It’s been 13 years since Taylor Swift earned her first-ever GRAMMY nomination, for Best New Artist.
Although she didn’t take home that trophy in 2008 (the accolade went to Amy Winehouse), the singer has racked up a number of impressive GRAMMY wins over the years, including two for Album of the Year — Fearless and 1989 — and Best Music Video for “Bad Blood.” Now, at age 31, Swift is up for six more GRAMMYs, including Album of the Year for Folklore (which she wrote and released last year amid the coronavirus pandemic) and Song of the Year for “Cardigan,” at the upcoming ceremony on Sunday.
Ahead of show day, ET spoke with Swift about what it’s like to be re-recording her songs on the 13th anniversary of her first nomination. She also reflected on her career, sharing the advice she’d give her younger self, knowing what she knows now.
“It’s pretty wild how much time has passed since my first GRAMMY nomination. I still feel pretty lucky to still be a part of this night,” Swift told ET’s Keltie Knight, during a break from rehearsals this week. “I think the advice I would give myself when I was younger is probably to, when things get hard, always focus in on how much I love music.”
“That has been the thing that, no matter what, has protected me from any of the other outside things that have made me feel strange,” she continued. “I’ve never had a problem with the general fact of making music or playing music. I’ve never stopped loving it. It’s been the outside stuff that has made me feel down at times.”
Swift said there are two things in particular that have helped protect her over the course of her career: 1.) enthusiasm and 2.) how much she loves music.
“As soon as you fail, enthusiasm tells you that the next great idea is around the corner,” she explained. “And your love of music will always center you, if you’re doing this for that, and that alone, because that is hard to take away.”
“People can reduce and criticize other elements,” she added. “It sounds really, really simple, but loving the actual making of music and the playing of music is what I think has really helped me balance things.”
In addition to her GRAMMY nominations, Swift will also be taking the stage Sunday night to perform a few of her hits.
“One thing I can tell you about my GRAMMY performance that’s not highly confidential is that my GRAMMY performance includes my collaborators Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff,” she teased during a CBS News appearance. “Which is really exciting, because this has been an adventure that the three of us have gone on since the very beginning of quarantine and lockdown.”
Ben Winston, executive producer of the GRAMMY Awards, also talked to ET this week about what fans can expect from Swift’s much-anticipated return to the GRAMMYs stage.
“It’s an amazing performance. It’s genuinely like, magical. I was grinning ear to ear,” he said, shortly after watching Swift rehearse. “Her and her team have got the most ambitious concept for her performance, but it’s brilliant and it’s beautiful and I think it’s gonna be one of the moments of the night, no doubt.”
The 63rd GRAMMY Awards air Sunday, March 14 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Follow along right here at ETonline.com for everything you need to get ready for the annual awards show, including how to watch the GRAMMYs, GRAMMYs performers, Best Dressed stars and more.
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