The New Issue: Taylor Swift's Secrets of a Good Girl

February 18, 2009 8:45 AM ET

The world's biggest new pop star is a little bit country, a little bit rock & roll, and all control freak. What's behind Taylor Swift's drive for success? Vanessa Grigoriadis hangs out with the Grammy-nominated, chart-topping 19-year-old superstar for Rolling Stone's new cover story to talk awkward middle-school memories, how Joe Jonas broke her heart, and how Swift transformed herself from a hard-working kid growing up in Pennsylvania into Nashville's favorite adopted daughter.

Grab the new issue today for the full story, and check out our first-ever story on Taylor, Country Lolita, right away. Plus, get a look at photos from the Rolling Stone cover shoot by Peggy Sirota in our Taylor Swift cover shoot gallery. And come back later this week for even more Swift — including photos from her family album, a gallery tracking her rise from hopeful to headliner, an exclusive Q&A you won't see in the magazine and video of Swift getting a first look at her first RS cover.

And don't miss The Story Behind the Taylor Swift Cover Story, where Grigoriadis opens up about her time with the teen sensation. Grigoriadis, who tailed Taylor everywhere from the set of CSI, where she was filming a guest appearance, to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw's L.A. mansion to her Nashville home, where an afternoon snack of cookies and milk turns into a near disaster. So is Swift the good girl she claims to be? Grigoriadis says yes: "She really is that girl in the tiny little bedroom at home writing songs about the things she hopes and dreams and feels."

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

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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