Pop & Hiss

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Taylor Swift's lessons learned from Brad Paisley

June 27, 2009 |  5:34 pm


Brad Paisley’s won over a lot of fans during the 10 years since he put out his debut album, and one of the biggest also happens to be the biggest-selling act in pop music of the past year, Taylor Swift.

Paisley invited her to be his opening act for his 2007 tour, giving many of his fans their first chance to see the teenage phenom in person.

“I’ll never forget my first big tour,” Swift told The Times by e-mail this week. “I was 16 when I got the call that Brad Paisley was offering to take me out as one of his opening acts on his Bonfires and Amplifiers Tour.

“I immediately started screaming," she recalled. "I had no idea how much I would learn from him over the next 10 months."

Among the revelations: he’s no skinflint.

“One of the first things that really caught my attention about Brad’s character is that I found out that he had gone out and bought my album in order to decide whether or not to offer me the tour,” Swift wrote.

 “He could’ve gotten a free copy from anyone, or just made the decision based on my single doing well at radio. He’s very meticulous, and wanted to make sure he was investing in the right artist.”

Apparently he’s also a pretty easy-going boss too. When Swift came down with a cold, causing her to cut one performance short, Paisley didn’t bat an eye.

“When I got offstage, I was so upset and in tears. As I was walking to my bus, Brad stopped me and asked what was wrong. I told him that I was so sorry to have let him down. He sat there and talked to me for a half hour about all the times he’s gotten sick and made me laugh so hard, I didn’t feel so bad anymore. I had to cancel the next show, and I was blown away to find later that Brad was going to pay me anyway. I never forgot that he did that.”

It was one of many lessons Swift has carried with her now that she’s on her first headlining concert tour.

“I feel like because of Brad’s compassion and kindness towards me when I was an opening act, it taught me to do the same for my opening acts,” Swift said. “He taught me tricks to editing video and he taught me how to pull off great pranks, but most importantly he taught me that having a genuine, honest career starts with being a genuine, honest person.”

--Randy Lewis

Related: Brad Paisley breaks the pattern

Photo credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times