Singing for Grammy re­demp­tion.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - JAMES WIGNEY TAY­LOR SWIFT Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, March 12- 14. THE ROAD TO FEAR­LESS; THE LORAX out now.

WIN­NING two awards for her song Mean and per­form­ing it live for an au­di­ence of mil­lions at the Grammy Awards last month was sweet re­venge for Tay­lor Swift.

The 22- year- old coun­try- pop dar­ling had writ­ten the song in re­sponse to a critic who had blasted her ad­mit­tedly dodgy duet with Ste­vie Nicks at the 2010 Gram­mys, at which she won four awards in­clud­ing Al­bum of the Year for Fear­less, be­com­ing the youngest artist to do so.

So when she got up to flaw­lessly per­form the jan­gly coun­try gem last month, she tweaked the words to sing ‘‘ some day I’ll be singing this at the Gram­mys’’, a pointed ri­poste to the haters who had claimed she couldn’t cut it live.

‘‘ Per­form­ing Mean at the Gram­mys and get­ting a stand­ing ova­tion for it re­ally felt like some­thing came full cir­cle,’’ she says.

‘‘ Win­ning two Gram­mys for that song felt strangely like things hap­pen the way they are sup­posed to.

‘‘ You look back on the strug­gles you go through and the lessons you learn in life and the hard times that you face. If I hadn’t gone through a re­ally tough time I would never have writ­ten that song, and it’s one of my favourites on the record so it was re­ally a mag­i­cal night.’’

The critic in ques­tion was widely be­lieved to be blog­ger Bob Lef­setz but as is her wont, Swift ( pic­tured) isn’t say­ing.

Just as she is coy about re­veal­ing whether Dear John and The Story of Us were about ex- beau John Mayer, or For­ever and Al­ways and Last Kiss were about Joe Jonas, or that In­no­cent was about the man who ru­ined her VMA Awards in 2009, Kanye West. Swift would much rather her fans read into her lyrics what they will.

‘‘ At this point the song has be­come so much big­ger than some­thing I wrote about a critic,’’ Swift says of Mean. ‘‘ It then went out into the world and be­came some­thing that kids lis­ten to to help them deal with a bully at school or a girl lis­tens to when she is leav­ing her abu­sive boyfriend or some­thing like that.’’

The per­sonal- be­com­ing- univer­sal ap­proach is in­te­gral to Swift’s creative process and is also very much what en­dears her to her le­gions of fans.

With six Gram­mys and more than 22 mil­lion al­bums sold, she is one of the bright­est stars in the pop fir­ma­ment, with a wis­dom and pres­ence that be­lie her ten­der years and largely teenage au­di­ence.

Swift is in Australia per­form­ing the final leg of her Speak Now tour. She played nearly 100 shows in 17 coun­tries last year but says she’s saved the best for last.

The highly vis­ual show is in­spired by her love of mu­sic theatre pieces such as Wicked and she treats each of her songs as though they were part of a mu­si­cal.

‘‘ Australia is one of my favourite places to go and es­pe­cially to tour,’’ says Swift, who counts Keith Ur­ban and Ni­cole Kid­man among her Nashville neigh­bours and friends. She also in­vited Aussie coun­try star Adam Brand to sup­port some of her US shows last year.

Hav­ing also ap­peared in CSI and the starstud­ded rom- com Valen­tine’s Day, Swift is adding yet an­other string to her fid­dle with a voice per­for­mance in The Lorax, the an­i­mated big- screen treat­ment of the beloved Dr Seuss book, which opens here next month.

Swift, who has do­nated time and money gen­er­ously to dis­as­ter re­lief funds, in­clud­ing the Vic­to­ria Bush­fire Ap­peal, and has lent her celebrity to a range of good causes, says she was at­tracted as much by the movie’s mes­sage of preser­va­tion and con­ser­va­tion as the op­por­tu­nity to be in a fun film with Zac Efron, Danny Devito and Ed Helms.

‘‘ I re­ally loved The Lorax when I was grow­ing up be­cause it taught me the les­son ‘ don’t be one of those peo­ple who doesn’t know what they have un­til it’s gone’,’’ she says.

‘‘ I carry that les­son with me through life be­cause it re­ally res­onated with me to be grate­ful for what you have and re­ally un­der­stand how valu­able it is. If you have a fam­ily that you love and a job that you love and hap­pi­ness and con­tent­ment, don’t waste it away.’’

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