always fitting in and from-the-bleachers adoration of boys make the vocalist an easy icon for a young and devoted fan base. Plus, Swift's musical appeal to parents and teenage daughters alike is only heightened by her genuine nice-girl personality, one that has given her the ability to deflect even the harshest artist-on-artist negativity. (How can we forget Kanye West's hateful 2009 MTV Video Music Awards interception?) Last year's Speak Now was the Cover Girl spokeswoman's third studio release, garnering her more Billboard chart success and, recently, five Country Music Television award nominations, including Entertainer of the Year.
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