Taylor Swift has the distinction of appearing on the cover of the final issue of CosmoGirl magazine, which ceases publication at the end of the year. Honored as "The Phenomenon" in the magazine's 2008 Born to Lead Awards, the 18-year-old is seen inside the issue posing on a bench in New York's Central Park.

Taylor opens up about how she discovered Music City, saying, "I looked up Nashville and learned it was this amazing city where country music lived. I was like, 'That's the promised land of country music. That's where I need to go!'"

Asked what it means to be an influence on young girls who emulate her, Taylor says, "When a mom says to me, 'You're an incredible role model for my daughter,' that's the best compliment you could give me because it's about my character, which to me is the biggest honor."

Taylor also discusses the influence other artists have had on her, including Faith Hill, from whom she recently learned a valuable lesson.

"I was [at the CMT Awards] in these awesome high-heeled shoes but they really hurt. I was going up to present an award, and I whispered to Faith, 'My feet hurt so bad!' She goes, 'Take 'em off!' I was like, well, Faith Hill told me to, so I took off my shoes and carried them in my hand. She taught me that I don't have to take everything so seriously."

One thing Taylor remains serious about is her music, and she's compiling a eclectic wish list of future collaborators and potential projects. Taylor told MTV News recently that she'd love to work with the subject of her first hit, Tim McGraw, and also revealed that she'd like to do something "completely off-the-wall," explaining, "I would like one of my songs to be the hook to a rap song. That would be so much fun! You know, I love Kanye West and I love T.I. -- he's amazing."