Taylor Swift's Vogue Cover

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Photographed by Mario Testino

When I ask whose career she would most like to emulate, she places herself squarely in baby-boomer territory, identifying in some ways more with her parents than with her peers: “I look back and I think about Kris Kristofferson,” she says without missing a beat. “He is so versatile and so appreciated for all of the things that he has done. The fact that he shines in songwriting, shines in his solo career, shines in movies and does it all so tastefully. I got to meet him last year, and he’s just one of those people who has been in this business for years but you can tell it hasn’t chewed him up and spit him out. He just seemed like the human embodiment of gratitude.” She ponders for a moment. “Sometimes you see these people who are just so—God—so affected by all of it, where ambition has taken precedence over happiness. But when I meet people who really embody this serenity of knowing that they have had an amazing life—James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson, and Ethel Kennedy. . . .” She smiles her twinkly-eyed smile. “They just seem to be effervescent.”

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  1. I find her music pretty dang insufferable, but this is a stunning editorial.


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