Country star Taylor Swift was thrilled to celebrate her birthday on Tuesday preparing for the broadcast of CMT’s Artists of the Year special, which airs Wednesday night.
The now 22-year-old musician was honored at the Country Music Television event in company with country veterans Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley.
"What I love about this event is it feels very low-key and fun and you can bring your friends, you sit at a table. It's very unlike any other award show," Swift told CMT on the red carpet of last month’s taping.
"Because you're not sitting there wondering who's going to win. There's no anxiety, because you know who's being honored, and it's all about hearing the way the music is presented by other artists. It's really exciting."
Swift was honored with a song by The All-American Rejects, who performed a ballad from her latest “Speak Now” album.
"It's special. We have a special performance for Miss Taylor Swift," Tyson Ritter, The All-American Rejects lead singer, told CMT. “It's going to be a tribute to the fact that any song can stand in any genre, and we definitely brought it into ours.”
The band’s lead singer says he can’t help but respect the young Swift.
“She's the real deal," Ritter told CMT. “And strong women, that's something to be feared and adored, right?”
Swift could not be more content with her 21st year. She told CMT: "I would sum up this past year as being a spontaneous, exciting, wonderful year of collaborations with artists I never expected would come up on my stage and perform for my fans."