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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

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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