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Taylor Swift: "Oh My God, I'm on the Cover of Rolling Stone"

February 20, 2009 1:58 PM ET

Taylor Swift should probably be jaded by now. She was the biggest selling artist of 2008, she's taken her songs to stages around the world, and despite her young age, she's been pursuing music as a profession for eight years already.

But there are still plenty of steps on this unique journey that get Taylor excited, like a spot on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Taylor's cover hits newsstands across the U.S. today, but the singer is across the pond right now in the U.K. preparing for the release of her album there on March 9th. So we shipped her a copy of her cover along with a Flip cam, and she was kind enough to let it roll as she checked it out for the first time. Her reaction? Everything you'd expect from a 19-year-old: giddiness, awe and pure excitement.

The story underneath that cover comes courtesy of contributor Vanessa Grigoriadis, who found Taylor to be essentially the young woman you see in these videos — a composed and driven musician who, at her core, is still a wide-eyed teen. "She really is that girl in the tiny little bedroom at home writing songs about the things she hopes and dreams and feels," Grigoriadis told us in our story-behind-the-story.

For more undiluted Taylor, we pulled together a Q&A from Vanessa's interview with the country crossover star, plus put together a collection of private snapshots from her family album and a gallery charting her swift rise to superstardom.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

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