Kellie Pickler Taylor SwiftKellie Pickler may be best friends with country's biggest crossover artist, Taylor Swift, but she has no plans of following in her footsteps.

"I like the tears and the realness in the voices, and it's not overproduced," she tells My San Antonio of her preference for traditional country music. "No smoke and mirrors." In fact, Kellie says she doesn't listen to anything but older country music. "'Willie's Place' on Sirius XM satellite radio is all I listen to," she says, referring to the station named for Willie Nelson, which only plays artists from the 1960s or earlier, including Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb and Lefty Frizzell.

Kellie, who opened for Taylor for her 2009 Fearless tour, appreciated the experience of being on one of the most successful tours of 2009, and insists she isn't jealous of her friend's success. "It was a wonderful way to connect with a younger fan base, but it was over very quick. The whole year kind of flew by."

Kellie says she's more interested in the path of her hero, George Strait. "It's not about the sprint, it's about the long run. Patience is a virtue. Some people want everything right now. But when they get it, then it's over."

At work on her third album, Kellie notes it's not just the singing she loves. "Some people express themselves through dancing or sports. I express myself through writing. It's therapeutic and healing. My favorite part about making an album is the writing."

In addition to spending time in the studio, she is also getting ready to embark on her third USO tour, along with Randy Houser and Jamey Johnson. "I'm very sure I'll have some very interesting stories to share when I get back, she told The Boot. "I'm sure there will never be a dull moment!"