Crossover appeal is nothing new in the world of mainstream country music — just ask Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks — but Taylor Swift has managed to capitalize on this like few Nashville recording artists have in recent years. Even more impressive, Swift has managed to reach this pinnacle by the age of nineteen, while also developing into a well-respected songwriter capable of insights on relationships and a sense of self that's well beyond her years. Her latest album, Fearless, contains the first country-music single ("Love Story") to ever reach No. 1 on the mainstream Billboard singles chart. Although she may not have the natural vocal talent of a Carrie Underwood, her mastery of colloquial storytelling, songwriting prowess and pop appeal should serve her well in the future. It'll be even more interesting to see whether the politics and fickle trends of Music Row will be able to hold her.
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