Taylor Swift’s Olympic Moment


Taylor Swift wins Horizon Award at "The 41st Annual CMA Awards," on Wednesday, Nov. 7, live from the Sommet Center in Nashville on the ABC Television Network. Photographer: John Russell / CMA.

Aug. 13, 2008 — Taylor Swift’s new song "Change" was scheduled to be used last night by NBC for the highlights reel during the Olympics, appropriate since she finished writing it shortly after her olympic moment as a 17-year-old Horizon Award winner at last year’s Country Music Association Awards.

She started composing it after she had been signed to Big Machine Records, an independent Nashville label that was formed at a time when the music industry was in a slump. There was plenty of skepticism about the company’s ability to make it.

"I wrote this song about being on a small record label, being a 16-year-old girl, and having a lot of odds stacked up against all of us," she told Country Aircheck. "[It was about] having a bunch of big companies on Music Row that had a lot more room in their buildings and a lot more employees than our 12. A lot of people, if given those odds, would say that’s not going to work."

But after Taylor started "Change," she let it sit for a while, waiting for something to inspire its completion. The inspiration came after she walked off with the Horizon Award, a victory that was important not only to her, but also to the founder of Big Machine.

"I looked over at Scott Borchetta after I won, and he was crying," she said. "That’s when I finished [the song], because I knew I couldn’t finish it until something like that happened. It was absolutely the most amazing night of my life, getting to see the emotion of all the people who worked so hard for me. So I wrote that song about that."

It was Taylor’s dad’s idea to connect the song with the Olympics. NBC had asked her to consider performing in Beijing during the event, but that wasn’t even a possibility.

"I’m on tour," she said, "for the rest of my life."

"Change" is also slated for use in the Olympics highlights reels on Aug. 17 and Aug. 22. In addition, it can be downloaded via iTunes through the end of the Games, with all the proceeds slated for Team USA. The song will be included on her next album, Fearless, set for release Nov. 11.

In the meantime, Taylor’s current single, "Should’ve Said No," reached No. 1 this week. And she has two major TV appearances slated for September: She co-hosts ABC’s "CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night To Rock" Sept. 8 with Julianne Hough and Kellie Pickler. Two days later, she’ll join Rascal Flatts to announce the nominees for the CMA Awards on "Good Morning, America."