How do you measure musical greatness? Can you count the number of awards and accolades received? Perhaps the viewpoint of other musicians is a measuring stick of musical prominence, or not. Maybe it is the amount of adoring fans that flock to buy music? Hmmm! Well there are several artists’ today who sell music at record paces, but at the same time fail to receive the same love from music critics. I am not swayed by record sales or music critics when it comes to my appreciation of musical abilities. Some persons may look upon such barometers as the signal to buy music, but I would like to believe that we hear music and buy because we like what we hear. When I think of Taylor Swift, the young Country Music phenomenon after three albums, I feel her fan base may be built on several factors. She’s young, and other young people can relate to her. Taylor Swift is also very attractive. A third factor is she writes her own songs, and her lyrics are highly autobiographical. This means she literally pours her heart out to her audience. Have these factors brought monetary benefits? Oh yes! Billboard Magazine named her the most financially successful music artist of 2011, with net earnings of more than $35 million. Indeed the twenty-two year old from Reading, PA from humble beginnings has made it to the top of the industry. In spite of the monetary gains there are some who do not feel her earnings match her talent level. In my mind I can never speak of Taylor Swift without thinking of rapper/singer Kanye West. While accepting her award at the MTV Video Music Awards for her “You Belong with Me” video, Kanye West came on the stage, took the microphone from Swift, and said that Beyonce’s video for Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it), nominated for the same award, was the greatest video of all time. Of course many celebrities criticized Kanye West for his outburst and he has since apologized. The Taylor Swift video I have included of the song “Innocent” is about the incident and in the song she absolves Kanye of his actions. Nevertheless, Swift still has critics of her music and performances, some calling her songs “light” in substance. Naturally it leads to the question; Is she really that good? Give her a listen and answer that for yourselves, without the influence of others.