Taylor Swift reaches Pinnacle of country music with CMA's rare honor

She’s only 23 years old, but Taylor Swift has already reached a Pinnacle moment in her career. The country pop princess, became only the second performer ever to receive the Country Music Association’s Pinnacle Award at Wednesday night's CMA Awards in Nashville.

Image: Taylor Swift Harrison McClary / Reuters
Taylor Swift accepts the CMA Pinnacle Award from Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, George Straight and Keith Urban at the 47th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville on Nov. 6.

Swift wiped tears from her eyes as the biggest names in entertainment, including Ellen DeGeneres, Reese Witherspoon, Justin Timberlake, Julia Roberts, and Mick Jagger congratulated her (via pre-recorded messages) on her achievement.

“They told me that this was going to happen, but I didn’t know there was going to be all this!” an overwhelmed Swift exclaimed after accepting her award. “My parents are not just crying, they’re actually bawling!”

The Pinnacle Award, which hasn’t been presented since 2005 when the CMA gave it to Garth Brooks, was created to honor “an artist who has achieved both national and international prominence through concert performances and record sales at levels unique in country music,” according to the Association.

Since breaking onto the country music scene in 2006, Swift has managed to successfully cross over into the pop genre — and back again. Her second album, “Fearless,” became the best-selling album of 2009, while its follow-up, 2010’s “Speak Now,” sold over 1 million copies in its first week. In 2012, she released “Red,” which to date has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

Dressed in an elegant wine-colored ball gown, Swift, who earlier in the evening performed her hit single “Red,” thanked the artists who allowed her to open for them earlier in her career, including George Strait, Keith Urban and CMA Awards co-host Brad Paisley.

“I sat on a speaker on the side of the stage and watched him every single night ‘cause he was funny, and I’ll never be that funny, and it makes me sad,” Swift said of Paisley.

“Thank you, I love you, you’ve made me feel so special right now,” an emotional Swift told the crowd.

Swift is going to have to make a lot of room on her already full mantle. In addition to the Pinnacle Award, she also took home the awards for music video of the year and music event of the year for “Highway Don’t Care,” a song she performed with Urban and Tim McGraw.

2013 CMA Awards

Image: Singer Blake Shelton and his wife, singer Miranda Lambert, arrive at the 47th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee
Eric Henderson

Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and more of country music's biggest stars party in Nashville.


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