For Taylor Swift, Vegas is rated PG

Taylor Swift.
Photo: Tom Donoghue/

Nineteen-year-old Taylor Swift might be too young to truly experience Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean country music’s sweet-singing wonder kid will spend the weekend pouting in her hotel room.

“I can definitely enjoy it anyway,” Swift, who plays Mandalay Bay Saturday, said. “There’s just so much going on that you can look at ... The hotels themselves are just so much fun to wonder around and the shopping is amazing.”

“I’m kind of restricted from 95 percent of Las Vegas, but I love being in Vegas,” she added.

The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter was here in April, when she appeared at the Academy of Country Music Awards and ACM’s Artist of the Decade George Strait special.

Taylor Swift at Tao.

Taylor Swift at Tao.

She picked up two statues that weekend, Album of the Year for her current record, Fearless, and the Crystal Milestone Award, and performed as part of Strait’s show, which is set to air on CBS at 8 p.m. on May 27.

A month and a half later, Swift is now set to return to what for her might as well be called Sinless City: Mindful of the eyes upon her, she appears to have no intentions of misbehaving.

“Everything I do is monitored now,” she acknowledged, “(So) I’ve definitely not been gambling or doing anything that usually people talk about doing in Vegas.”

The over-achieving former straight-A student knows she couldn’t get away with much, even if she wanted to.


Taylor Swift at Mandalay Bay
May 23, 8 p.m., $65-$75.
Mandalay Bay Events Center
Beyond the Weekly
Taylor Swift

Swift was photographed while enjoying a night out on the town on April 4 – but instead of getting caught with a drink in-hand at a star-studded nightclub, the young bombshell was spotted at Tao enjoying dinner in the main dining room.

Though her time in the spotlight means she is constantly under the public microscope, Swift has yet to make any Britney Spears-style missteps.

She hasn’t been busted for anything, other than naming names after having her heart broken.

And Swift seems genuinely happy to play by the rules, for the time being, at least. This means no underage gambling, clubbing or attempts at using a fake I.D. to experience more of the things that make our fair city famous.

While she admits being so conspicuous can sometimes be frustrating, Swift says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’ve wanted this my whole life. … I’m not about to be the girl who wants one thing her whole life and then gets it and complains about it,” she said. “That would be pretty lame.

“I’ve never felt entitled; I work really, really hard,” she said. “I know that things are really great right now but I also know that if I don’t continue to work and plan ahead and think about every move that I make, I know that I could just become irrelevant.”

While her songs of heartache and heartbreak have crossed the pop-country divide and she has sold millions of records, played sold-out shows and is currently headlining her own tour, it would appear that the seemingly wise-beyond-her-years Swift has somehow managed to stay humble.

Everywhere she looks, Swift sees reasons to be thankful – even in retrospect, for the long road before the record deals, fame and fortune.

“It was really tough going to school not knowing if I was going to have anyone want to talk to me that day,” she recalls, “But in reality, those people that were mean to me and those girls who got up from the lunch table when I went to sit down with them … that is the reason that I am where I am. If I had been happy in Pennsylvania then I wouldn’t’ve moved to Nashville, and had I not moved to Nashville I wouldn’t be (here) right now.

“So in a sense, I kind of look back and I thank them.”


Melissa Arseniuk

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