Who’s That Girl?

Kate & William Go Country
Kate Middleton & Prince William wear cowboy duds in Canada.
She plays to packed stadiums around the world, graces international magazine covers, and dates some of the hottest actors and pop stars on the planet.

But as a 10-year-old girl with big dreams — and a big voice to boot — she was competing in small-town karaoke competitions. And Celebuzz has the exclusive photos to prove it.

Who’s the mystery crooner?


It’s Taylor Swift — and she’s come a long way since singing in competitions at Pat Garrett’s Roadhouse in Bethel, Pennsylvania., 13 years ago.

“Taylor hated to lose,” Garrett, the starlet’s former mentor, told Celebuzz. “She would cry when she didn’t win a karaoke competition, and she was totally delighted when she finally won one.”

Swift’s karaoke career began at the urging of her father Scott, who frequently took her to the Roadhouse to perform her favorite country songs before hundreds of locals. Winners got the chance to open for larger acts like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cashat The Pat Garrett Amphitheatre in nearby Strausstown.

“Taylor was a great performer, and when she won our local karaoke competition, she went on to perform before the main act, the Charlie Daniels Band, in front of around 2,000 people. She lit up when she went on stage. Taylor loved the adulation,” said Garrett.

After Garrett befriended Swift’s family, the singer began performing with the Pat Garrett Band so she could further hone her skills before a live audience. But Scott Swift had higher hopes for his daughter: namely, a recording contract.

“Scott was Taylor’s biggest cheerleader,” Garrett said. “He was always there to pick her up if she got upset and he was a very smart guy. I advised them that they should take Taylor to Nashville where the real country scene was. And instead of going for a week or two, he relocated the entire family for good. That’s how determined he was.”

The move paid off: at just 14, Swift signed with Scott Borchetta’s independent label Big Machine Records and become the youngest songwriter hired by Sony/ATV Music.

“To be honest, I never dreamed she would become so big,” said Garrett. “But I’m delighted for Taylor and her family. I got an e-mail from her dad just two weeks ago telling me she now has over 30 million followers on Facebook — not bad for a little girl that used to sing karaoke in my bar!”

Garrett, who now runs a successful sheepskin coat-selling business, last spoke with his protege two years ago, but he still hopes that the two will perform together one day in the future. Only now, he knows Swift will be the headlining act.

Did you recognize Taylor in the karaoke photo? Tell us in the comments section!

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