There aren't many country music babes topping the pop charts or ruling MTV. Taylor Swift just joined that elite sorority. With the smash hit "Love Story," the 18-year-old singer is the youngest person to write and sing a No. 1 country single. She's won awards for her skills behind the mic and on the guitar, including the 2008 Academy of Country Music's trophy for Top New Female Vocalist. With her new album, Fearless, in stores now, we asked Swift what excites her, what crazy fans do for her, and just how hard she'll work those golden locks to get a guy's attention.
What's the message behind the album's first single, "Love Story"?
It's a song about a love that isn't simple. The basic thing that inspired this song is that love isn't always easy—actually it's almost never easy—but you know that it's worth holding on to.
We heard one of your new songs, "White Horse," was also chosen as a theme song for the new season of Grey's Anatomy. Congratulations!
Thanks. I've never been so emotional in my life! That is my show!
You've said in the past that your love for Grey's Anatomy has been your longest relationship to date. What would it take for a guy to break that record?
He'd have to be really funny and have to know how to laugh in tense situations. I also get stressed out sometimes, so somebody who can make me laugh in those situations is always really good. I also want to date someone who'll eventually become my best friend. Someone who understands that I'm gone a lot and knows I'm not going to mess around if I'm on the road.
What kinds of guys do you like to date? Do you like country guys? Jocks? Musicians?
I really do not have a stereotype. I've dated all kinds of guys. Types aren't what it's about for me, it's about the person. I think you can be attracted to a person for so many different things other than how they look or where they're from or how they talk or what music they listen to. It's about much more that that—it's the X factor that attracts you to them.
As a famous musician, have you ever used your guitar or voice to get a guy's attention?
Definitely. I had a crush on a guy in high school, and I wrote a song that mentioned every single thing I liked about him. I played that song at my high school talent show in front of him and all his friends. But it didn't work. I didn't hear from him. All I heard was that he went around bragging about it.
We know you're a huge Tim McGraw fan. [Swift's debut single was called "Tim McGraw."] What's the craziest thing a fan of yours has done to get your attention?
There are always those guys who scream, "Marry me!" during the shows, but I think the tattoos are the craziest. One guy came up and said that after I signed his arm, he got my signature tattooed on. Then there are guys that make shirts [referencing my songs] with things like, "You'll never have to burn my picture." Funny things like that make me really happy.
Time for a little dishing: Girl-to-girl, what are your thoughts on Jessica Simpson's going from pop to country?
Jessica Simpson? I like it when I see the words country music in the press. I don't really care what the story is as long as it's positive. If more artists want to come over to country music, that's great. That's good for country music. I want country music to have as much light shone on it as possible, so it's always good to see country music in the press, regardless of what—or who—they're talking about.