Jill Johnson, jpistudios.com
As local media and other industry professionals mingled in the VIP lounge, which was decorated with a few of the celebratory plaques the young singer-songwriter has earned thus far for sales of her singles and albums, Lon Helton, with radio-trade publication Country Aircheck, took the stage to make the first presentation of the night to Taylor.
Noting that there are usually about 30 No. 1 songs per year on the Country Aircheck chart, Helton said that what makes the songs of Taylor's (in particular 'Mean' and 'Back to December,' for which the awards were presented) especially rare is that of the last 100 No. 1 songs, only four others besides Taylor's were written by just one person.
Next up, the head of the Big Machine Label Group, Scott Borchetta took the stage to say, "We do have something else to celebrate this evening. As of this week, 'Speak Now' has sold five million copies worldwide." As the crowd erupted in thunderous applause, Taylor's eyes widened and her mouth fell open. Taking the mic, Taylor said, "Wow! I did not know about that. That's so many. This is so amazing to have you guys here. I'm looking out and seeing a sea of faces who are absolutely the pulse of Nashville. You've all been so nice to me over the years, and you're all part of the reason I get to stand on that giant stage out there and play two sold-out shows.
"To get an award, this five-million plaque for this album that meant so much to me and still does," Taylor continued. "I'm so proud of it. The fact that it went out into the world and sold five million copies is kind of unreal. I can't really wrap my mind around it yet. That's so many!"
Just as quickly as she took that small stage, Taylor was whisked away to prepare for the "giant stage." Coincidentally, as of Saturday, Taylor's Speak Now world tour has sold one million tickets. The trek continues until Nov. 22. Click here to keep track of Taylor's upcoming shows.