Taylor Swift Admits Earning Kanye West's Respect Was One of the "Favorite Things That Has Happened" in Her Career

"Bad Blood" singer reveals new details about music career, including her "calculating" behavior and relationship with Kim Kardashian's husband

By Samantha Schnurr Oct 15, 2015 2:31 PMTags
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Taylor Swift thinks her run-in with Kanye West at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards may have been a little blessing in disguise. 

In the November issue of GQ, the pop sensation discussed her current relationship with West, female childhood bullies and why she's content with being aloneIn a year of superstardom so historic that it has numerically surpassed even Michael Jackson, the 25-year-old is setting the record straight on her record-breaking career—again. 

To start, she addressed the new archetype she has been given by some critics since debuting her acclaimed music video "Bad Blood" alongside a tribe of Hollywood's most powerful young women—that of the "calculating" faux girl's girl.

When it comes to attacks on her female posse, Swift simply reflects on a time when girls were not in her corner. 

"I honestly think my lack of female friendships in high school and middle school is why my female friendships are so important now," she told GQ. "Because I always wanted them. It was just hard for me to have friends."

T.Swift admitted to making careful, well orchestrated career decisions, but she's not moving people around as if they were chess pieces.

"You can be accidentally successful for three or four years. Accidents happen, but careers take hard work," Swift said. It is that self-awareness that has allowed the young star to build on her early success as a country star. "It's less about reputation management and strategy and vanity than it is about trying desperately to preserve self-awareness, since that seems to be the first thing to go out the door when people find success," she said.

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While the blond beauty maintains a strong social media presence and pays attention to what fans and critics say about her in an attempt to remain self-aware, there was a time when tabloid attacks drove her to shut off her devices and stay entirely in the dark.

"This was around 2013, when the only thing anyone wanted to write about me was about me and some guy," she remembered. "It was really damaging. You're thinking, 'Everybody goes on dates when they're 22. It's fine, right?' Nope. Not when you're in this situation."

By 2013, Swift had already endured her fair share of controversy four years earlier when West publicly humiliated her at the VMAs, claiming she should not have one Best Female Music Video. Today, Swift can confidently say the moment lead to one of the favorite things about her career. 

"That was the most happenstance thing to ever happen in my career and to now be in a place where Kanye and I respect each other—that's one of my favorite things that has happened in my career," Swift said. 

It's clear the former country star hit her stride since releasing her latest album 1989, particularly when record executives didn't even want her to record the album in the first place. Still, she fought back and won every argument, even when her label made last minute attempts to alter some of the song's arrangements to appeal to country fans. Her response? "Let's pick a lane."

"To me, the safest thing I could do was take the biggest risk. I know how to write a song. I'm not confident about a lot of other aspects of my life, but I know how to write a song," Swift declared. 

Despite almost a decade of commercial success, Swift knows better than to stop relishing in her career's sacred moments. 

"During the first few years of your career, the only thing anyone says to you is 'Enjoy this. Just enjoy this.' That's all they ever tell you," she said. "I finally know how to do that."

The November issue of GQ will be available on newsstands nationwide on Oct. 26.