Taylor Swift has been named Tennessean of the Year for 2013 by the state’s newspaper, The Tennessean.
The honor is given to the person who has made the most exceptional contribution to the lives of Tennesseans this year.” Past recipients of the award have included Amy Grant, Vince Gill, and Dolly Parton. The paper called Swift “unprecedented” and said she “has made the most graceful transition from teen stardom to adult music career” since “I’m Sorry” singer Brenda Lee.
“Her rise to prominence has coincided with a lot of the things going on in Nashville,” Nashville mayor Karl Dean said of the “Everything Has Changed” singer. “She’s one of the most dynamic and popular musical performers in the world, and she’s perceived as having universal appeal across categories. She transcends genres, and that’s a great thing for the city.”
Taylor Swift recently celebrated her 24th birthday by donating $100,000 to the Nashville Symphony, which had considered filing for bankruptcy in 2013. In 2012, she pledged $4 million to fund the building of a new education center at the Country Music Hall of Fame, the largest individual artist gift in the museum’s history. Officials decided to name the new space the Taylor Swift Education Center. Swift will be involved with the center in an advisory capacity. The center opened ahead of schedule in October, and an interactive exhibit gallery will be added this year.
In 2012, Michelle Obama presented Swift the Big Help Award for her “dedication to helping others” and “inspiring others through action.” That same year, Kerry Kennedy of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights presented Swift with the Ripple of Hope Award for her “dedication to advocacy at such a young age.”
Last month, Taylor Swift topped DoSomething.org’s list of “Top 20 Celebs Gone Good” for the second year in a row.