Taylor Swift to guest star at James Taylor's July 2 Tanglewood concert

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LENOX -- Country-pop crossover singer-songwriter Taylor Swift will be the guest star during James Taylor's July 2 show at Tanglewood, sources confirmed to The Eagle on Monday.

Swift -- named the Country Music Association's 2011 Entertainer of the Year as well as the American Music Award's Artist of the Year -- is a longtime fan as were her parents, who named her after him.

Taylor first met Swift five years ago, before her breakout as a major performer, at a New York City benefit where they were both singing. She invited him to perform with her as a surprise guest last Nov. 22 at the final sold-out concert of her 2011 "Speak Out" world tour at Madison Square Garden.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "the duo's tranquil acoustic performance on a sofa had the vague air of an elderly father strumming guitar with his progeny, as Swift, 22, in a voluminous ball gown, and Mr. Taylor, 64, languidly crooned ‘Fire and Rain.' But teenagers in New York sang along fervently " Video clips are available on YouTube.

Taylor also played the guitar while Swift performed her song, "Fifteen."

Swift, winner of multiple Grammys and other awards, has sold more than 22 million albums and 50 million song downloads worldwide in the past five years. According to Forbes Magazine, she earned $57 million so far this year, on top of $108 million in the 2009-11 period. She is working on her fourth album for release this fall.

Currently on a regional tour with his band, James Taylor is performing in Pittsburgh on Wednesday evening, followed by appearances in Syracuse, N.Y.; Holmdel, N.J.; Portland, Maine; Montreal, Quebec; and Manchester, N.H., before returning to Lenox for his three-night stint at Tanglewood July 2-4.

According to the Boston Symphony's website, tanglewood.org, some Shed seats, as well as lawn tickets, remain available for Taylor's three-night stand.

He plans to finish writing and recording a new album next year, while also focusing on his online guitar lessons through his website, jamestaylor.com. "October Road" was his most recent studio album of new material in 2002; four years ago, he released "Covers," with his own take on well-known old hits such as "Summertime Blues" and "Hound Dog." His 2010 release "Live at the Troubadour" with Carole King rose to No. 4 on Billboard Magazine's top-100 album chart.



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