(Credit: Brad Barket/PictureGroup)
On the day of the release of her third studio album, Speak Now, no one would've blamed Taylor Swift if she'd chosen to spend the night sitting away in the private room of a posh restaurant in a difficult-to-access part of Manhattan or Los Angeles, celebrating with an intimate group of family, friends and record execs. But that wouldn't be very Taylor Swift of her.
Aside from writing heartstring-tugging country-pop songs that expertly walk the line between girlish awe and mature reflection, Taylor Swift seems to live for sweet moments of utter appreciation. Appreciation for the opportunities that have made her one of the biggest artists in the world, and above all else, appreciation for her fans.
And that's exactly why Taylor Swift gave her fans in New York and around the world the performance of a lifetime: an up-close-and-personal live performance and meet-and-greet live in New York City.
In a ballroom befitting a princess, behind a pink and purple backdrop that matched her Speak Now album cover, Taylor Swift greeted her fans--contest winners from around the world--with hugs, genuine enthusiasm, warmth and, above all, appreciation. Taylor answered audience questions during the show's question-and-answer session, revealing her obsession with her lucky number, 13 (there was even a face-painting station set up so fans could get their own 13s), and her appreciation for the little things that make life normal as she gets older. "I'm still really happy getting to go to the grocery store and knowing I'm getting all these ingredients to bake something," she said. "We can't stop loving the things we loved when we were 6."
Taylor Swift also explained what went into writing Speak Now, the first album she wrote all on her own, explaining that the album "took 2 years to write and 2 years to make" and consists of "stories and lessons I've learned the right way and the hard way." After reminiscing about the female artists she grew up admiring--Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain--artists who entranced her with their storytelling, Taylor Swift explained, "Storytelling is what makes life make a little more sense to me."
With that, Taylor Swift showcased her storytelling skills, performing a three-song set--"Speak Now," "Back To December" and "Mine"--to an adoring, rapt audience. "The fact that you let me into your life means so much to me," she told them.
+ Check out photos from "Speak Now: Taylor Swift Live From New York City," watch videos of Taylor's exclusive performance and tell us what you thought of the show!