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Taylor Swift Named Country Songwriter of the Year

Singer remembers friend Jeff Lang, who died last week, in acceptance speech at BMI Awards

November 10, 2010 1:49 PM ET

Taylor Swift became the youngest person ever to win BMI's Country Songwriter of the Year at the performing-rights society's annual awards in Nashville on Tuesday night.

She broke another BMI record by becoming the first songwriter to win Country Song of the Year three consecutive times, this year for "You Belong With Me" (co-written with Liz Rose).

Yet it was a bittersweet evening for the singer, who attended the funeral of her friend Jeff Lang the day before.

"It's been a really emotional week for me," she told the audience. "He was 21, and I used to play my songs for him first. So I would like to thank Jeff Lang," Swift said. Lang was found dead in his apartment last week.

Swift won the songwriter award based on her recordings of "Fifteen," "White Horse" and "You Belong With Me," along with "Best Days of Your Life," which was recorded by Kellie Pickler.

Photos: Taylor Swift's Family Album: Shots of Our Cover Girl's Picture-Perfect Life

Last week, Swift sold more than a million copies of her new album, Speak Now , in seven days, easily topping the Billboard albums chart.

Check out Austin Scaggs' hilarious interview with Taylor early this year.

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Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

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