Taylor Swift Dished on Loving Guy Fieri and 'Teen Mom' in One of Her First PEOPLE Cover Stories: Read It Here

Turning 21, the singer-songwriter admitted: "I've never felt like the coolest girl in the room. Ever."

<p>Kevin Mazur/WireImage</p> Taylor Swift in 2010

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Taylor Swift in 2010

In case you haven't heard, PEOPLE Magazine turns 50 this year, and we've been having quite the celebration.

As part of the festivities, we're releasing a special edition, 50 Years of Stars, filled with incredible archival images and interviews with celebrities we've followed through the years.

One such celeb is Taylor Swift, who nabbed her first PEOPLE cover in 2009 and in November 2010, sat down with our reporters for a wide-ranging chat on her musical inspirations and her quiet personal life as Speak Now was climbing the charts.

Below, read the 2010 interview in full, and pick up 50 Years of Stars on Amazon and newsstands now.

She had a decision to make: Back home in Nashville after a promotional trip to Europe, a jet-lagged Taylor Swift could either catch up on sleep or have breakfast with her dad, Scott.

A typical 20-year-old might pull the covers over her head, but the singer rallied. “I’ll always get up and go have breakfast with him,” says Swift, who moved out of her parents’ house earlier this year. “A lot of the decisions I make,” she adds, “I make from the perspective of, ‘What would I think of this looking back at age 80?’ ”

<p>Ed Rode/Nashville Rising/Getty</p> Taylor Swift in 2010

Ed Rode/Nashville Rising/Getty

Taylor Swift in 2010

Related: Taylor Swift's Sweetest Family Moments with Her Parents

One thing’s for sure: 80-year-old Taylor won’t be worrying that she left things unsaid. Her albums have famously been autobiographical, and her latest, Speak Now, is filled with emotionally charged songs she wrote about the past two years of her life — a period that included relationships with Joe Jonas and Taylor Lautner (and, apparently, some drama with John Mayer), a smattering of critical backlash after her Grammy wins and that infamous incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards when Kanye West hijacked her acceptance speech.

Whether she’s the victim or the heartbreaker, she gets the last word. “There’s been extreme joy, extreme pain, extreme curveballs,” says Swift. “Sometimes when things impact you so intensely, it takes writing a song to get over them.” Though she is admittedly “shy” and “coy” when it comes to discussing her personal life, “I will say everything in my music,” explains Swift. So should Mayer be worried? Swift widens her eyes and avoids answering when asked if “Dear John” is about him.

<p>Larry Busacca/WireImage</p> Taylor Swift in 2010

Larry Busacca/WireImage

Taylor Swift in 2010

According to Swift, all her song subjects — the crushes, the exes, the “liar” she calls out in “Mean” — should have known they’d become fodder. “This is album No. 3, so I figure that these people have had fair warning.”

Related: Taylor Swift's Life in Photos

The youngest-ever Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, Swift was recently ranked No. 12 on the Forbes celebrity power list, earning an estimated $45 million. Since releasing her first album at 16, she says, “I’ve stayed the same as a person, but the perception of me has changed immensely.”

She still thinks of herself as the outcast she was in middle school. It makes no difference that she’s dated Hollywood heartthrobs, counts actress Selena Gomez, 18, among her best friends and recently attended the Roberto Cavalli fashion show in Milan. “I’ve never felt like the coolest girl in the room. Ever,” she says. “Every time I’ve gotten to jump up and down and scream at the top of my lungs and dance around because I won an award, I was celebrating that like it was the last time it was ever gonna happen,” says Swift. “Living life that way keeps me excitable.”

<p>Michael Tran/FilmMagic</p> Taylor Swift in 2010

Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Taylor Swift in 2010

Related: Taylor Swift as a Teletubby! From Farm Baby to Sandy in 'Grease,' See 11 Childhood Photos of the Future Superstar

Love, on the other hand, keeps her at once confused and fascinated. “It’s the one thing in life that is so unpredictable that I will never figure it out,” she says. “So I write songs about it constantly ... But I don’t ever have a morning where I wake up and say, ‘I really need to find a boyfriend today.’ ” With limited free time, she has plenty of other things to keep her busy. “Right now it’s going to the park or walking in nature and blasting music in my headphones,” says Swift, a Grey’s Anatomy fan who downloads the songs she hears on the show.

PEOPLE's 50th Anniversary Special, '50 Years of Stars'
PEOPLE's 50th Anniversary Special, '50 Years of Stars'

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She also cooks and bakes, hangs out in her bedroom watching the Food Network (especially Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) and MTV’s Teen Mom, and writes in her journal. “I think sometimes as people gain success, the list of things that make them happy gets smaller,” she explains. “But I think your list should get bigger. I love going to the grocery store, and I’ve kept that on the list of things that make me happy.”

While she admits with a laugh that “it’s a much more social experience now,” she doesn’t see that as a problem. Says Swift: “I never wanted to be the girl who gets everything she dreams about and starts complaining about it.”

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