Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Emma Watson Dead in Car Crash – False Report

“Emma Watson dies on scene of fatal car collision” reads the headline of a typical report of the kind that started to circulate just a couple of hours ago. They all claim that either the “Harry Potter” star got into a collision that cost her life after getting behind the wheel drunk or that she was hit by another car and passed away on the scene. All such reports are bogus, Sophos informs.

The “Emma Watson is dead” reports started to circulate a few hours ago and are slowly taking over the Internet. Luckily, they are only part of a hoax, as the young and popular star is actually at home, safe and sound, as her publicist confirms for the media. Sophos also warns not clicking on “news” items that bear this heading or a similar one, since whoever is putting them out there might be doing so with malicious intent.

“On July 24, 2009, Watson was en route to her mansion in Oxfordshire, England. Police footage captured her driving with speeds up to 80 miles per hour on very narrow roads. Oxfordshire paramedics received a 999 call at 12:22 p.m. (GMT), about an sportcar having crashed into a wall at a petrol station. At this point it was still unknown that the victim was indeed Emma Watson. Three minutes after the call got through, paramedics arrived at Watson’s location. She was reportedly not breathing and the car was total loss. After 5 minutes the Oxfordshire Fire Department managed to get Watson out of her car. Resuscitation efforts continued en route to the Oxfordshire’s Medical Center, and for an hour after arriving there at 1:45 p.m. (GMT). She was pronounced dead at 2:10 p.m. (GMT).” reads one version of the story, as per Sophos. more stories..

Online Security Threat from Spread of Viral Internet Rumours (Emma Watson): Rise of Fake Virus Software Warnings Through SEO

Online Security Threat from Spread of Viral Internet Rumours (Emma Watson): Rise of Fake Virus Software Warnings Through SEO

Internet rumours are by no means a new phenomenon. Experienced users are more than used to fake rumours of celebrity deaths, births and show business news. What has been witnessed recently however is the harnessing of internet rumours for profit. Generally fake antivirus warnings which force users to buy software or spyware are all that awaits a user sucked into the scam.

Harry Potter star Emma Watson, is one of the most recent focuses of such an internet scam. With the release of the new Harry Potter film Emma was a top searched query across the internet. In order to gain a volume of traffic these scams always target the most commonly used terms. Data on this is available from sources such as Bing’s X-Rank or Google Trends.

“On July 24, 2009, Watson was en route to her mansion in Oxfordshire….. Resuscitation efforts continued en route to the Oxfordshire’s Medical Center.. She was pronounced dead at 2:10 p.m. (GMT).”

Once the keyword target has been decided upon the scammers create pages containing shocking fake stories on third party sites. Using SEO techniques, the stories rank well in search engines for the term “Emma Watson” and the traffic begins. Once the flow of visitors has started is difficult to stop as users socially bookmark the stories and the story appears to gain authority simply by the number of users circulating and recommending it.

Emma Watson: Graduating from Hogwarts, then from 'Harry Potter'

"It's basically impossible for me to imagine," said Emma Watson, "because it's shaped so much of my life. I went from being somebody who wasn't famous to being very famous. I went from someone who just went to school to being someone who worked long hours, like I had a proper job, like my parents."

Watson was 9 when she was cast in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" as Hermione Jean Granger, a Muggle-born student who joins the wand-slinging prodigy and his pals at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The 2001 film, based on J.K. Rowling's first Potter book, earned $974.7 million worldwide, launching a daunting film franchise.

The rise & rise of Emma Watson

FROM swotty sorceress to model in the making - Emma Watson has come a long way since her early Harry Potter days. But while the prim and proper beauty has wooed the public in her ten years of fame, she reckons old snaps of herself make her cringe.

"I always think 'Is that really me?" she told reporters earlier this week.

Emma Watson 'guns' Letterman

As someone who actually spent eleven years attending an English boarding school I've never felt the desire or the need to investigate the world of Hogwarts. But I have always been impressed by Emma Watson whenever she does the rounds promoting Harry Potter and the Magical Bowl of Crusty Porridge, or whichever of the HP movies happens to be coming out at the time.

Watson was once again on charmingly-if-mildly-pugnacious form last night talking to David Letterman. When Dave quizzed the actress about her plans to study liberal arts in America and asked her exactly what "liberal arts" involved, Watson responded, "Do you live in the States? Shouldn't you be telling me this?" (Letterman's response: "The kid just gunned me!") Watson also kept her cool when Dave produced a photograph of her "wardrobe malfunction" at the recent, rain-soaked UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ("At least I'm wearing underwear") and admirably coped with the fact that Letterman appears to know even less about the Potter movies than I.

Emma Watson had feelings for Tom Felton ?

Harry Potter star Emma Watson has confessed that she never had feelings for Danielle Radcliffe or Rupert Grint, instead she had a crush on Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy in the wizard films.

"I have to confess, I had a bit of a crush on Tom Felton in the earlier films, but never on Daniel or Rupert, they are just good friends," Contactmusic quoted her as saying.

However, Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, had recently confessed that he and Radcliffe had crush on Watson.

Watson may become make-up artist!

Harry Potter star Emma Watson plans to become a make-up artist if her movie career falters. reports, the teenager has garnered a mammoth $15 million fortune playing Hermione Granger in the wizard franchise and despite that Watson insists she'd be just as happy powdering the noses of movie stars.

"If I hadn't been an actress I would have happily been a make-up artist. I love make-up. Being around make-up girls all the time you pick up loads of stuff - I'll go down there at lunch and use some of their products," she said.

Emma Watson 'no designer'

Harry Potter star Emma Watson says although she loves modelling and fashion, the idea of launching her own clothing line or perfume 'makes her want to vomit'.

The fashion-conscious actress - who is the new face of Burberry's Autumn/Winter 2009 campaign - has no intention of launching her own label, claiming the whole idea is "ridiculous".

She said: "I'm really not interested in doing it for my own ego. I'm not a designer. It's gotten so ridiculous. The idea of making my own perfume makes me want to vomit."

The 'Harry Potter' star added she would only consider sketching her own designs if the proceeds from sales went to charity.

She explained: "If someone asked me to do something that was beneficial to a cause, then maybe I'd consider it, but not just to be able to say 'Look at me! I've got my own line!' "

Harry Potter star Emma Watson says she can't wait to stop making films

Rupert Grint, aka Ron Weasley, has already appeared in several non-Harry Potter films, while Daniel Radcliffe has stripped naked on stage for the play Equus and plans more movies in the future.

But Emma Watson, who plays straightlaced Hermione, has chosen a different path for her life after wizarding. She has enrolled at prestigious Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

The 19-year-old's interest in fashion has led Emma to model for Burberry in Vogue and has landed her the front row at Chanel catwalk shows. And in between takes on the Potter set, Emma studied hard and achieved an impressive eight A* and two A grades at O-level, followed by four A grades at A-level.

Emma Watson picks Brown

It’s official now: Emma Watson will attend Brown University in Providence, R.I.

She confirmed her choice to Paste magazine. Story, Page 14.

“I am (going to university in the fall) — to Brown, which is an Ivy League establishment in the U.S.A. I’ve got a place there to read literature,” the 19-year-old “Harry Potter” star said.

Watson won’t be leaving Hermione Granger behind just yet, though. Production is under way on the final installments of the Potter flicks, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

Emma Watson's funny screen kiss

Emma Watson was terrified of laughing during her kissing scene with Rupert Grint.

The 'Harry Potter' actress battled through an urge to burst into giggles when she kissed Rupert Grint for the finale of the wizard film franchise and considers the scene to be one of the movie's most comedic moments.

She said: "We were both really nervous about laughing and not being able to take it seriously.

"It was awkward for both of us because we are like siblings - imagine growing up with someone since you were nine.

"It's strange, but I think Rupert and I both really enjoy doing comedy and getting the chance to do that because a lot of the film is so dark and really serious."

The 19-year-old British starlet - who plays the role of Hermione Granger - recently filmed her final scenes with Rupert for the last wizard movie, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'.

Emma says it was nerve-wracking to lock lips with Rupert - who plays Ron Weasley - on camera.

She explained: "We broke the ice by both of us confessing just how nervous we were about doing it, and because we were both in exactly the same boat, we felt exactly the same way about doing it. It was a relief to know we were both going through the same thing.

"The kiss is the finale. I don't want to give too much away... I don't want to ruin it."

Friday, July 3, 2009

Emma Watson Likes To Pretend She’s Not Filthy Rich

Emma Watson could totally be richer than the Queen - but she would have no idea, as it’s been a hot minute since she counted out all the coppers in her extra-large piggy bank.

The Harry Potter actress was recently allowed access to her fortune and so we would advise her to get the floors of her home reinforced at this point. A net worth of around £10 million, when all saved in coppers, has got to weigh as much as a small elephant.

The 19-year-old star spoke to Elle magazine about how she had no idea that she was stinking rich. In much the same way that Hank Baskett pretended he was not marrying Kendra Wilkinson in the yard where she and Hugh Hefner had played find the ping pong ball this past weekend, Emma says that she calculates her net worth by multiplying her number of Twitter friends by iPod catalogue size, like most tweens.

This is the same naivete that meant Amy Winehouse did not know she had her body-weight in smack hidden in her beehive. Or the same willingness to forget about immense fame that leads Prince Harry to be photographed in women’s underwear/ sparkly nail polish.

Horrid things usually happen when celebrities forget they are rich and famous. However, the worst thing likely to happen in this case, is Emma forgetting she has a wad of £50 notes in her pocket and asking you to sub her a burger, when you go to Maccy Ds.

“My dad never told me how much money I was earning,” the actress told the August issue of Elle magazine. “Then, when I hit 18, he was like, ‘I want you to understand that your money isn’t some kind of abstract concept. I want you to have a feel for what it’s worth and what you can do with it.’”

Sure, this prolly happens to other celebrities too. Britney Spears‘ parents didn’t tell her she had enough money in the bank to buy a decent weave. And Paris Hilton’s parents didn’t tell her that she had the power to stop the spread of VD, by just pulling up her pants. Secrets are terrible things, as is pretending you’re not mega wealthy.


Emma Watson Tells Teen Vogue She’s Not Into The Fame Thing

“Harry Potter” actress Emma Watson, 19, is on the cover of Teen Vogue‘s August issue. She looks all grown up, posing in old school Britastic clothing in the English countryside. Despite being famous since she was 10, Emma isn’t really a limelight lover. She is going to college and plans to do it up normal-person style. She’s majoring in English and will even be living with roommates. We understood why she is not all about being famous after she said so many ‘razzi showed up to her 18th birthday that she couldn’t get out the door. She added, “They laid down on the pavement and took pictures up my skirt.” Ugh, talk about barely legal. Check out some other quotes, after the jump


Taylor Swift’: Princess of country music

TAYLOR Swift opened the Country Music Television awards on June 16 with a skit about living out her dreams.

The 19-year-old country-and-pop sensation went a long way towards doing just that by winning video of the year and female video of the year for Love Story. To add icing to the cake, she got to perform with one of her favourite rock bands.

“I want to thank Shania Twain for always making such theatrical videos, and Garth Brooks for always putting the fans first. I take my cues from you,” Swift said in accepting video of the year honours at Nashville’s Sommet Centre in Tennessee.

“I like to thank the fans for giving me video of the year when my whole family is here watching.”

Swift with the Female Video
of the Year award for Love
Story at the CMT Music Awards.

Swift won the fan-voted award in a competitive ­category that included Brad Paisley’s Waitin’ on a Woman, Trace Adkins’ You’re Gonna Miss This, Carrie ­Underwood’s Just a Dream and Sugarland’s All I Want to Do.

Her Love Story video is an ­elaborate production with period costumes that echoes the story of Romeo and Juliet.

“This is for everybody who still believes in love stories, because I do,” Swift said.

She then closed the awards show by performing Pour Some Sugar on Me with the British rock band Def ­Leppard.

Paisley was the night’s other big winner, taking home awards for male video (Waitin’ on a Woman), ­collaborative video (Start a Band with Keith Urban) and performance of the year (Alan Jackson’s Country Boy with Jackson, George Strait and Dierks Bentley).

Start a Band features two youngsters playing the Rock Band music video game. Paisley and Urban also urged young viewers to learn to play.

Taylor Alison Swift was born on Dec 13, 1989, and is currently the hot rising star in American country-pop genre.

She cites Twain, her grandmother and LeAnn Rimes as her musical influence.

Although her grandmother was a professional ­opera singer, Swift’s tastes always ran more towards country and she developed a love for Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton at an early age.

She also credits the Dixie Chicks and Twain for ­demonstrating how much impact can be made by “stretching ­boundaries”.

Swift started writing songs and playing 12-string guitar when she was 12. She began to regularly visit Nashville and wrote songs with local songwriters.

By the time she was 14, her family decided to move to an outlying Nashville suburb.

In 2006, she released her debut single Tim McGraw, which peaked at No.6 on the Billboard country charts.

Later in October that year, she released her self-titled debut album, which ­produced five hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and was certified triple multi-platinum by the RIAA.

The New York Times described Swift as “one of pop’s finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults”.

Her second album, ­Fearless, was released in the United States on Nov 11 last year. The album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and the lead single Love Story became a hit on both the country and pop charts.

Through its eighth week of release, Fearless sold more than 338,467 paid downloads, making it the best-selling country album in digital ­history.

She released the lead single from the album, Love Story, on Sept 12. The song reached No.2 on iTunes Store Top Downloaded Songs and No.4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Swift’s Fearless and her self-titled album finished 2008 at No.3 and No.6 respectively, with sales of 2.1 million and 1.5 million each.

Fearless has since topped the Billboard 200 for 11 non-consecutive weeks. It also was the first album by a female ­artiste in country music ­history to log eight weeks at No.1 on The Billboard 200.
As of the week ending Feb 8 this year, Swift’s single Love Story became the country song with most paid downloads in history and the first country song to top the Mainstream Top 40.

At the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 5, Swift was honoured with Album of the Year as a performer and ­producer for Fearless. She is the youngest artiste in history to win this award.

Swift was also awarded the Academy’s Crystal Milestone Award, given for ­outstanding achievement in country ­music.

She was lauded for career achievements including ­selling more albums in 2008 than any other artiste in any genre of music, the breakthrough success of her debut album (which spawned five Top 10 hits, more than any in history for a female artiste’s debut CD), and the worldwide crossover success of her No.1 single Love Story.

As of late April, Swift has sold more than 14 million downloads, as well as three Gold Mobile Ringtones. – Agencies

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hannah Montana, Dierks Bentley lead charts

Thursday, July 2, 2009 – "Hannah Montana: The Movie" stayed atop the Billboard country album chart, and Dierks Bentley again was first on the song chart for the week ending July 11 with Sideways " Bentley assumed the top spot, switching with Kenny Chesney's Out Last Night, which was third.

Taylor Swift was second again on the album chart with "Fearless." Zac Brown Band and Chesney remained third and fourth respectively with "The Foundation" and "Greatest Hits II." Jason Aldean was fifth with "Wide Open," up one. Swift also was 11th with her debut, up 3.

Zac Brown Band remained second on the song chart with Whatever It Is. Brad Paisley stayed fourth with former number one, Then. Lady Antebellum was fifth, up one, with I Run to You. There was so little movement that songs between 8 and 18 remained exactly the same this week.

Aldean was up 2 to 19 with Big Green Tractor. Former Nashville Star winner Chris Young broke into the top 25 with Getting' You Home (The Black Dress Song).

The overall top 200 had Hannah Montana at 10th, Swift 11th , Zac Brown Band 16th, Chesney 17th and Aldean 19th.

Taylor Swift - Fearless

Fearless Review

Taylor Swift broke out in 2006 with the smash single "Tim Mcgraw." the teens rise to fame was quick and sudden. Millions of copies of her self titled debut flew off the shelves and with added publicity opening for Rascal Flatts and Brad Paisley, the young Swift ended up being the new face of country. Swift's sophomore effort "Fearless," combines more of the charm that was found on her first album with louder guitar riffs and more mature lyrics.

It seems like these days Swift is walking the fine line between pop and country. Although her first effort could've easily been dubbed pop, the strong presence of the fiddle and lyrics that painted pictures of country roads and Chevy trucks, shut down the detractors immediately. Country music embraced the new superstar with open arms. This disc has a completely different feel. With the exception of a few tracks "Love Story," being one of them, this album was made for teens, and getting farther and farther away from the country. Whether it's Swift waxing poetic about her now infamous break up with Joe Jonas on " Forever and Always," or about how tumultuous freshman year of high school can be on "Fifteen," Swift isn't shy to target a younger demographic.

A fiddle can still be heard, even featured prominently, on a few tracks, and Swift has made it quite clear that she won't be ditching her boots for stiletto heels anytime soon. The music does seem to be swaying in another direction, indeed. The amps are turned up this time, it's no longer Taylor and an acoustic guitar. Tracks such as "The Best Day," written about times the younger, less famous, Swift spent with her mother, show off her writing abilities. There are many bright spots on this disc, ones that are brought down by tracks like "Change," an overly produced mess that was obviously written quickly, just in time to be put out on the Olympic Games album. Hopefully, Swift's next effort will show if this hard working teen can cross over and still hit the platinum status as an adult. But for now it seems the broken hearted Swift that still believes in fairy tale love will never grow old. The songs about boys, break ups, and love is what sells albums, and Swift has no problem delivering what the fans want.

Taylor Swift Raps With T-Pain, Rocks With Def Leppard At CMTs

T-Swizzy, or Taylor Swift as she’s occasionally called, was the star of last night’s CMT Music Awards in Nashville, winning two trophies, performing with Def Leppard and making her rap debut with a little help from T-Pain. The “Thug Story” video — a clip worthy of a Saturday Night Live Digital Short — that opened the show saw T-Swizzy poking fun at her good-girl image by rhyming, “I’m so gangsta, you can find me baking cookies at night/You out clubbin’, but I just made Caramel Delight.” Other qualities that make our recent cover star a “thug”: her ability to knit and the fact that she still lives with her parents. Swift reportedly wrote the lyrics for the track, with T-Pain contributing his trademark (and in this case, hilarious) Auto-Tune harmonies.

(Check out photos of Swift, Def Leppard, Kid Rock and more onstage and backstage at the CMTs.)

Brad Paisley led the winners’ list with three awards, and Swift took home both Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for “Love Story” from her blockbuster 2008 disc Fearless. Kid Rock also walked off with a trophy, scoring the “Wide Open Country video buckle” for “All Summer Long.” Still, it was Swift who owned the night, taking the stage twice more before event ended. Midway through the ceremony, Swift returned to perform her hit “You Belong To Me,” and she was back again to close out the show with her heroes, Def Leppard.

Swift, who previously collaborated with Def Leppard on a Crossroads special, reiterated her love of the band during one of her acceptance speeches: “I want to thank CMT for letting me live so many of my dreams this year. I got to sing with my heroes. Def Leppard, I love you guys so much.” When the band took the stage, Swift grabbed the microphone, fist-bumped frontman Joe Elliott and took the lead on a rendition of their barroom classic “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”

Taylor Swift Reflects on Her 15ness

In 58 days, my daughter will walk through the doors of high school for the very first time. So we are all about this whole @15 thing with Taylor Swift at their side. (The @15 program is a new teen-led social change platform underwritten by Best Buy.) She offers observations such as, “You think you’re all alone when you’re 15. You’re not.” It’s comforting in a misery-loves-company kind of way. She also provides encouragement to teens who might think they are kind of different. “In the real world, if you have something about yourself that’s different, you’re lucky,” she notes. “It’s not a curse. Don’t make high school everything. I’d like to think the best years of my life are still ahead of me.” The whole site seems like a great way for teens to connect and be heard, and for parents to stay dialed in to what’s really going on behind the rolling of the eyes and the slamming of bedroom doors.

Swift 'prepared for long-distance romance'

By Lara Martin, Entertainment Reporter
Swift 'prepared for long-distance romance'

Rex Features

Taylor Swift has admitted that she is destined to endure long-distance romances for as long as her career is successful.

The 'Teardrops On My Guitar' star, who split from Joe Jonas last year, told Glamour that maintaining a normal relationship is incompatible with her hectic life.

"It’s always going to be long-distance, even if I date the boy who lives next door to me in Nashville," she said.

"I’ll be flying to see him and flying him places to see me. It feels like it would involve more scheduling, and I already deal with a lot of scheduling in my life... Of course, if I met somebody who was worth it, I would probably stop thinking that way!"

The 19-year-old is due to play a one-off show at London's Wembley Arena on November 23.

Taylor Swift, Long-Distance Lover

Even at the young age of 19, country star Taylor Swift has already done enough touring and traveling to know that having — and keeping — a steady boyfriend is a lot easier said than done.

"It’s always going to be long-distance, even if I date the boy who lives next door to me in Nashville," she admits in the upcoming issue of Glamour. "I’ll be flying to see him and flying him places to see me. It feels like it would involve more scheduling, and I already deal with a lot of scheduling in my life."

But considering Taylor's penchant for writing confessional songs about the real people in her life, maybe it's for the best that the young guys out there don't get their hopes up?

"For me, rebelling is done with words," she explains about her candid songs. "I love to write honest songs that name real people, then get up onstage and live out those emotions in front of 15,000 people. Penciling in a night to get wasted is not something I want to do."

Taylor Swift On Glamour: Cover Story

by Amy Wilkinson in On The Newsstand

Taylor Swift Life couldn’t be better for country cutie Taylor Swift. The 19-year-old singing sensation recently won Album of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards (the youngest person to ever do so), and she can boast that she outsold the likes of Britney, Lil Wayne and Coldplay last year. And now, Taylor is embarking on a 52-city tour with opening act and BFF Kellie Pickler. The girl who grew up on a Christmas tree farm opened up to Glamour about naming names, early career failures, and the perils of dating.

Anyone who’s grooved to tracks like “Forever & Always” knows Taylor isn’t shy about telling it like it is, even if it’s at the expense of a certain Jonas brother. Don’t expect the singer to clam up now that she’s a bona fide celebrity. “I’ve never felt like I needed to tone down being seen as a regular person,” Taylor said. “When I first started doing MySpace, I wrote my bio in the first person. I didn’t want my MySpace page to look like a publicity promo site, so I was the one doing all the commenting, and I was the one putting up pictures and videos. And I’ve approached my whole career like that — I don’t see that ever changing.”

Though it seems Taylor struck success virtually overnight, there were a few bumps on her road to stardom. “I had a record deal that didn’t work out, and it was devastating to me, she told the mag. “When I was 13, I got a meeting with RCA Records, and they said they wanted to sign me to a development deal. [After a year] they decided to shelf me, and I had a choice to make. I could have stayed in development with them, but I figured that if they didn’t believe in me then, they weren’t ever going to believe in me. So I made a tough decision and struck out on my own.”

With a chock-a-block schedule of touring, interviews and meet and greets, the singer’s dating life is, shall we say, unconventional. “It’s always going to be long-distance, even if I date the boy who lives next door to me in Nashville. I’ll be flying to see him and flying him places to see me. It feels like it would involve more scheduling, and I already deal with a lot of scheduling in my life. Of course, if I met somebody who was worth it, I would probably stop thinking that way!”

A 'Fearless' Taylor Swift at Merriweather: Pop Without the Tart

y David Malitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 13, 2009

As the music industry continues to fragment into a niche-oriented landscape, Taylor Swift stands out as an exception. She's a hit at the cash register: Her 4 million albums sold in 2008 was tops in the business. She's a star on the radio: Swift owns the country charts and has made a successful crossover to pop and Top 40 stations. This summer's Fearless Tour -- her first headlining venture -- is one of the season's hottest tickets, selling out sheds in blue states and red states alike. Tickets for Thursday's show at Merriweather Post Pavilion were gone in 30 minutes, a record for the venue (since broken by reunited jam band Phish). This outing is being positioned as nothing less than the coronation of the next great pop music queen who, at just 19 years old, will be the shining star to prop up a faltering industry.

No pressure, kid.

Thursday's show made it clear exactly why Swift is viewed as a star with some serious staying power. After her opening number, the infectious "You Belong With Me" -- which, like many of her songs, had only a slight hint of twang to go with its bouncy pop delights -- she soaked in the deafening cheers at center stage. Sporting a sparkling silver dress (one of some 10 she'd wear over the course of the evening), Swift repeatedly mouthed the words, "Oh, my God" as she surveyed the screaming, sign-holding, picture-taking masses. A few minutes later she told the audience, "This is the most beautiful sight I've seen in my entire life."

It's likely that every crowd gets the same treatment. But in the moment, it was hard not to believe her, that this was truly special. She's the kind of girl you want to believe.

Of course, modest charm alone does not a star make. There's a reason the gracious guitar player at your local open mike night can't find another gig, after all. Swift's songs -- all of which she at least co-wrote -- are mostly masterful, if slightly formulaic, creations.

That Swift doesn't have the most dynamic stage presence is neither surprising nor disappointing. The dramatic hair fling was about as showy as she got, leaving the limited pomp and circumstance to a small team of extras who acted out the lyrics to "You Belong With Me" and "Love Story" in a manner as cheesy as you might expect.

It's also easy to overlook the fact that Swift has a fairly ordinary voice. Belting is not a part of her oeuvre, and there were a couple of moments of minor fluttering. But when the occasion called for it -- take the fire-breathing chorus of rage-rocker "Picture to Burn," for instance -- she proved to be game by rising above the din, all while skipping across the stage.

Still, it was the poignant ballad "White Horse" that found her most in her element. She was alone, strumming an acoustic guitar, singing words that were clearly penned by a teenage girl (" 'Cause I'm not your princess/This ain't a fairy tale/I'm gonna find someone, someday/Who might actually treat me well") but had a universal appeal. It was sentimental, just the right amount of sappy and more than plenty catchy.