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Taylor Swift on ACM Awards and her North American tour: And now for something completely different

Taylor Swift ACM Awards 2011 Steve Marcus-ReutersBackstage after being named the Academy of Country Music’s youngest ever entertainer of the year, 21-year-old Taylor Swift said she was humbled because of the esteem she holds for previous winners.

Name-checking such ACM entertainer of the year recipients as Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and George Strait, she noted that each had given her opening slots on their tours early in her career.

She also cited '90s country heavyweights Shania Twain and Garth Brooks, saying, "To be even mentioned in the same breath as them, I feel shock and overwhelming gratitude."

Academy officials said more than 600,000 votes were cast in the fan-voting facet of the award, the highest number since the organization started allowing the public  to weigh in on its top honor three years ago, partly in response to the success of "American Idol."

Swift also spoke briefly about her just-completed tour of Asia and Europe as an experience as humbling as it was illuminating.

“It was amazing to go to so many countries where they don’t speak English and hear people singing all the words to my songs in perfect English,” she said.

And how did the overseas experience affect what audiences will see when her 78-show, six-month tour of North American arenas and stadiums begins May 27 in Omaha? (The vast majority of dates are already sold out, including the four nights she's slated to play L.A.'s Staples Center in August.)

“It’s a completely different stage for the U.S. tour, where we’re having a completely different tour put together,” she told Pop & Hiss after scampering down the hallway outside the press room in a pale yellow, vintage-looking embroidered Elie Saab gown. 

“We’ll be rehearsing for six weeks for that, with the knowledge of what works with crowds from the European and Asian tours. It’s so wonderful to have that in our back pocket for putting together the American tour.”

"I’m so excited,” she said, adding, “and really, really hungry.”

For what? Without missing a beat, she confessed, “P.F. Chang’s.”

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-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Taylor Swift accepts her entertainer of the year award at the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. Credit: Steve Marcus / Reuters

 
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