Taylor Swift watched ​Behind the Music​ to learn how to become the perfect pop star

Taylor Swift
(Image credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Taylor Swift didn't get this popular by accident. While Chuck Klosterman notes in a new GQ cover story that she "really, really hates" the word calculating, it seems undeniable that a certain amount of calculation has factored in to the equation of Swift's massive success. After all, the importance of self-awareness is something she discovered pretty early on from studying the downfalls of other artists. She tells Klosterman:

"I used to watch Behind the Music every day," she says. (Her favorite episode was the one about the Bangles.) "When other kids were watching normal shows, I'd watch Behind the Music. And I would see these bands that were doing so well, and I'd wonder what went wrong. I thought about this a lot. And what I established in my brain was that a lack of self-awareness was always the downfall. That was always the catalyst for the loss of relevance and the loss of ambition and the loss of great art. So self-awareness has been such a huge part of what I try to achieve on a daily basis. It's less about reputation management and strategy and vanity than it is about trying to desperately preserve self-awareness, since that seems to be the first thing to go out the door when people find success." [GQ]

Given the fact that "Swift can manufacture the kind of mythology that used to happen to Carly Simon by accident" — and that her success has surpassed the "accidental" three-to-four-year mark — her observational learning certainly seems to have paid off.

Read the full interview at GQ.

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